Agora Gallery Exhibition “Figuratively Speaking” in New York featured Ninos Chammo’s works from February 20, 2007 through March 13, 2007.
Assyrian-born Ninos Chammo calls his sculptures “an interactive message,” and if the dialogue is between the artist and the viewer, it is equally between artist and heritage. Chammo’s years of study in Florence, including the Academia Delle Belle Arti, have influenced his sculptural eye to a remarkable degree. Working in carmine and burgundy terra cotta and wood, Chammo reworks classical busts, and invests traditional forms with renewed power. His terra cotta Gilgamesh and Ankido reinterprets the ancient tale to produce a potent response to the myth of eternal life and eternal friendship. In Lost Memories, symbols are carved into the very muscles of the arms and chest of the subject. Memories are not lost at all, but preserved in the body, and, for Chammo, rediscovered in the sculpted medium. These figures are totems, or we have caught them in the moment of morphing between human and animal. Whatever the interpretation of these vibrant works, with his injection of a modern edge into classical forms, Chammo’s dialogue with ancient themes is exuberant.
Poet S. David visited Ninos Chammo’s exhibition at Agora Gallery and wrote these pieces inspired by his art
Thanks heavens She’ only a distant Cousin of Medusa She came here Riding a horse And horses don’t Turn to stone Under Medusa’s eye I had realized It could be Sea foam She was divinely Shaped and I didn’t Want it to be Snakes it wasn’t As I found Out that night And again I thanked The Gods that She and her hair Had traveled To visit me
And for what Why wait when The only thing coming With any surety Is the End of Days Your days my days To sit placidly Hand under chin No no time to get Something done Something tried Something new
Sitting in the Coffee Shop 2007 And they’re playing Sam Cooke songs From back then and I went into a dream A dream of “back then” Too and I looked at and Through my days then Wondered how “now” Had arrived and of The possibilities and Every day’s decisions Brought me to here And now it is time to Look for tomorrow And the day after But now they’re Playing Hendrix
Look to the heavens If you will but no Angel Will come to restore them Those memories are Gone lost to you You can ponder You can pray Even meditate The whole day They won’t return The drugs were Too strong too much For your mind to bear No one these days Can look upon The face of the Goddess And remain untouched