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DIEGO CIBELLI: FIORI DEI MIEI HABITI SEATTLE ART MUSEUM MAY 31 2024 – MAY 10 2026

HAADA is pleased to offer a small grouping of unique available sculptures from the collection. Please contact info@haada.co for more information.

Fiori dei miei Habiti (La Montagne Enchantée) is a tour de force of porcelain wizardry by Italian artist Diego Cibelli at the Seattle Museum of Art. The son of a fisherman, Cibelli grew up in the Naples working-class neighborhood of Scampia, where his studio occupies the unused second floor of the local elementary school. Born into anything but royal conditions, Cibell is the unlikely heir apparent to the long tradition of exquisitely detailed porcelain flowers that became the signature of the Royal Porcelain Manufactory founded at Capodimonte in 1743.

The work’s title takes on multiple meanings by substituting the word fiori (flowers) for fuori (out) in the expression fuori dei miei habiti, which means “out of my habitat [or habits],” implying a journey into the unknown, an experience outside of one’s comfort zone. The play on words also translates as “flowers of my dress,” drawing attention to the porcelain characters’ skin and their garments of garlands, foliage, sticks, and flowers.

Cibelli takes inspiration from Filippo Tagliolini’s The Fall of the Giants (1785–90), a masterpiece of Capodimonte porcelain. In Tagliolini’s work, Zeus straddles Olympus, hurling thunderbolts at the Giants, who are depicted as loin cloth–clad muscle men tumbling in various poses of defeat down the craggy slopes of the mountain.

Cibelli reverses Tagliolini’s formula of traditional heroic masculinity in favor of a spectrum of diverse hybrid creatures, queer celebrants in various states of transformation. His enchanted menagerie sets off on a journey full of twists, chains, tumbles, close calls, and glory as the beings spirally ascend heavenward. Their path takes them through challenging encounters with animal-vegetal others as well as their own changes and transcendence.

 

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