GEORGE A. MAGALIOS
I was born in Montreal. This is more than just a banal statement indicating my starting point. To understand my work as an artist it is crucial to begin with my place of birth as an entry point. For me Montreal represents the cultural locus for my ways of thinking and making. Montreal is the European crossroads to North America and a city where French is the primary language spoken and written. As such it articulates my positions on aesthetics and the traditions within which I operate. Whereas for most of the English-speaking world in North America, contemporary art is largely an intellectual pursuit, for me it is first and foremost a spiritual endeavor that embraces the emotional and non-rational aspects of the apprehension of the visible and material world.
A graduate of the School of Art at Carnegie Mellon (MFA, 2001) and currently residing in Venice, My work takes the form of phenomenological investigations that materialize as site-specific installations and other formats. My position as an artist is that of a philosopher working with three-dimensional works rather than words. Each of my paintings, photographs and sculptures is a meditation on a particular phenomenon.
Past work included a look at the events of September 11, 2001, an analysis of the history of the drawing studio, and an exploration of the experience of riding a bicycle in Amsterdam.
Maquette for a Venetian Well
The wells of Venice are artifacts from a time when water traveled up and down. Today with our modern plumbing systems our water supplies are transferred via lateral movements under and over ground thanks to pipes and reservoirs. In Venice, the ancient city of water and countless islands, the wells of Venice number over 7,000 and were originally built in the 18th century. My well, a maquette, is born of the desire to create a visual semblance, a notion of the old Venetian stone wells that were built on stone quarried from Istria. My well speaks to the architecture of water and the interaction between dry walls and wet stone. In Venice we live in and around the water. Stone and water are the materials that constitute our daily lives, lives that are under threat with rising seas and the depletion of local stone. For Venetians our wells are sculptural reminders, historical markers of ancient palazzos filled with conquering and conquered noble families in an eternal city painted by the ghosts of Titian and Bellini.