About the Exhibition
“We have sought the origins of life in the earth’s oldest natural material, that is petroleum. A black, dense liquid disgorging from the warm womb of Mother Earth, and the natural repository of the planet’s entire history of organic life-forms, from its origins to the present day. We have studied the technique known as ‘cracking,’ which breaks up this natural magma into a series of synthetic, artificial derivative products. We have discovered plastic, the most modern and extraordinary element that any artist can manipulate.
We use objects and shapes in plastic that evoke or simulate nature, so as to reinstate petroleum’s ancient, primary forms of life and imagery. This means turning life back in its tracks, as a way of finding the poetical voice and soul of art in the material itself.”
— Cracking Art Group
Cracking Art Group was founded in 1993 by 7 artists: Alex Angi, Kicco, Renzo Nucara, Carlo Rizzeti, Omar Ronda, Marco Veronese and William Sweetlove. They have exhibited widely throughout Europe and first exhibited at 21c Museum in 2005. The Red Penguin sculptures that are exhibited throughout 21c were commissioned for a public art project at the 2005 Venice Biennale.
“The group has chosen to express itself in atypical fashion through irony. After all, is learning not best accomplished when it is fun?”
Cracking Art Group: Nascita di un’avanguardia. Milan: Mazzatta, 2005*
Manifesto for the Third Millennium
Biella, Italy, 30 May 1993
The Philosophical Project of Cracking Art Group
- We want to change the codes for the art of the future.
- Art is as important as our own life.
- We are men of the present and want our work to interpret contemporary problems.
- Art and life do not exist without a wholeness of nature.
- Art and culture are the only possible saviours of the world and humanity.
- We have chosen ‘Cracking’ for our work as it shows the molecular fission between natural and artificial.
- Our elected material is ‘plastic’, containing the whole experience of the planet, natural / artificial, ancient / future, and in which we seek the archaic anthropological, vegetable and animal origins, in order to build a new kind of iconography.
- We are enemies of hypocrisy, conspiracy and suspicion.
- We fight for the defense of nature and man with all our force.
- We want to leave behind a better world than the one we found.
* Cracking Art Group: Nascita di un’avanguardia. Milan: Mazzatta, 2005 is a comprehensive catalogue of Cracking Art Group up to 2005 and is available at the 21c Museum Shop.
Founders Steve Wilson and Laura Lee Brown divulge the history of the Red Penguin during this video on the history of 21c.