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Reality. Replicated (sort of).

born in Chicago, IL | graduated 1993, BFA Sculpture, 1995, MFA Cranbrook Academy of Art
currently a studio artist in NYC:

“…it’s just real enough…”

“Tony Matelli is a trickster, a trader in combinatory illusions, a skilled manipulator of the restless mediation between metaphor, meaning and truth.”1

After graduating from MIAD as a Sculpture Major, Tony Matelli certainly didn’t waste any time establishing himself as one of the world’s most significant contemporary artists. He attended graduate school, and soon became a national and international wonder showing work in places such as Sweden, France, Italy, and New York. “I make work that speaks of the need and the frustration of trying to locate oneself in an already set world. My work frequently depicts things finding wayward means of survival.”2

Matelli’s work has been described as playful, sarcastic, dark, witty, intellectual, even vulgar. His hyper-real sculptures and installations invite viewers to look at slices of life (whether personal, environmental, social, or cultural) that are often overlooked, ignored, or altogether avoided. Through his work Matelli forces us to reexamine ourselves, our humanness, including all our faults, insecurities, and imperfections.

Selected solo exhibitions

  • Leo Koenig Inc. NYC [2005/02/01]
  • Emmanuel Perrotin France [2005]
  • Kunsthalle Wien Austria [2004]
  • Kunstraum Dornbin Austria [2004]
  • Galerie Andrehn Schiptjenko Sweden [2003/99]
  • Sies+Hocke Gallery Dusseldorf [2003/00]
  • Emmanuel Perrotin Gallery France [2002]
  • Gian Enzo Sperone Italy [2002]
  • Bailey Fine Art Toronto [2002]
  • Art Dealers Invitational France [2001]
  • Ten in One Gallery NYC [2000]
  • Torch Gallery Amsterdam [2000]
  • Gallery du Triangle France [2000]
  • University of Buffalo Art Gallery NY [1999]
  • Basilico Fine Arts NYC [1999/97]
  • Ten in One Gallery Chicago, IL [1997]

Selected group exhibitions

  • ‘The Most Splendid Apocalypse’ PPOW Gallery NYC [2005]
  • Gary Tatintsian Gallery Moscow, Russia [2005]
  • ‘The Ten Commandments’ Hygeine Museum Dreden, Germany [2004]
  • ‘The Uncanny’ Tate, Liverpool England [2004]
  • ‘The Fourth Sex’ MOCA Chicago, IL [2003]
  • ‘Small World’ MOCA San Diego, CA [2000]

1 Fischman, Lisa. Tony Matelli. New York: Leo Koenig, Inc., 2003.