The 72 to the 1 | The Ampersand Foundation 1997 - 2003
Alex Trapani, painter and installation artist. First solo exhibition titled Covered at The Generator Art Space, Newtown. Currently working on an exhibition at the Bell-Roberts Gallery, Cape Town for August 2004.
What were your first impressions of New York?
‘The hottest weather I’ve ever experience, New York was having an extreme heatwave that summer with many reported deaths. The cosmopolitan nature of the inhabitants – even the New Yorkers being unlike Americans in other parts of the USA.’
What stood out from an artistic and cultural perspective?
‘The Metropolitan – especially the Degas Room. It was incredible to me that he went to such lengths to understand balance, pose and volume. The experience really lingers to this day – especially his small scale bronzes which were my favourite works.’
How has your time spent in New York influenced your thinking?
‘The realisation of how tiny the South African art world is. The public exposure to contemporary art is huge and that creates a climate where art is taken very seriously. The Ampersand Foundation plays an important role – validating the artist’s confidence that what they create has importance and that the perceptions of our public will be forced to evolve in time to acknowledge the important role art plays in society.’
Interviewed at the gallery by WS on Monday 6 October 2003
Website of South African Artists