Thursday, January 31, 2013

Gripping stuff

You don’t expect to see much art in a Tarantino movie (how to remove bloodstains from art here) but Django unchained has a major surprise. Giving some art cred to the movie's persistent wrestling theme there's a major cameo for a copy of The wrestlers based on a copy of The wrestlers at the Uffizi. There they are (a small scale version of a copy of the original that was lost long ago) sitting on a sideboard behind OTN featured bird handler Leo DiCaprio who plays Calvin Candie. Yes, this is the same sculpture that dominated the dome gallery of the Sarjeant in Wanganui until Billy Apple gave it permission to spend some time in the storeroom. We had our own encounter with The wrestlers when it featured in the 1987 exhibition When art hits the headlines.
You can learn more than you want to know about The wrestlers here including the alarming fact that both heads were later additions, that this wrestling position is known as the ‘cross-body ride’ and that such a close arrangements of figures are called symplegmata. There are thousands of copies of The wrestlers in varying sizes located all over the world. The Sarjeant copy is by Raffaello Romanelli who is most famous for his equestrian statue of Charles Albert of Sardinia in Rome. The Django copy was probably made by a Hollywood version of WETA.
Image: The Wrestlers butt into Django.