We caught up with artist Massimo Agostinelli on his way out of Miami to talk about his latest intervention at a major art fair ‘REAL BATS’ at Art Basel Miami Beach.
FAD: Can you tell us about this intervention?
MA: Each intervention is like an idiomatic riddle waiting to be solved. ‘REAL BATS’ is simply an anagram of ‘ART BASEL’ and of course the simile “as blind as a bat” comes to mind when you consider that there are two albeit inflatable hence not “real” but “fake” baseball bats sticking out of the eyes of the Batman mask. The homonyms ‘bats’ plural as in more than one, not a roosting mammal or wooden stick for sport but instead something artificially blinding and protruding from the eye sockets of the “bat” mask. Perhaps sometimes things aren’t always what they seem. There are however other hidden components, even the date on which it took place; 12.02.2021.
When did you first start the interventions series?
The interventions began in 2017 on the 100th anniversary of Marcel Duchamp’s 1917 fountain with the Art Basel trash can now known as ‘La Plus Belle’. I truly believe it’s possible to find something ordinary and turn it into something extraordinary. Each intervention since has been my humble attempt to make a comment on life as I see it, feel it and live it because although I don’t always have the right answers I strive to ask the right questions.
Are you a baseball fan and what does Batman signify?
Yes, NY Yankees! Batman is both a saviour and a scapegoat. Batman from Gotham is an extraordinary superhero and yet technically he’s still just an ordinary human and actually mortal which makes the story more compelling.
Do you have plans to produce the interventions as NFTs?
I’m currently working on a special project called dojo.ai which will be focused on a wide range of technologies including digital art and non-fungible tokens. Each intervention will be minted as individual and digitally unique NFT’s and exhibited alongside their physical sculptural counterparts.
How can people find out about you & your practice?
By meeting me in person at one of my studios in either Switzerland, London, Cape Town or Florida because ultimately nothing beats reality, but then again there’s always the metaverse known as Instagram. @massimoagostinelli