The Clown Spirit

24 May 2023 - 24 June 2023

Galleria Mucciaccia, Rome, IT

Inspired by family history related to the circus, curator Joanna De Vos embraced this world of wonder as a theme. Fascinated by modern masterpieces influenced by the circus, and building on close connections with contemporary artists, the desire arose to invite artists to create a self-portrait as a clown. An invitation that was answered with enthusiasm and excitement through the countries and the generations.

Many artists have at least some affinity with the existence of the clown. The melancholic artist - the serious clown, the comical artist - the tragic clown, the idiotic artist - the subversive clown, the comforting artist, … They all have the gift to transcend life. To make their fellow humans see, feel or think differently.

The clown/artist gives tragic life a comical face, and vice versa. The artist/clown is a clone and a canvas for various symbols. In their own extremes, the artist/clowns are both modest and elated.

That contradiction forms the energy flowing through ‘The Clown Spirit’ – an exhibition that came into existence as a direct consequence of the overflowing response of artists to the question to create self-portraits as a clown.

The artist, like the jester and the clown, keeps a finger on the pulse of humanity and society. Someone who can be permitted to play with truths and fictions and manages to expose the mechanisms of life - the circus of life. The artist positions himself as a catalyst of wonder and freedom, a symbol that invites us to reflect on the circus around us, and to get moving. As a wandering mind grasping at wonders and worlds.

‘The Clown Spirit’ shows the ongoing series of contemporary self-portraits as a clown at Galleria Mucciaccia in Rome, opening on May 24th 2023, 6.30pm and closing on June 24th 2023.