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Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Mauro Perucchetti's Jelly Babies Occupy The Halcyon Gallery and The Wellcome Collection

Mauro Perucchetti's 'UNICUM' at the Halcyon Gallery is an example of typical commercialized art... But I love it!

 Currently on display in their showroom on New Bond Street 'UNICUM' is a selection of works for sale by Perucchetti  focusing around the ideas of art as disposable in contemporary consumer society. 

You might know of his work from The Wellcome Collection,  that Giant Jelly Baby that occupies Medicine Now. Perhaps his best selling piece, these resin Jelly Babies feature in a range of sizes at this exhibition. As a commercial gallery the Halcyon is meant for selling, so turning up looking like a scruff in my work clothes I was not surprised that none of the incredibly preened 'art dealers' approached me to discuss  transportation costs. 

Wellcome's Jelly Baby 3. 

I found it disconcerting however how easily I fell in love with his work.Yes, they are bits of resin in  bright colours and recognisable shapes so immediately they're appealing, but I'm a sucker for Pop Art, besides my immediate desire I found I needed some sort of context to his work. Maybe it was because of a few skulls, some sparkly pills and that jelly baby that I was convinced  that there would be some medical background to his work. 

As the space lacked in information or approachable staff I checked out his website to find like all  (what he calls) 'Hip Pop Art' his work is a 'symbolism of the disposalbility that permeates all aspects of contemporary consumer society.'
Great, the same old artist line on social comment and consumerism. 

So hold on, why is Mauro Perucchetti's  Giant Jelly baby occupying a space in Medicine Now? I'm well aware that the interesting objects in their stores, of roughly the same size are plentiful. So what does the Jelly Baby have to do with medicine?

Of course The Wellcome Collection's website gave me the desired answer:

'Perucchetti works in polyurethane, a notoriously difficult resin made of many small, unstable urethane molecules in long chains. He creates works which are water-clear, strong and last forever. On one level, this work uses the jelly baby as a metaphor for cloned humans, which are identical to one another yet potentially not like other humans. On another level, it speaks to our increasing tendency to see human beings as chemical assemblages that temporarily stabilise the bases of DNA into long durable and comprehensible chains for the duration of our lives'

The Ministry salutes the Current Wellcome Curators, you have followed dutifully in the footsteps of Henry Wellcome and your mind acts as his. He would have bought it and contextualised it later, never failing to link it back to medicine. 

And that is is exactly why we love you. 

Find out more about...

 Mauro Perucchetti's work:

The Jelly Baby at Wellcome Collection

'UNCUM' Mauro Peruchetti is on at Halcyon Gallery until 12th May 2013

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