Frieze Week: Man in underpants found wandering around Regents Park!
If you are visiting Regents Park to catch Frieze Sculpture 2023, it’s likely you’ll also catch sight of a half-naked man wandering around the sculpture site in a dazed state. Indeed, last week from afar it looked as if park security had finally cornered him and fenced him in!
Well, we can confirm that rather than chasing him away they were actually escorting him in. The life-like and life-size sculptural piece titled Sleepwalker, 2014, is the work of New York-based artist Tony Matelli. His playful approach to the creation of resemblant sculptures and statues comes across as a statement about being lost in society and gives the social misfit in all of us a makeshift parkland plinth. Certainly, it’s a fear everyone can relate to. The piece exposes our most guarded, innermost concerns and presents a nonplussed, fragile figure starkly exposed to the uncompromising glare of the world. Your waking dream becomes a nightmare.
A giant Afro comb wedged into the turf also catches the eye. Hank Willis Thomas’, bronze sculptural piece All Power to All People, 2023, with its Black Power fist on the handle is a simple but powerful totem of Black identity and cultural pride.
And talking ot totems, the towering, brightly-coloured The Mothership Connection, 2021 by Zak Ové, sits in the park’s elegant English Gardens seemingly out of place in the genteel surrounds but for that very reason, getting most of the attention. Its jarring irreverence is layered with motifs of Afro-Futurism and sources cross-cultural totemic structures and Black slave history.