Mauro Perucchetti’s aesthetic harkens back to the streamlined Arte Povera movement that grew as a hybrid of pop and political art in 1960’s Italy, but it is much more than that. It is a re-imagination of traditional pop art sensibilities, and it is modern, truly of this century, a mirror of the material desires and so called needs of our society today.
One of the recurring motifs in Perucchetti’s oeuvre is the jelly baby, which succinctly embodies his style and ethos. Each of these giant figures is perfectly moulded and composed of light-reflecting resin with an impressive depth of colour. Polyurethane resin is highly unstable, and Perucchetti has devoted years to manipulating the material and perfecting a technique which allows him to use the liquid on such a large scale. Although each jelly baby is unique in production, the topical issue of cloning is immediately brought to mind. The message is sinister, the imagery ‘sweet’.
A new addition to the series of work incorporating jelly babies is the Jelly Baby Family; this work is a celebration of the traditional family unit. With cartoon-like playfulness Perucchetti uses scale, colour and form to suggest the identity of each figure and its relationship within the group, ranging from the father at four metres high to the youngest child at almost one and a half metres high.
“12 years ago I created a body of work inspired by the dilemma between cloning and religion, and cloning and medical ethics. I decided to use the jelly baby as an impersonation of cloned mankind. I was trying to capture the ambiguity that could be present in a cloned being. On first glance, they seem very sweet, but from certain angles, they can look slightly sinister, especially on a large scale.
In the current version, ‘Jelly Baby Family 2011’, they could easily embody the unity of family and the multicultural aspect of modern society that is so prevalent, especially in London.