Nicolas Kozakis

Gants de boxe

Mixed media
36 x 30 x 25 cm
Purchase SPACE Liege
Acquisition: 2007
Location: Liege-Musée des Beaux-Arts

Gants de boxe (boxing gloves) was created as part of the collective exhibition La Norme et le caprice, Quartiers d’hiver (Espace 251 Nord, Liege, 1992) curated by Laurent Jacob. Originally, it was part of a series of combat sport accessories on which the artist had painted patterns. For this piece, he uses a cross pattern taken from the iconographic repertoire of Byzantine art, often found on the garments of saints. “Gants de boxe merges several reference points, Eastern Christian art, of course, but also a topographical symbol that I saw at Mount Athos in the form of a black target on a yellow background; for me this implies the notion of the geography of a place, an indication to help understand distance and space. There is also the concept of ready-made with the selection of a manufactured object which has a strong presence. I wanted to put very different ideas into confrontation and use the semantic, visual and physical links that could be maintained. I find there is a fertile relationship that can be established between the very popular nature of combat sports and the profound spirituality that can be attached to the religious patterns that I use”. In addition Gants de boxe adheres to specific installation methods. Like all the pieces in the series, it is presented in a beech frame made to fit the angle between two walls. This is, again, another way of confronting influences: contemporary art with works like Dan Flavin’s and icons that can be protected in a chamber and positioned in a corner “because that’s where evil is hiding... and as the corner is also the part of the ring where the opponent takes refuge when he is in difficulty”. Kozakis (Pierre Henrion)


Lives and works in Brussels