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2014, Anadromous Selves on Escalators. An Introspective Invitation

Iwona Adamczyk (March 30, 2014)
Professor, Robert C. Morgan: “While many sculptors focus on their materials in a literal way, Tao Kulczycki chooses to transform his materials into metaphors of the human condition. At the same time, he is exacting and precise in the manner he constructs these metaphors using various assortments of found objects.”

The start of the 2014 event season at NYU’s Casa Italiana Zerilli Marimò demonstrates the institution’s continued dedication to its mission of giving opportunity to young and emerging talent as well as giving particular attention to university students.

We are only into March and Casa’s wonderful gallery space has already introduced two young and talented Italian artists to its visitors. In January, David Alexander Del Boca Flinn presented his works in an exhibit titled: IL QUIETO NELLO SPECCHIO - The Quiet in the Mirror, and currently the thought provoking, surreal works of Tao Kulczycki are on display in a curiously named exposition: 2014, Anadromous selves on escalators.

The jam-packed gallery space on the evening of the opening of the exhibit, which took place on March 27th, is just a preview of the sure to become successful career of this intriguing artist.

Kulczycki, was born in 1987, and grew up between Italy and Switzerland, coming to the United States only a few years ago to pursue an MFA at Pratt Institute. He currently lives and creates in Brooklyn.

Pratt’s Graduate Fine Arts department Professor, Robert C. Morgan describes Kulczycki’s works: “While many sculptors focus on their materials in a literal way, Tao Kulczycki chooses to transform his materials into metaphors of the human condition. At the same time, he is exacting and precise in the manner he constructs these metaphors using various assortments of found objects.”

The 2014, Anadromous selves on escalators consists of eleven pieces: seven sculptures bronze, aluminum, concrete and fiberglass), two screen prints on aluminum and two C-photographs.

The artist proudly describes his work as “modification of object and their concepts and their assembly or re-assembly in such a way that they can be seen as ready-made and addressing the current state of mind, human condition in general and often, current events.”

“His use of the term “anadromous” refers to fish, like salmon” which fight the current in order to return to their birthplace. For Kulczycki, this suggests an alternative to the existential fate of human beings who, contrary to salmon, eagerly follow the current,” states Prof. Morgan.

Kulczycki adds: “Us, humans by following the mainstream, are often not able to reach our origin and find our true selves. The concept of unity and division of the human race is fascinating, especially when we think of how much depends on our minds, and this is what this show is about.”

His profound examination of the human condition and the application of his findings to his creativity, demonstrates itself in the careful deliberation upon and choice of titles given to the produced works.

A 2013 bronze sculpture of a gold leaf plated cow’s tongue with a fishing hook attached to it and titled Artist Lure is one example. Through this piece the artist conveys the relationship of contemporary artists with the selling of their works. The association of the title with the sculpture creates a path into the artist’s mind and his way of thinking for the viewer.

This is a one-of-a-kind show that each one of us must experience up-close and let our own state of minds and life experiences take us on an introspective journey Kulczycki invites us on.

Kulczycki challenges the viewer to look not only within themselves, but to ask themselves if following the current is in fact the direction they want their lives to go. He forces the audience to look around them and pay attention to current events, and how they affect them as an individual, and moreover as part of humanity (see Wind Powered Nuclear Weapon – Fukushima).

His two aluminum screen prints, Society I, which represents an arecibo message (containing human DNA, atomic numbers, population and average height info) beamed into space in 1974, and Society II, a space pioneer plaque, both are meant to represent our society to the extraterrestrial beeings.

Clearly Kulczycki’s focus is on both: the understanding of humanity as a whole as well as the nutrition of the individual and his or her chosen life path, being with or against the current…

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On display at Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò (NYU)  daily from 9am-5pm until the 8th of April
The exhibition will feature sculptures, screen prints and photos.
This includes bronze, aluminum, concrete and fiberglass sculptures.

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