During her residency at C.R.E.T.A. Rome, Magda Gluszek AIR 2020 spent time studying Ancient Roman marble replicas of Greek Hellenistic sculpture and bronze originals such as the Boxer at Rest, Sleeping Hermaphroditus and Dying Gaul. She is drawn to the subject matter of this time period because it explores a unique production of figures that seem incongruent with typical Greek sculptural idealism. Themes such as: enemies of the Greeks, Barbarians, fallen soldiers, beggars, drunks, and street vendors are explored within intense emotional situations. The psychological impact of these forms is far different from the idealistic gods and goddesses or political figures that were more traditionally created during the prior Classical era, and afterwards, during the Roman Empire. Gluszek is interested in investigating the presence of the grotesque in these figures. By studying these historical examples, she gets a better understanding of why ancient artists felt drawn to express this aspect of human nature, informing her definition of the contemporary grotesque. There is simultaneously an aspect of attraction and repulsion in these works that communicates across time.
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