The evolution of Art History speeds up to around humankind’s most repugnant catastrophes. WWI and WWII catalyzed dozens of artistic movements, where artists around the world battled with the inconceivable war that roared around them. Now, modern Pop Artists like Angelo Accardi revisit the works of these artists in trying to make sense of contemporary chaos.

One of Accardi’s most famous monumental mixed media pieces, “MISPLACED INSTALLATION-LARGE” is made of chromed metal and PVC, modeled using the work of Lucio Fontana, an Italian painter, sculptor, and theorist famous for his work in Abstract Expressionism, and specifically his contribution to Spatialism, which intended to synthesize color, sound, space, movement, and time into a new type of art.

While the movement is esoteric, and deeply inspired by expressionism, abstraction, and the pure chaos of WWII, Accardi manages to use Fontana’s most famous piece to essentialize both a moment in history and contemporary phenomenon in one clear gesture.

From 1949 and on, Fontana started the so-called Spatial Concept or slash series, consisting of holes or slashes on the surface of monochrome paintings. Simultaneously, the plastic PVC pipe had been invented first in Germany (1936), and later implemented in the US (1950), and is used mainly to convey flowing substances–including water, sewage, and other slurries, gases, or liquids.

The Ostrich, one of Accardi’s favorite characters, allegorically stuffs its head in the ground when afraid. This myth, though not literally true, comes from first-century Roman Natural philosopher Pliny the Elder, who writes that Ostriches, when their heads are thrust in the ground, imagine that the whole of their body is concealed. A harsh comparison for humanity, whose disassociation with tragic events has led to crumbling social infrastructure and all those kids with their heads in their iPhones.

In MISPLACED INSTALLATION,” Accardi captures a moment in history, one of the moments marking the end of WWII, and the passing of the war that redrew the map lines of the world and revealed levels of humanity that the world never imagined could sink down to.

In his work made of PVC, using an Ostrich as a stand-in for the human condition, and each person subject to it, Accardi creates a metaphor for the sludge of human indecency, as it flows into artistic invention. What does it take for us to take our heads out of the sand? What do we see when we take them out? How do we use what we’ve seen to create new narratives?


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