Double Veg Head 2, 2008. Bronze and vinyl paint, dimensions variable (Fresh: 18 x 15 x 12 in.; Rotten: 4 x 8 x 10 in.).

Human Echo: A Conversation with Tony Matelli

Tony Matelli’s imperfect human figures and macabre self-portraits might be described as expressions of hyperrealistic angst. Over the past 15 years, he has reinterpreted the human condition through an interplay of humor and horror, a strategy best demonstrated in Total Torpor, Mad Malaise (2003). In this grotesque parody of a classical reclining figure, a deformed, nude man overcome by boils smiles curiously at us over the remains of his bingeing—a reference to the foot of Tracey Emin’s iconic Bed (1998), with its carpet-strewn garbage and associated questions. Matelli has exhibited extensively in solo and group exhibitions across Europe and North America, including “Personal Structures,” a collateral event/exhibition at the 2011 Venice Biennale. His most wide-ranging solo exhibition, “Tony Matelli—A HUMAN ECHO,” was shown at ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum in Denmark in 2012. Matelli grew up in Chicago and Wisconsin and received a BFA in sculpture from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design and an MFA in sculpture from the Cranbrook Academy of Art. He now lives and works in New York... see the entire article in the print version of January/February’s Sculpture magazine.