In this catalogue you will find information about collection of porcelain paintiings and sculptures "Beautiful Mon key orf Europe".
Beautiful Monkeys of Europe. An artist’s warning
They fill us with wonder in galleries around the world, carrying out the artist’s message. “This is my warning to mankind. I dream of a more open, tolerant world, jointly solving global problems,” says Adam Spała, the originator and designer of the “Beautiful Monkeys of Europe” collection.
Let’s go back to 2004. The date is not accidental. The artist was inspired by the Polish accession to the European Union. “This is the result of my long search for a sculpture and painting theme that would connect, not divide, the whole of Europe – all 47 countries,” says Adam Spała. It was the beginning of the “Beautiful Monkeys of Europe” project. For more than seven years, the Porcelain Factory AS Ćmielów has witnessed the world’s only collection of the artist’s 47 paintings.
He chose a unique “canvas”, namely porcelain plates manufactured in the Porcelain Factory AS Ćmielów. On them, subsequent elements were painted – in an art deco style, under the strict control of the designer, who had chosen the style and colours, specified proportions and created the whole concept. Each painting was fired several times at high temperatures (800˚C and 1100˚C). First, multicoloured monkeys were created – with original forms, often with attributes typical to that of a given European country. Then, there were painted teacups from AS Ćmielów with national flags that connected the series of paintings. Finally, a cobalt background with the most characteristic architecture of each country was made.
The place of the première of “Beautiful Monkeys of Europe” was special – the National Museum in Hanoi (Vietnam). The exhibition took place in 2011 and was timed so as to coincide with the Polish presidency of the Council of the European Union.
“The collection of paintings is a metaphor for ‘destruction’, the upcoming end of civilization. If the countries don’t work together, we will be doomed. I fear that selfish thinking can get us dangerously close to the level of animals from my paintings,” warns the author.
Each painting was made in only one copy and the whole collection can be viewed in the Van Rij Gallery in Ćmielów. The collection is completed with the 48th painting – Adam Spała’s portrait.
The paintings on porcelain plates were an inspiration to create the collection of sculptures named “Beautiful Monkeys of Europe”. “The paintings were a starting point for the design of each monkey. Creating a spatial sculpture based on a two-dimensional drawing is a difficult task. The prototypes for each head were multi-coloured, slightly geometrically looking animals, not always presented en face,” says Adam Spała. Plastered designs became the basis for casting the entire collection in bronze. The finished sculptures were placed on specially prepared concrete pedestals with porcelain plaques.
As in the case of paintings, also this collection involves the author’s head. Works on the collection lasted a few years – they began in 2015 and ended in 2018.
The collection of sculptures is currently being exhibited in the courtyard of the Porcelain Factory AS Ćmielów. It also travels around the world. In the period from 26 April to 30 September of 2019, “Beautiful Monkeys of Europe” will visit the beautiful Royal Castle in Sandomierz.
Each monkey sculpture can be purchased at the store of Porcelain Factory AS Ćmielów: cast in bronze in original size or made of porcelain in miniature version. Collectors can also acquire handmade porcelain cups and mugs with permanent imprints of the characters from the collection “Beautiful Monkeys of Europe”.
“When creating these paintings and sculptures, I was focused on my message. I hope that you will take a moment to reflect on the fate of all of us in today’s world uncertain of the future,” says Adam Spała.
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