October 23, 2003 - Massimo Audiello Gallery - Angelo Filomeno
October 23, 2003

Angelo Filomeno

Angelo Filomeno
24/10/2003 - 29/11/2003

Massimo Audiello
526 West 26th Street NO. 519
New York, NY 10001
TEL: 212.675.9082
FAX: 212.675.8680


Opening: Friday, October 24, 6-8 pm

Massimo Audiello is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by Angelo Filomeno. The show opens October 24th and will run until November 29th. Opening reception is Friday, October 24th, from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Filomenos paintings are actually stitched with thread, with each detail painstakingly embroidered upon vibrantly colored silk shantung. For this exhibition, the artist gives us a series of large canvases that display his fascination with elemental issues like greed, sacrifice, birth, and death. Nature is the narrator, as birds, insects, plants, and bones come together in relationships that range from regal to perverse.

Filomeno grew up in a small village in southern Italy, and his connection to the rawness of its life cycles inspires his own unique images of metamorphoses. Encrusted and bejeweled, the exotic-looking silk is the perfect backdrop to show the workings of a fecund world that wont stand still.

In a piece entitled The End of Presumption, blood colored crystals drip from the beak of a peacock, an orange sky erupts into a glimmering patch of blue, and peacock feathers, sewn with such attention that they could easily be mistaken for the real thing, drift across the surface. It is a re-creation of a Greek myth: the gorgeously plumed bird complains to the heavens that his voice is too weak, and is cut down by the gods for his vanity.

This work expresses the precariousness of power, and it is the idea of Power, in all of its forms — positive and negative, creative and destructive — that appears to be the central character threaded throughout these paintings.

In the diptych, King and Queen, a pair of lavishly adorned skeletons gives birth to a beautiful swarm of flowers and insects. Filomeno uses this archetypal scenario to perhaps subtly honor his own parents, who died when he was young, leaving him the precious skills of sewing and sculpting. At the same time he is overtly investigating the double-edges of mortality, history, and inheritance.

Another struggle for power can be seen in Hyena, where the gorgeous plumes of a pheasant are ripped apart by canine jaws. The Hyena is crowned by artichokes, like a cheating king who gets away with murder. The Hyena steals life away, but in the work, Rain, the preciousness of living seems to come out of the fantastic colors and crystals dripping from the skulls neck. Marrow, we are reminded, is not just a sign of decay; it is also source of life.

It is appropriate that Filomeo would add to a tradition dating back 3,000 years; stirring the senses with the qualities of something ancient. Filomenos virtuosic ability to speak with thread and to startle us with his profound vocabulary gives his work, which is made with the utmost control and patience, the unexpected intensity of something made by passion.

Massimo Audiello Gallery
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