Artist Ian Wolter celebrates ideal Rome show

Published: 20 December 2017 at 10:00

Ian Wolter's artwork

Former Anglia Ruskin University Fine Art student wins RomArt 2017 Sculpture Prize

Former Anglia Ruskin University student Ian Wolter has won the RomArt 2017 Sculpture and Installation Prize for his work highlighting the “greasy pole” of the business world.

The artist, who is based in Saffron Walden, Essex, won the €2,500 first prize in the Italian capital with The Ectoplasm of Self-Delusion.

The sculptures feature totems of male, ‘bronze’ busts which are transformed by comedic fountains made from petroleum jelly. Wolter uses this subversion of the conventional bust and plinth to comment on social hierarchies and perceived orders.

Wolter, who graduated from the BA (Hons) Fine Art course in 2015, said:

“Many business leaders have a mistaken belief in their own superiority when as white, middle-aged men, they ignore their own advantages and others’ disadvantages: they are first among unequals.
“My work addresses the way in which contemporary business leaders use the bronze bust and plinth to establish an aura of greatness.  This use of bust and plinth was started by the ancient Romans, so I’m delighted my work is on show amongst the Roman ruins.  Winning the RomArt Sculpture Prize is a wonderful bonus!”

Last year Wolter won the Venice Arte Laguna video art and performance prize for his work The Holy See Gets It, which focused on child abuse in the Catholic Church.

The RomArt 2017 exhibition, which features work by 150 artists, is on display at the Stadium of Domitian in Rome’s Piazza Navona until Wednesday 10 January.