The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum has announced that the exhibition of Tony Matelli’s Hera has been extended through Jan. 1, 2018. This monumental sculpture is part of the Main Street Sculpture series, an opportunity for artists to create site-specific work for The Aldrich’s most public site, the front lawn.
This work is an extension of the artist’s Garden Sculptures series, initiated in 2015, in which he defaces garden statuary of classical or religious icons and subverts material expectation. Based on an ancient Greek statue of Hera and poised atop a pedestal, the statue, fabricated out of cast stone, is painstakingly aged to mimic a centuries old patina. An imposing nine-feet tall and sited on a three-foot tall pedestal, the neo-classical figure is juxtaposed with flawlessly hand-painted cast bronze watermelons, whole, halved and quartered, that balance upon her head, within the creases and folds of her drapery, and at her feet. These faux-perishables, poised upon the intentionally eroded and debased figure, are presented in an eternal state of freshness. In doing so, Matelli stages opposing entropic forces, the synthetically preserved, and the forcibly decayed.