In today’s ‘Revisited’ post, I am reminiscing on an amazing installation that came to the middle of Park Lane.
Huge animal-shaped sculptures boldly stood outside the Dorchester Hotel in an explosion of bright colours and transformed the busy central London street into a miniature al-fresco art gallery.
The large-scale sculptures; consisting of a French bulldog ‘Doggy John’, a teddy bear ‘Popy’, a duck ‘Kwak’ and a panda ‘Bâ’ are the creations of artist Julien Marinetti, feature as part of ‘Art at 45 Park Lane’ and alludes to artists such as Picasso, Warhol and Lichtenstein.
Marinetti’s work is what he calls ‘syncretism,’ the combination of seemingly opposite traditions. Sculptures take the place of traditional canvases for his Neo-Expressionist paintings which are inspired by his collection of ancient Greek vases. Each of his pieces are formed from clay before being cast in bronze, they are then ready to receive the strong bursts of colour that he is known for.
The Neo-Expressionist movement is a style of painting and sculpture whose origins are placed in the late 1970s. Pieces from this movement were typically large
scale works that featured textured, expressive brushwork and intense colours. Neo-Expressionism was born as a reaction against the conceptual and minimal art that dominated the 1970s and turned away from abstract and returned to depicting objects and forms that were recognisable.
These features can be seen clearly in Marinetti’s work; the large-scale sculptures and intense use of colour are characteristic of Neo-Expressionism and make references to the Pop Art movement of the 1960s.
Julien Marinetti’s sculptures was on display at Park Lane in 2014.