Overview

I like sculpture because it’s unwieldy, and there is a resistance to decoration in sculpture that I like. Genres are at the service of ideas, not the other way around.

Characterized by hyperrealism and a twisted depiction of everyday objects like flowers and leftover consumer goods, Tony Matelli's sculptures often straddle the boundaries of absurdity and humor, raising broader existential questions. 

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Biography

The weed is a triumph and a failure at the same time. Weeds persevere; you can’t kill them. They are a celebration of unwantedness.

 

Born in 1971 in Chicago, Tony Matelli is a New York-based sculptor known for his

painstakingly detailed, resemblant sculptures. Concerned with how we define ourselves as human beings, what constitutes meaningful relationships, and the transience of life, Matelli chronicles these ideas through a playful lens whilst pushing the boundaries of his medium. The result is a subversive dialogue that deepens the conversation surrounding the possibilities of sculpture. 

 

Incorporating figurative, botanical, and abstract forms, his bronze sculptures rely on unusual juxtapositions such as his weeds series in which plants sprout from the space between gallery walls and floors. Across his oeuvre, and particularly in his mirror paintings, Matelli discards traditional genre categories in favor of experiential concerns. 

 

His work has been extensively exhibited and collected in notable institutions including the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Uppsala Museum, Sweden, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, and Bergen Kunstmuseum, Norway, to name a few.

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