6 / Death
|Artist / Origin||
Angelo Filomeno (Italian, b. 1963)
Period: 1900 CE - 2010 CE
Embroidery on silk shantung stretched over linen with crystals
Medium: Textiles and Fiber Arts
|Dimensions||H: 155 in. (393.7 cm.), W: 90.2 in. (229.1 cm.)|
|Location||Galerie Lelong, New York, NY|
|Credit||© Galerie Lelong and the artist|
“Angelo Filomeno.” Galerie Lelong Web site. http://www.galerielelong.com/artists.
Cotter, Holland. “Art in Review; Angelo Filomeno.” New York Times, November 23, 2001, Arts section, New York edition.
Ravenal, John B. Vanitas: Meditations on Life and Death in Contemporary Art. Richmond: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 2000.
Spears, Dorothy. “Costume Shop Boy Makes Good.” New York Times, February 12, 2006. Arts section, New York edition.
My Love Sings When the Flower is Near (The Philosopher and the Woman)
Angelo Filomeno’s work, My Love Sings When the Flower is Near (The Philosopher and the Woman), is a highly personal, bittersweet tribute to the artist’s parents, both of whom died when he was young.
Filomeno created this work by embroidering fine silk thread onto fabric with a sewing machine and attaching crystals to the surface. His precise craftsmanship has produced an image that is paradoxically romantic and macabre, poignant and humorous.
Two skeletons, representing the artist’s parents, fly on a broom across an indigo night sky. Above them a crescent moon is partially eclipsed by a skull; below, a cityscape, composed of hundreds of tiny crystals, glitters. The shimmering surface of the work elicits a visceral reaction from the viewer. However, the artist has also invested the work with symbolic meaning and autobiographical reference. The metropolis over which the skeletal couple passes is Los Angeles, the City of Angels. The broom on which the figures ride is not the vehicle of witches, but an object that the artist associates with his past. Used to sweep up olives that fell from the many olive trees on his family’s land, brooms were a familiar sight during Filomeno’s childhood in Italy.
My Love Sings When the Flower is Near deals with themes quite literally threaded throughout Filomeno’s oeuvre. By creating images of skulls, skeletons, insects, and other “dark” things out of rich, light-reflecting materials, Filomeno offers visions of beauty that offset the imminence of death and the pain of loss. Even when they draw on personal memories, Filomeno’s works speak to what is universal in the human experience.