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Is this the end of hyperrealism? - Tony Matelli

Posted on Jul 26, 2016


The sculpture of the 21st century seems to be dominated by hyper-realism. One of the masters of the trend is undoubtedly Tony Matelli, best known for his sculpture Sleepwalker, which aroused a lot of controversy in 2014. The figure of a sleepy man, dressed only in underwear, did not arouse enthusiasm after being set up in a female college.


Tony Matellis «Sleepwalker» (Schlafwandler) in der Stadt, die niemals schläft. Foto: Johannes Schmitt-Tegge 
The sculpture was described as 'harmful to the community' and provoked students to sign the petition to remove the work from the school yard. As you know, nothing serves the artist better  as a bit of controversy. 'Sleepwalker', however, picked up the entire pot. Since then, the figure, wherever it appears, becomes the target of vandalism attacks.

A fiberglass sculpture at Wellesley College, entitled

What does the artist say about it?

'If you think that Sleepwalker offends or harasses someone - you need help and compassion'.

Tony Matelli does not fear the controversy and consistently continues his artistic path.

His newer works are kept in the same style.

Figure 1, 2015, silikon, stal, uretan, włosy 
Figure 1, 2015, silicone, steel, urethane, hair

In 2016, Tony Matelli's works turn more towards abstraction. Is this a sign of the end of hyperrealism?

Jesus, 2016, Malowane aluminium i beton, 64 x 22 x 25 

Jesus, 2016, Painted aluminum and concrete, 64 x 22 x 25 "

Hermes, 2016, Malowane aluminium, beton 36 x 24 x 24 
Hermes, 2016, painted aluminum, concrete
36 x 24 x 24"

Barrels, 2016, Malowane aluminum, stal, 96 x 36 x 36 
Barrels, 2016, painted aluminum, concrete, 96 x 36 x 36"

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