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Before Midnight

Mattia Biagi (Italian, 1974-)

Created: 2012
Materials:Mixed media, tar
Dimensions: 67 x 93 x 49 inches

On loan from Anna Kustera Gallery, New York City.

Mattia Biagi attended the I.R.F.A., an Italian art and design school, and the Brera Academy of Art in Milan. He immigrated to Los Angeles in 2001 and became captivated by the La Brea Tar Pits and the idea of a primordial site in the midst of a bustling city. Since then, his tar-covered works transform discarded, everyday objects into interpretations of lost innocence. Dipped in the thick texture-rich substance, the underlying forms are fossilized in time and transport the viewer immediately back to childhood memories of fairytales. In the tar-and-fiberglass Before Midnight, the viewer re-lives the scene when the pumpkin has been turned into a carriage and the mice into horses. One recalls the warning to be home before midnight, at which time the magical spell will be broken. It was featured in the exhibition Fairytales, Fantasy, & Fear at Mint Museum Uptown from 3 March through 8 July. Before Midnight, a tour de force of Biagi’s use of tar, would enable the Mint Museum to increase its holdings of works by internationally-acclaimed contemporary artists.