Marsyas by Tomáš Libertíny
In addition to its extensive natural collection wax sculptures, Rotterdam-based artist Tomas Libertiny introduced his new sculpture ‘Marsyas’. Based on the ancient Greek myth of the same name, the work recreates the famous plaster cast. statue ‘The Torment of Marsyas’, on display at the Louvre, covers its lower part with a new wax coating. The artwork touches the pendulum between aspirations and results, reminding everyone that we strive every day to be better than yesterday and that we must make some sacrifices for it.
‘Marsyas’ by Tomáš Libertíny | all images courtesy of Tomáš Libertíny
According to one version of the ancient Greek myth, Marsyas was such an adept at the double-piped double-reed instrument known as the ‘aulos’ that he was confident enough to challenge the god Apollo to a duel. The duo performed in front of an assembly of muses and fairies that would determine the winner of the competition. The show started to turn in Marsyas’ favour. In order to get rid of the shame of the defeat, the god added his own voice to the sound of the instrument, which Marsyas could not do because he could only play the instrument. As unjust as it was, Marsyas lost and was skinned alive as punishment.
Based on this legend, Tomáš Libertíny created a plaster sculpture of Marsyas covering half of his body with wax. ‘The hive covered its lower body with a new wax shell ‘made by the bee’ as a symbol of healing as well as forgiveness.’ slovak artist shares. Tomáš Libertíny’s ‘Marsyas’ will be on display as part of the artist’s solo exhibition at Axel Pairon Gallery, Knokke, Belgium from 18 March to 30 April 2023. Official opening artist on April 8th.
The piece recreates ‘The Torment of Marsyas’ by covering the lower part with a new wax coating.
With his latest work, Libertiny tries to make it clear that although we are human, we all have our own ambitions. We strive to be better and are willing to give up some of our own comfort to pay the price to improve our lives. It is not a weakness to admire the heroes we admire and respect and the gods we adore, and to imagine that one day we will be able to reach their greatness in every area of life we deem worthy. Human life is a form of sacrifice where we win on one side and lose on the other to balance the rule of the imaginary god. With the purity of intent and ambition comes an inevitable blindness to results.’ The sculpture addresses this pendulum between aspirations and results. The bottom of the oil barrel represents an inevitable relationship with nature and its resources. The sculpture was made at the Lakeside Beefarm in Rotterdam and was first shown in the Lakeside Collection at Depot Boijmans van Beuningen in 2022.
artist: Tomas Libertiny
materials: natural wax, plaster, steel drum
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