« Modern society seems to follow a path of regression and we are not talking only about a physical degradation of the individuals, but also about a psychological and moral degradation. Nowadays, art and all the social sciences, and especially anthropology, have different aspects compared to the past century because individuals became superficial and they are increasingly turning into caricatures.
These approaches may seem radical, but they portray a particular criticism and Verginer Matthias uses irony to describe how he sees modern society. For him, sculpturing the world he lives in, means matching forms, shapes, different materials, animal, insects, birds with a powerful imprint of human fat. This fat, as the main theme for him, expresses basic needs and voluptuousness. Above it, the sculptor adds his subjective perspective by being critical and ironic to his artworks.
Verginer Matt was born in 1982, in Bressanone, Italy. He studied Advertising, Graphics, and Sculpture at School of Arts, Selva Gardena between 1996 and 2001 and he lives and works in Ortisei, Northern Italy. His father, Willy Verginer, was also a sculptor, so this talent past from father to son.
Galleries like Ravagnan from Venice, Selvin from Istanbul or Liquid from Capri exhibited his creations. Also, he had lots of exhibitions and events in Dusseldorf, Milano, Amsterdam, Taiwan, Bruxelles, Ankara and Miami. His figurative sculptures are made of wood, bronze, plastic, and iron. Alongside these materials, he put many female sculptures and busts. All the shapes that he uses are hyperbolized in order to emphasize the man of the third millennium, whose needs are so very basic.
Matt uses fat bodies as the main theme and mixes this repetitive element with all kinds of animals. Therefore, when looking at Matt’s sculptures the viewer discovers: giraffes, zebras, ostriches, elephants, frogs, hippos, pigs, whales, tigers, seals, turtles, dogs, lions, insects and roosters.
Matt criticizes society by using ironic titles to his sculptures: ‘’Pole dance’’, ‘’The king’s queen’’, ‘’Flight lesson’’, ‘’The frog princess’’. His life-size busts are made by plastic and iron and got diverse names like: ‘’Devolution’’, ‘’Shine of prosperity’’, ‘’The Sixth Sense’’, Burn Out’’, ‘’Fall on Deaf Ears’’, ‘’Free as a Bird’’, ‘’Flower Dress’’ or ‘’Eleonora’’. These busts speak about a transfer that individuals suffered. It’s precisely their freedom that kept them caught inside themselves because of their choices. They are bound to their immediate needs.
Human fat, as the main theme, get a little touch of color when Matt adds some red, blue and green to his busts and female sculptures, but the viewer’s eye stays focused on the fat. And that is what Matt wants – to be a critic of his times and to bring his own sanction by being ironic.
There is a voluptuousness of the form he shapes and reshapes, an exaggeration deliberately made. Everything is touched by fat: breasts, legs, arms, bellies, heads.
Irony and criticism interfere when he wilfully chooses animals that are characterized by dynamism and speed: ostriches, tigers, lions, dogs. So, there is a mechanism here which refers to opposite things precisely to display an antonymic relationship, in terms of meaning and aesthetics. The sculptor shows to his viewers how he perceives reality – as being perverted and dramatically changed by immediate needs and consumerism. So, he sculptures not just a physical regression, but also a massive social regression, extended to a moral one, one that causes an identity problem. »
– VERGINER MATT | Using irony to describe modern society