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Rui Chafes

Chafes (JPG)Komm zu mir II [Come to me II], 1997
Steel
108 x 57 x 28 cm
Munich, stairway
(c) Rui Chafes; photo: Alcino Gonçalves

Rui Chafes (* 1966 Lisbon, PT) works almost exclusively in steel. One of the reasons for this is his fascination with the need to heat iron before it can be shaped to the desired form. The resulting artwork is thus an expression of the energy that was instrumental in the piece's creation – as well as its potential destruction. His two works in the EPO collection, Komm zu mir II and Kristal IX, call to mind a leather harness, a knight's suit of armour, even a menacing instrument of chastisement. Visually, Chafes's works hint at hidden functions, though what these may be remains elusive. Both objects evoke a sense of abandonment, as though the bodies they were made for have somehow fled. The perfection of the graceful curves and workmanship belie the actual resistance of the material. The rust-protected objects appear to be encircling something in an elegant embrace, something that the viewer is forced to imagine.

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