Celebrities imitate art for latest Macau exhibition

Celebrities have paid a fitting tribute to the latest exhibition at MGM Macau focusing on a rare collection of sculptures by acclaimed French artist Edgar Degas

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 June, 2016, 1:06pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 November, 2017, 4:35pm

They say that life imitates art, and several local celebrities and employees of MGM Macau have quite literally put this into practice.

To mark the opening of MGM Macau’s latest exhibition, showcasing a rare collection of sculptures by French artist Edgar Degas, several well-known faces have tried their hand at impersonating the sculptures in a skilfully produced photo campaign.

The series of 10 portraits feature a mixture of celebrities and people from all walks of life, re-creating poses inspired by Edgar Degas’ sculptures displayed in the art exhibition at MGM Art Space, titled Edgar Degas: Figures in Motion.

Among the recognisable faces impersonating the sculptures are Pansy Ho, co-chairperson of MGM China, Carlos Marreiros, a prominent Macau artist and architect and Mr. Hanjin Tan, Hong Kong singer and artist.

The exhibition, which runs until November 20, is a journey back to 19th century France when Degas was highly lauded for creating impressionist style masterpieces.

However, this exhibition shines a spotlight on a rare collection of Degas’ bronze sculptures, 74 in all, which the artist primarily used as a process to better understand movement of the human body so that he could more accurately capture it in his paintings.

During his lifetime, only one sculpture, the Little Fourteen Year Old Dancer, (made of clay and wax) was shown to the public.

Originally, the Little Dancer was deemed too authentic due to Degas’ decision to use real clothes and a real horsehair wig. Artists at the time were amazed by the use of materials and the realism of the sculpture, but it was judged by others as appearing too ugly. After the negative critical reactions, Degas decided not to show his sculptures in public, and for the rest of his life, they remained wrapped in mystery.

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However, for the first time in Asia, the public now has the chance to gain a unique insight into a side of Degas and his artistic process that few knew about. His 74 posthumous bronze sculptures invite us to explore his inner and mysterious world.

Degas limited his creation to a small range of subjects, focusing on the areas that fascinated him such as ballerinas, race horses and women in various stages of washing and drying themselves, illustrating female nudity in an unidealised fashion.

The centrepiece of the exhibition is Degas’ celebrated Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen, who takes pride of place.

In their ongoing commitment to promoting art and art education in Macau, this is the 21st exhibition that MGM Macau has showcased since first opening in 2007. 

For those looking for a break from the ubiquity of casino and gaming spaces in Macau, it’s a pleasant surprise to find this dedicated art space, more than 8,000 sqft, specifically designed for showcasing exhibitions of this kind.

Edgar Degas: Figures in Motion
Runs until November 
20 2016
MGM Art Space
Free Admission