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Sotheby's exhibition marks José-María Cano's debut exhibition in Hong Kong
Jose Maria Cano, The Soul of Money, 10 RMB, 2016. Courtesy Sotheby’s.

HONG KONG.- Game Changers: José-María Cano selling exhibition is being held alongside Spring Sales 2018 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, showcasing the artist’s two best-known series -WS100 and The Soul of Money. With these works, the artist shares his thoughts on capitalism and its impact on human civilisation. Globally appreciated, Cano’s works are shown around the world, including a solo exhibition in 2016 at the Art Museum of Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. Held from 29 March to 2 April, the exhibition marks José-María Cano’s debut exhibition in Hong Kong.

Cano’s most celebrated body of work, the Wall Street 100 series began in 2004. Made entirely from wax, the series depicts portraits of the world’s financial elites, taken from images used in the Wall Street Journal. Thanks to Cano’s astonishing skill in this unusual medium, the surfaces are reminiscent of richly textured landscapes replete with bumps, drips and tracks of wax which lend the paintings a three-dimensional quality. Through light refraction on the translucent nature of was, a unique luminosity glows, likening the works more to sculptures than paintings.

The Soul of Money, a large-format, extremely detailed presentation looking at the texture of significant currencies, is another of Cano’s iconic series. The artist believes that the watermark in bank notes echoes the human soul, being hardly visible at first glance. The pieces are not only enlarged and rendered on canvas again with encaustic, they are also enriched with colour and multi-textured. In this series, Cano aims to bring a fresh perspective to contemporary society’s tendency to canonise money and power.

Born in Madrid in 1959, Cano spent his youth as a highly successful musician and composer with the Spanish pop-rock band “Mecano” before making his transition into the world of visual arts in 2002. José- María Cano’s acclaimed Oeuvre poses a critical question on the extraordinarily powerful role that images play in the contemporary, and looks into truth versus reality. Cano’s iconic works appropriate and transform images from both mass media and the market, subverting the value of images, the value of money and the entire value standard of the current corporate and financial world.

His works have been exhibited at numerous international museums and galleries around the world, including two well received shows at the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art in Prague in 2009 as well as the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. The show at CAFA museum was curated by the acclaimed curator of the museum, Wang Huangsheng.

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