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The artist-in-residence in the Fall of 2019-2020 was Mr Nunzio Paci, an Italian artist whose paintings and drawings bring out unexpected connections between human or animal anatomy on the one hand, and plants and flowers on the other hand. The intertwining of the human form with other natural forms is a motif in Art Nouveau art, but Paci’s drawing style seems to owe more to Renaissance anatomical and botanical drawings such as Leonardo da Vinci’s.
Moreover, like Leonardo, Paci relies on close observation, for example, of anatomical wax models and even genuine human corpses. In other words, he draws from life, or, strictly speaking, from death. As the present exhibition catalog makes clear, dead animal bodies are becoming more prominent in his work. The result is strangely beautiful, but not macabre. Human and animal anatomy is revealed as a part of life; life, in turn, is presented as a stage within a larger cycle that includes also death and decay.
Other contemporary artists (e.g., Damien Hirst) have taken an interest in anatomy and death, often in an attempt to deliver “shock value”. Paci is aiming for a more timeless quality—as timeless as human anatomy perhaps. Unsurprisingly, his work has already been exhibited around the globe: in Europe, the US, the Middle East, and Asia. Paci has also been the recipient of several awards.
Department of Visual Studies, Lingnan University
Nunzio Paci is a Bologna-based Italian artist working primarily in painting and drawing. He has developed a practice which is concerned with the history of art — in particular with classical and figurative tradition — with an emphasis on the man-nature relationship. His work has been shown in private spaces and institutional venues in Milan, London, Copenhagen, New York, San Francisco, Istanbul, Singapore, and Manila, amongst others, and covered by international art magazines such as Juxtapoz, Hi-Fructose, Colossal and Beautiful Bizarre. In 2016, he has been the recipient of the NKD International Artist Residency Program funded by Norwegian Ministry of Culture. Most recently, he has been featured in Anatomy Rocks, an anthology of over 60 international artists - including, to name a few, Mark Ryden and Damien Hirst - that reinterpret anatomy in contemporary art.
1st Term 2019/20
Interdisciplinary Arts and Media | Visual Studies
Paci, N. (2020). Living Stillness. Hong Kong: Department of Visual Studies, Lingnan University.