Shirtless statue of Pope Benedict XVI by Jago sold in shares and placed in a public art institution by Feral Horses
We are very excited to announce our next big project with Jago, one of our dear Feral artists.
We will be facilitating the transition of one of his masterpieces: “Habemus Hominem” from a private collection to a public art institution by allowing the public to co-own it.
MORE ABOUT THE ARTIST
Jago, the Feral artist who wants to be the next Michelangelo
Jacapo Cadillo, known as Jago, is an Italian sculptor we’ve worked with from day one at Feral Horses; one of our first ‘Artist crushes’. His iconic style of marble carving has been refined over the years and we can’t help but be charmed by such a technically remarkable and unapologetic Artist — A pure product of the “made in Italy” as we know it: innovative and fundamentally topical while deeply rooted in traditions and craftsmanship.
From a very young age, his work caught the eye of influential critics and curators such as Vittorio Sgarbi, an Italian art critic, art historian, politician, cultural commentator and television personality. But Jago’s success is far from solely based on institutional recognition. Often referred to as a “Social Artist”, Jago cumulates over 320k followers on social media who can all “virtually enter” the artist’s studio, follow his fascinating creative process and ask questions directly to the artist.
ABOUT THE ART
Habemus Hominem, “We have a Man”
Fun fact: The shirtless statue of Pope Benedict XVI “Habemus Hominem” used to be… Shirted! (or cloaked)
“Habemus Papam” means “we have a Pope” and is used when a new Pope is appointed. The statue of Pope Benedict XVI was first commissioned by the Vatican back in 2009. In 2011, when Jago was 24, the Pope’s bust was selected for the Italian Padiglion of the 54th Venice Biennale.
When in 2013 Pope Benedict XVI resigned, the event triggered a genius move in Jago’s mind. He decided to “undress” Benedict XVI and portray him shirtless in order to reveal the man behind the function. Hence, “Habemus Hominem” which means “We have a Man”, a delightfully provocative statement.
When confronted with “Habemus Hominem” in flesh, the viewer is first fascinated by the hyper-realistic feel of the bust and the work of the skin. The depth of Pope Benedict’s eyes then captures the attention. Ultimately, the realization that the statue’s eyes are following the viewer is both bloodcurdling and astonishing.
Many people wonder about Pope Benedict XVI’s view on the unsettling end-result. However, it is important to remind that Pope Benedict XVI himself made public statements on how beauty should not be something illusory or deceitful, but rather something that “gives us wings,” and sometimes even “disturbs us” and leads to suffering. Quoting the Greek philosopher Plato, he even added that the principal effect of beauty, as seen through art, should be to give the viewer a healthy “shock.”
Although Habemus Hominem was not accepted by the Vatican in the end as the creation did not match the initial commission brief, Jago’s artistic prowess was both validated and applauded by the Vatican. In fact, Jago received a Pontifical Medal from Cardinal Ravasi and Cardinal Bertone for his work and his interpretation of Pope Benedict XVI.
So…Where is “Habemus Hominem” now?
After being purchased by a private collector, it was exhibited last year at Jago’s solo show at the Carlo Bilotti Aranciera Museum in Rome’s scenic Villa Borghese gardens. This year, the collector, who wishes to remain anonymous, has expressed his will to find a way to place the work in the public realm to Carlotta Mastroianni, his art consultant and founder of ADA advisory.
As the objective of Feral Horses is to make the art world more inclusive and publicly available, together with ADA we will sell “Habemus Hominem” in shares on our platform, and then place it in a public entity in Rome for a specific long time period. Like this, all the co-owners of the artwork and the general public will be able to appreciate and interact with Jago’s masterpiece.