Paul Di Pasquale "Urban Fossils" - May 2009
May 15th - June 17th, 2009
Cross MacKenzie Gallery is pleased to present this exhibition of evocative new work by renowned sculptor Paul Di Pasquale. Known for his monumental figurative bronzes, this body of work is a departure for the artist. Living in Richmond and troubled by the devastating crimes committed with guns, Di Pasquale has created works of art out of actual destroyed guns given to him by the authorities after destruction.
“Each gun was taken away from a convicted criminal by a police officer. Each gun entangled a victim. Each gun ruined at least two lives. All over America, such guns are confiscated daily, and destroyed, so that they will not be resold or used again. Every gun is registered in a database along with the crime, the mark of the bullet, the cartridge, and the people affected. Your health history is not yet as well documented” says Di Pasquale.
The artist includes the crime registration number in the label of each artwork cueing us to bear in mind the specific information referenced, preventing us from forgetting the individuals while considering the “right to bear arms” and the larger issue of gun control.
Titling the works “ Urban Fossils” holds a dual meaning. By taking these broken guns and making objects of contemplation, a “gun-moment in history” is preserved much like a piece of petrified wood preserves that era of time as a fossil. The circumstances of the lives of those involved in the history of the gun are forever represented in the artifact and perhaps, forever memorialized. Di Pasquale also creates the works to appear like archeological artifacts or fossils that were dug up from the earth in ancient times. He makes us imagine a distant peaceful future when guns from this violent era are looked at as long abandoned barbaric weapons used by our primitive ancestors. Perhaps one day these “fossilized guns” will be viewed as uncivilized discarded oddities much like our view of guillotines, gladiators’ maces or caveman’s cudgels.
This is Paul Di Pasquale’s second solo show at Cross MacKenzie. In the two years since the artist showed his work in the gallery, the documentary film. “Neptune, Making the Myth”, about Di Pasquale’s experience in China casting his monumental bronze sculpture and its installation at Virginia Beach, won the best educational documentary award at the New York International Independent Film Festival.