14th Arte Laguna Prize - The 4 Overall Winners

Among the artworks of the 120 finalists, selected among the over 10,113 works submitted from September to December 2019, the international jury chaired by Igor Zanti has identified four absolute winners who won a cash prize of 10,000 euros each.

Fragile Artist: Handle with Care (2017) by Belen Mazuecos SánchezArte Laguna Prize - Art Exhibition

Painting and Photography Sections

For the painting and photography sections the jurors Erin Dziedzic, Chief Curator at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Missouri and Zhao Li, professor at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing and curator of the Chinese Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale have decided to award the Spanish artist Belén Mazuecos (Granada, 1978 - 42 years old) with the work Fragile artist: Handle with care II (2017).

The work was chosen for its contemporary approach, it serves as a pretext to build a metaphor for what happens in the art world, highlighting the complexities of an extremely fragile ecosystem.

Fragile Artist: Handle with Care - detail 2 (2017) by Belen Mazuecos SánchezArte Laguna Prize - Art Exhibition

The use of disguise and masquerade evokes the idea of art as a spectacle and, on the other hand, emphasizes the artist's need to develop survival tactics in a hostile environment, such as camouflage. In this painting, specifically, you can see that dealers and art managers are represented in panda costumes as the panda caretakers in the chinese panda reserves, with the purpose of facilitate the entry of the artists in the art system (and in its specific environments such as the museum or the art gallery).


Fragile Artist: Handle with Care (2017) by Belen Mazuecos SánchezArte Laguna Prize - Art Exhibition

Artists reduced to merchandise are transported in boxes of packaging for works of art by the artistic mediators, disguised as pandas: as the caretakers of these animals in danger of extinction are disguised to facilitate their reinsertion into the wild natural environment, the career of the "fragile artist" is managed with care by intermediaries (curators, directors of museums, gallerists, etc.), who implement marketing strategies, relegating the artist in many cases to the category of product-work of art, to a real ready-made. In this painting, you can read printed on the box the text in Spanish: “artista frágil” (that means “fragile artist”).

31 cubes (2013/2016) by Moshe VollachArte Laguna Prize - Art Exhibition

Sculpture and Installation, Land and Urban Art Sections

The jury of the sculpture and installation, land art and urban art sections composed by Riccardo Passoni, director of the Modern Art Gallery in Turin and Vasili Tsereteli, Director of the Moscow Museum of Modern Art awards the Israeli artist Moshe Vollach (Tel Aviv, 1958 - 62 years old) with his land art project 31 cubes (2016).

31, π x π x π, cubes aligned, π distanced from
each other.

A long row of 61 identical-size cubes is
stretched toward the horizon, composing a string of: matter cube – space cube – matter cube –
space cube….

The cubes are made of ice, placed in the
desert on a hot summer day on June 2016. The defrosting process is documented,
from the air and from the ground, using 5 still cameras in time-lapse mode.

When the process is complete, a row of 61
identical cubes remains: space cube – space cube – space cube – space cube... The artwork refers to the relationship
between matter and space in the field of art in general and Sculpture in
particular. The project accentuates – formative, climatic,
physical, mathematical and geomorphologic - contrasts.

This land-art project discusses: global warming, radical climate changes,
icebergs defrosting and desertification.

31 Cubes rings an alarm to the world about
the damages us humans inflict on our planet.

31 cubes - detail I (2013/2016) by Moshe VollachArte Laguna Prize - Art Exhibition

Why use π?

The project is a creation of contrasts. The cube is the opposite of a sphere from both a geometrical and functional sense.

π is used as a mathematical constant to calculate the dimensions of a sphere. Using it to describe the dimensions of a cube is contrary to practiced conventions.

The number 31 was chosen since it equals - 10 times π

61 is the sum of all the cubes: 31 matter cubes + 30 space cubes placed in between.

31 cubes - detail II (2013) by Moshe VollachArte Laguna Prize - Art Exhibition

"31 Cubes" is a land art project that relates to the power of nature: the desert earth, the heat of the sun, the presence of the vast clear sky above, water and the absence of it, temperatures from scorching heat to frozen ice, the force of the wind blowing in our ears, the effect of light and shade and the time dimension. Inherently we feel that the axis along which the action of the artwork progresses is an inseparable player in its development. Time based dynamic changes of: mass-space, phase-state, light and shade, and the water absorption in the ground, are all present in the work essence.

31 cubes - detail III (2013) by Moshe VollachArte Laguna Prize - Art Exhibition

"31 cubes is the second of 3 artworks, discussing the memory of matter and space. The first was executed in June 2013. I placed an unauthorized underground conceptual artwork in one of the most prominent 20th century art halls of the Israeli Museum, Jerusalem. I went into the museum undetected and when the guards looked away I place my artwork in the corner of the hall and rushed out. The artwork went un-detected for 3 weeks and then was removed from the hall. This artwork refers to the memory of the space along the time axis, based on Henri Bergson's perception of space and time. My work relates to all the artworks, curators, visitors, museum staff and the interactions that took place in this hall - past present and future."  - Moshe Vollach

Cloud of the Unknown (2019) by Gao YuanArte Laguna Prize - Art Exhibition

Video Art, Virtual Art, Digital Graphics and Performance Sections

For the video art, virtual art, digital graphics and performance sections, Iwona Blazwick, director of the Whitechapel Gallery in London and Valentino Catricalà, contemporary art curator and art section director of the Maker Faire - The European Edition have decided to award the animated film Cloud of the Unknown (2019) by Chinese artist Gao Yuan (Kunming, 1986 - 34 years old). 

Cloud of the Unknown - frame 1 (2019) by Gao YuanArte Laguna Prize - Art Exhibition

Comprised of individual paintings used as background of the animation, Cloud of the Unknown glows in a hazy twilight as it follows the narrative of the main character through peculiar experiences lingering between dream and reality.

Cloud of the Unknown - frame 2 (2019) by Gao YuanArte Laguna Prize - Art Exhibition

The Motivation: the artist's ability to harness new technologies into an aesthetic and a style which have great beauty and invention. Through the animation of the hand-painted frames, she brings to life an existential work about the nature of being in the world.

Frankenstein's Bride (2013) by Primoz JezaArte Laguna Prize - Art Exhibition

Art Design Section

The jury of the art design section composed by Karel Boonzaaijer, designer, architect and professor at the University of Applied Science in Aachen and Aldo Cibic, fundamental name of made in Italy design in the world, has chosen to give the prize to Frankenstein’s Bride (2013) by Slovenian designer Primoz Jeza (Kranj, 1968 - 52 years old).

Frankenstein's Bride is a modular versatile working space assembled out of several different colour and texture elements that infuse energy and personality.

Frankenstein's Bride - detail 1 (2013) by Primoz JezaArte Laguna Prize - Art Exhibition

The Motivation: Frankenstein's Bride is a modular versatile working space assembled out of several different colour elements, a contemporary table that can be adapted for every situation in real life.

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