John Sideli

 John Sideli 'Beneath The Surface'

Mixed Media Constructions At Robert Young

March 8th - 24th, 2007

Leading London Folk Art Dealers, Robert and Josyane Young, exhibited American Artist John Sideli from March 8-24th 2007. This was the first time that Sideli's compositions had been shown outside the United States. Prior to the major one man show at the Battersea Gallery, they presented selected pieces of Sideli's work at the new FORM Exhibition at Olympia, London (March 1-4) under their Rivière label. 

Sideli combines, merges and juxtaposes selected disparate found objects, old fragments and salvaged materials to create compelling and poignant artworks.

Robert Young says: "I am in awe of Sideli's creativity, instinct and eye. He is sensitive to and observant of the inherent qualities of aged painted surfaces, worn and weathered timber, stone, leather and metals. John has a feel for unusual and distinctive elements with graphic lines, bold forms and subtle colours, with which he composes evocative and atmospheric pieces."

Robert and Josyane Young believe that Sideli's work serves to blurr the boundaries between old and new, and that it helps to break down the opposition between contemporary and antique.His pieces are a beguiling hybrid, modern art somehow distilled with the patination and charisma of age, yet exuding the excitement and spirit of the future.

Sideli himself says:" I often like to begin with a title and work backwards from there, looking for pieces that can express my idea. At other times, I will simply juggle the selected elements until they speak to me, to tell a story or define a concept. Then there are those sacred moments when the parts seem to ask to be united."

These sentiments are reflected in his constructions. There is a structure to them, a kind of architecture that binds and balances the various elements and the relationship between them.

The Youngs were excited to exhibit Sideli's work at the FORM Show, under their 'Rivière' (design and contemporary) Label, and to subsequently have held his first one man show in London, at their established Battersea Gallery.

Robert and Josyane Young have long believed in the visual complicity between ancient and modern art, and claim that the dynamic created by association can be at once both powerful and approachable. Josyane thinks that the secret lies in the integrity of the objects, not their period, and says: "Magical, inspiring artwork, somehow reflects the sensitivity, honesty and spirit of the artist or craftsman who created it, irrespective of where or when it was made. Such pieces are somehow timeless and invariably complimentary."

John Sideli has a sincere knowledge of, and feeling for the antique, a natural eye for form, texture and surface and an extraordinary talent for reducing and condensing his ideas and feelings into sensitive compositions and constructions which have style, humour and pathos. As he himself says: "Sometimes fragments of things can speak volumes more than the totality and do so with more grace."

Please call Rivière @ Robert Young for an Exhibition Catalogue.