Sergio Roger brings Classical Greece to Passeig de Gràcia with two giant goddesses sculpted in linen

Two overwhelming Greek goddesses have been planted in a shop window on Passeig de Gràcia with all their power.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
18 September 2023 Monday 22:28
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Sergio Roger brings Classical Greece to Passeig de Gràcia with two giant goddesses sculpted in linen

Two overwhelming Greek goddesses have been planted in a shop window on Passeig de Gràcia with all their power. They are dressed in gray linen that is reminiscent of veined marble, of the ruins that have reached our times broken but dignified, that have seen and lived countless stories.

The two 3.5 meter high goddesses (each one can choose their favorite) are works of the sculptor Sergio Roger, a figure no longer emerging but very much emerged from the current art scene and who has specialized in creating pieces covered in starched fabric that many Sometimes they leave a question in the viewer: Is this a sculpture?

The artist, who has received praise for his work around the world in recent months, wanted to test himself and has accepted a commission that has something to do: decorate 81 Passeig de Gràcia, which is none other than the store Hermès, the French luxury brand that always stands out for its overflowing creativity and surprising techniques in its windows.

The two gigantic figures - the work is titled Unveiled tales - occupy the two main windows of the store and on a blue background, one, and the orange of the house, the other, they create a small spectacle.

“What I have tried – the artist explains to Magazine a few hours before the inauguration of the work – is that they were two linen sculptures with all their volume and folds, but also, at the base, the theater curtain, a kind of “like a small stage, a diorama.” If the viewer approaches or moves away, they see the detail or the whole.

The size of the figures is enormous: “It is what differentiates these figures from my works, they had the challenge of verticality. How did I do it? Well, I sat on the bench, outside on the street, and then I visualized it, I saw how it could work.”

There are those who ask if the figures are a tribute to the gegantera tradition. Yes it is a nod to Mercè. "When we placed them with the crane, there were even those who said 'let the virgin come down', in reference to the Andalusian Holy Week when the bearers carry the Virgin." The motto by which the Parisian maison is governed this year is to be amazed and the attempt is very visible in its window.

At the base of each of the figures there are a few objects, on the left, mythical references and a nod to the origins of Hermès, the horses, “which speak of Troy, of The Iliad,” notes the artist. On the right, more domestic objects, plates and cups. Everyday life and mythology.

Roger is happy not only with the result but with the assignment itself because he has had to do things different from what he is used to. For example, he has, almost without realizing it, acted as a couturier rather than a sculptor, working on the folds, the fall of the tunics... He has also redoubled his contacts with all types of artisans, which is the basis of the work of the 24 brand. on Rue Faubourg-Saint Honoré, whose origin dates back to 1837.

“I don't have a direct relationship with the world of fashion or luxury, but it connects with good work, of creating eternal objects,” says Martí, who has reflected throughout the process beyond aesthetic terms.

On the one hand, he has been very attentive to the heated debate about who owns the ruins, statues and friezes that are exhibited in many museums. Yes to those art centers or to the countries where they were found. “The fabrics are hand-dyed, to imitate veined marble. The dresses – adds the artist – are like ruins, he wanted to reproduce the passage of time on the material itself and, furthermore, it resembles the color of the facade. It is the history of colonial Europe through museums, how it is defined, very suggestive and visual, but there is also that historical part in which all the ideals are dismantled."

On the other hand, Sergio Roger has reflected on the current world and the motto that drives Hermès this year, amazement. Something that is increasingly difficult to achieve. “For me – he concludes – the message is to return to poetry, which is necessary, to dream in the face of this world that is an absolute disaster. I wanted to talk about mythology, history….”