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Paul Fryer was once an electropop singer, a transvestite DJ and wrote a book of poetry which Damien Hirst illustrated. Now he’s an artist and we have to thank Gucci for introducing us to him via his latest exhibition Lo Spirito Vola at Gucci Museo in Florence.
Sometimes the most thought provoking work first must make us uncomfortable. Paul Fryer’s Lo Spirito Vola is a series of three sculptures; they are hauntingly real exploring the transcendent, morality and religion.
The first of three and perhaps the most unsettling is Pieta, a sculpture of Christ (without the cross) sitting instead on an electric chair as though having just been executed. There’s no mistaking the message in the lifeless Christ. The chair replaces the cross, the symbol of the Crucifixion that has for centuries become a symbol of faith, and icon, one of the world’s most recognised, rather than it’s actual use as a device of torture and death. The chair demonstrates a truer sense of brutality, one that we can comprehend in contemporary culture without the dilution of semiotics.
Gucci Museo is dedicated to supporting the works of contemporary artists and we can only hope these types of exhibitions can eventually tour.