"We carry a dark companion within ourselves"
At first glance, the bright blue figure "Blue Sky" by artist and sculpture network member Peter Riss looks friendly and decorative. But this impression is deceptive: the closer one looks, the more threatening and alienating it becomes. This is because the surface of the cube is broken by black ibex-horns winding in different directions. Despite or perhaps because of the danger that the sculpture radiates at second glance, Peter Riss was successful at the "YICCA 2017 - International Contest of Contemporary Art" competition and thus became the only German in the final exhibition of the competition in the museum Fondazione Crocetti in Rome, which took place from 18 to 29 November 2017.
About once a week, Peter Riss looks through the sculpture network website and then decides which competition is suitable for him artistically, as well as in terms of time. That’s how he came across YICCA and decided to participate in a competition in Italy again due to the positive experience he had with the organization at the Venice Biennale. "I generally enjoy participating in competitions because they sharpen my view of my work. I have to study them again before submitting them. This gives me the opportunity to interact with my work in a new and different way than I usually do", says Peter Riss.
YICCA was founded in 2009 to promote artists and offer them an opportunity to join the international market for contemporary art. All types of contemporary art are allowed in this competition: for example drawings, photographs, videos or sculptures. From approximately 800 participants Peter Riss was selected by the four-member jury, which includes curators Alessandra Prandin and Serge Klymko. "I was very happy. Many of the 17 artists who have also been selected, are very present in the art market and are professional exhibitors. This gives me encouragement to continue with my work. Nevertheless, I do not want to become arrogant, rather I will keep on being skeptical. "
The production of the cube was very tedious and expensive. At least eight layers of paint were necessary to give the cube its perfect shine. In addition, it was necessary to find ibex-horns with just the right curve and dimensions to match the cube. "I think in three-dimensional pictures. The work always emerges in my head first, without doing any sketches. I just carry out a concept when it’s completely matured in my mind and when I'm really satisfied with it.” The sculpture catches the spirit of the times very well. It reflects the duality of society. The shiny glossiness of society is deceptive since there is a lot hidden beneath the surface. Also we carry a dark companion within ourselves. This work is about breaking through the pleasing forms of society. The very dark aspects are represented by the ibex-horns. "I was familiar with the premises of the museum where the final exhibition took place, and I thought smaller sculptures would fit better in these rooms. In the end I chose two sculptures, both of which I sent with a statement and a description of the work. It was very important to me not just to describe what the sculptures consist of, people should also understand what’s their message."
In addition to the sculpture "Blue Sky" by Peter Riss, 17 other works by artists from all over the world were shown. Anne Cecile Surga (France) took 1st place and received a prize of 3000 EUR. Second place went to Kevin Frech (USA) whoreceived a prize of 1000 EUR. Other candidates were:
- Giulia Manfredi (Italy)
- Cécile Balate (Belgium)
- Suresh Babu Maddilety (India)
- Maryam Moghadam (Iran)
- Matthew Portch (Australia)
- Andrew Leventis (USA)
- Giacomo Layet (Italy)
- Maria Węgrzyniak-Szczepkowska (Poland)
- Bianca Giacomelli (Italy)
- Alfredo Dante Vallesi (Italy)
- Lilac Abramsky-Arazi (Israel)
- Sayaka Suzuki (USA)
- Albert Alcol Costa (Spain)
- Valentina De Rosa (Italy)
- Marek Slavík (Czech Republik).