CURRENT AND UPCOMING EXHIBITIONS
Meridith McNeal & Giuseppe Di Lelio
March 8 - May 4, 2014
RECEPTION: Saturday, March 8th from 6-9PM
Figureworks is pleased to present Liar, Liar, a two person exhibition of drawings, paintings, and sculpture by artists Giuseppe Di Lelio and Meridith McNeal.
Lies are tricky things. Merriam Webster Dictionary tells us that lie is an intransitive verb meaning 1: to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive; 2: to create a false or misleading impression. What is important here is that there is an awareness or intent in telling a lie.
There is the notion of a “white lie” as a trivial, diplomatic, or well-intentioned untruth. But more often someone benefits and someone loses when there is lying going on.
Americans are familiar with an antiseptic Disney version of Carlo Collodi’s tale of Pinocchio. The original Le Avventure di Pinocchio is an ambling story told in serial format set in a poverty-stricken Tuscan village in the late 19th century. If you scratch the surface a bit, it chronicles the misadventures of a puppet who becomes a liar when subjected to the mistreatment of con-men and bullies. There are moments of redemption, and also many instances of things that just go badly wrong.
In fact, Pinocchio is each one of us. Giuseppe Di Lelio’s elegant cast resin sculptures are about the liar that exists within everyone. Who among us has never told a lie? About his work in Liar, Liar, Di Lelio elaborates: “I jotted down a curious line I read (in a not so interesting blog): ‘Lies are like sex and nobody in the world can say they did not know, either directly or indirectly the rules of this ancient game.’ (Le bugie sono come il sesso e nessuno al mondo può dire di non conoscere per via diretta o indiretta, le regole di questo gioco antico.). These sculptures and drawings are the manifestation of my thoughts about that ancient game of lies and truth, lying and honesty. Creating this work is an emotional dynamic dance where the ideas morph and change. In the end, I return to the maxim of Saint Bellino, one of the healing saints, in which he asserts that the human conscience cannot rest if not in truth.”
Meridith McNeal’s nib pen and ink drawings, huge watercolor paintings, and sewn sculpture are about the nuances of lying in a societal context. We live in a society where our government and its agents are all to often allowed to lie with impunity. When that happens those institutions hold the strings that can dictate our actions, and in the most extreme cases our fate. Using imagery that references Carlo Collodi’s tale of Pinocchio, McNeal addresses one of the most petrifying villains steeped in lies -- our own judicial system.
“There are lies with short legs, and lies with long noses. Yours clearly are of the long-nosed variety.” —Carlo Collodi, The Adventures of Pinocchio
168 North 6th Street
Williamsburg • Brooklyn, NY 11211
Saturday, Sunday 1 - 6 pm or by appointment