For 21c Nashville, the artists of Cracking Art created a penguin that embodies the vibrancy and creativity of this dynamic and diverse city: the Teal Penguin. Described as a mixture of blue and green hues, teal is associated with both serenity and strength, calmness and clarity — an invigorated, inspired state of mind that may follow an experience of discovery and connection. At 21c Nashville, the teal flock greet visitors throughout the building, where the penguins’ color appears to change in different spaces and at different times of day. As teal spans a spectrum of blue-green hues, 21c’s Nashville ambassadors reflect the spirit of openness, innovation, and engagement that has transformed this 117-year old building in the heart of downtown into a center for contemporary culture and hospitality.
About Cracking Art:
Cracking Art was founded in 1993 by seven 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 Louisville in 2006.
“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.”
“The group has chosen to express itself in atypical fashion through irony. After all, is learning not best accomplished when it is fun?”
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.