Currently on display at Marcelo Guarnieri Gallery in Ribeirão Preto, Brazil, Rogério Degaki‘s show “Your Princess is in Another Castle” playfully riffs on elements from Super Mario Bros, a series of cultural icons that characterize his memory of the 1980s and 90s. Degaki’s installations recall a world free of gravity which takes certain sensory cues – colors, graphics and sounds – from the games. The works are displayed in two rooms, bisected by a wide corridor, and correspond to the video game’s single screen format with cool colors for one space and warm for the other.
The sculptures in this exhibit were born of the last decade of Degaki’s work, which involved developing a collection of characters with large heads and small bodies. These figures are inherently influenced by his memories of a Mario-infused childhood. His process moves from hand sketching to precisely carving the figures out of styrofoam, to finishing them with fiber glass, plastic resin and automotive paint. The volumetrically precise forms and manufactured-looking surfaces create the illusion of digital fabrication – indeed, it is the artist’s intent to suggest that aesthetic. (In describing his influences, Degaki references shiny pop icons not only from entertainment of decades gone by, but also pop art, including the distinctively industrial-looking sculptures of Jeff Koons.) But the essence of his process and the spirit of the works now on display lie in the discipline of designing and making by hand.
The exhibit is open through October.