Toronto District School Board
ESA student up for Euro art prize

ESA student up for Euro art prize

Tuesday, March 01, 2016
Categories: Great Things, Happenings @ TDSB, School Web Stories

An Etobicoke School of the Arts (ESA) student has been shortlisted for a prestigious European art prize. The 2016 Saatchi Gallery/ Deutsche Bank Art Prize for Schools has selected a piece by Max Perone from some 22,000 entries submitted from 54 different countries.  Perone’s work is titled “Repression” and it is one of just 20 being considered, and one of only two representing Canada. He is up against student artists from the UK, USA, Cyprus, Indonesia, South Korea, Australia, and Italy.

Winners are chosen from two categories: primary and secondary. The winning students’ schools will each receive £5,000, with another £1,000 awarded to the students. In addition, an overall winner will pocket another £2,000, with that student’s school collecting £10,000 more on top of the category prize. 
 
Perone’s entry is as enormous as it is impressive: it weighs in at an incredible 2400lbs and is made of steel and cement.  900 cement cast molds of Perone’s own face are piled in three steel enclosures. Perone needed about 200 hours over several months to create the casts and weld the steel enclosures. 

He said that the idea for the project developed from an in-class assignment exploring his personal response to the notion of protection. “The original piece consisted of one set of opposing faces where the outer face, devoid of emotion, was positioned over the ‘screaming’ inner face,” he said   “’Repression’ continued this exploration and evolved to reflect the commonality of the never-ending struggle to hide our emotions behind a socially acceptable face.”  He added that he hopes viewers will question if we hide emotions behind a mask of indifference because society demands it, or because of a fear of showing vulnerability.

The winners of the 2016 Saatchi Gallery/ Deutsche Bank Art Prize for Schools are announced on March 3 and Perone will be there with his family to hear the results. They won’t be the only ones anxiously awaiting the outcome. Assistant Curriculum Leader and art teacher Matthew Varey shared that the entire school is excited about the nomination. He said that the grade 12 visual arts major takes significant risk in his art.  “His work tends to be labour intensive, very large scale, and tied directly to his personal experience,” said Varey  “He has developed a unique vision in his time at ESA, and has pursued it so that he will be receiving offers from several post-secondary art programs this year.”

Perone plans to study design in university. 

Postscript, March 4: Max Perone’s work “Repression” garnered much attention and fared well against stiff competition. A panel of judges ultimately selected a group of eight students from Cyprus as winners in the Secondary School category for their sculpture “Immigrants.” That group was also awarded the overall winner prize.

 
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