LondonAmadeo Morelos: Providence
Providence is an exhibition that demonstrates Amadeo Morelos’ profound love for the depth of expression different mediums can afford the artist.
With such a broad range of interests, Morelos has many strands of thought to pick from and weave together in his practice. The foundation for Providence is an interest in the parallels between the mythological hero and the artist. Both figures possess an innate gift, one which they feel compelled to pursue; they put themselves on show, exposing themselves to judgement; and, most importantly in this case, they are both linked strongly to an appreciation of the human form.
Morelos first became interested in these ideas when learning about the travelling carnivals of the nineteenth century, ‘freak shows’ attended by a braying public. He began to look at the modern day equivalents to this phenomena and became transfixed by bodybuilding. These sculpted figures not only have links to the early days of the circus, but they also mirror the physique of the mythological hero. Amadeo’s interest in the narrative structures of antiquity – particularly the stories of Hercules, Apollo and Dionysus – and how these remain relevant today, strongly informs his work. In Amadeo’s opinion, the hero complex is rife in contemporary society. Young generations are shaped by phrases and modes of thought that reinforce a sanctity of the self that is perhaps over inflated: ‘be your best you’, ‘live your best life‘ and other such phrases have little time for others around you and bolster ideas that we are the lead role in our own story. Amadeo notes that the progressive arc of a typical lifetime reflects that of the mythological hero: most of us grow up, take on new responsibilities and overcome certain obstacles. Through this link between contemporary reality and mythological narratives, the artist reminds us just how old ideas of self importance and physical aesthetics are, and why they’re worth considering today.
all images © the gallery and the artist(s)