Tony Matelli

Lost & Sick, 1996

Epoxy resin, plaster and paint
200.7 × 254 × 221 cm

‘Lost & Sick was difficult because it was the first big thing I ever made, and I did it all myself while working art assistant jobs. It took about a year with that schedule… After making that work, I felt like I could make just about anything that I could imagine.’ – Tony Matelli

‘Lost & Sick’ presents a tableau in which three young Boy Scouts have gone missing and are physically distressed. Their vomiting is an outward sign of an otherwise unseen inner disturbance. What has happened here? How have they become separated from the rest of the troop?

What had initially commenced as an adventure enforced by goodness and innocence, the boys’ journey has deteriorated into a hellish scene of unexpected exile and an unfortunately bleak outcome.

‘I was trying to make a work that was emphatically about rejection. I wanted to depict a complete rejection of community. I wanted to make an anti-social sculpture. The sculpture depicts boys who are learning about civic and familial responsibility, adulthood. But it is also a depiction of failure. They are on the proving grounds of adulthood and are failing their first test.’ – Tony Matelli

Small World: Dioramas in Contemporary Art. Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, San Diego. 23 Jan – 30 Apr 2000
To Be Real. Yerba Buena Center for the Visual Arts, San Francisco 1997

To Be Real. By R. de Guzman, San Francisco, 1997
A Fresh Hell: Tony Matelli’s Morality Tales of Catastrophes. By R. Jones, Siksi Playlist Spring, 1997. pp. 10 – 11
Small World: Dioramas in Contemporary Art. By T. Kamps, San Diego, 2000. page 34 and cover
Tony Matelli. By L. Fischman, New York, 2003. pp. 17 – 18, 44, 72

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