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Mim Scala

'In Motion'

10th October to 15th November 2014

Eleven is pleased to present Mim Scala’s first solo exhibition 'In Motion.' Featuring a series of bronze sculptures, Scala instils grace and a palpable sense of movement into each bronze.

Scala’s studio is nestled among fourteen horses and their stables on his property. This immersion with his horses has served as the basis for many of his sculptures including the first one he completed, 'Prancing Horse' (2014) where the animal playfully springs into the air, a scene Scala is very familiar with from working each day alongside them. Similarly, 'Work Horse' (2014) was inspired by the ploughing horse championships in Ireland. Scala captures the intense force of the horse moving forwards, muscles taught, devoting all its strength into forging ahead.

There is an inherent sense of motion and vibrancy in each work despite being still objects. Scala’s sculptures recall Umberto Boccioni’s 'Unique Forms of Continuity into Space' (1913) where the form seems to propel itself into space. Similarly, Scala’s sculptures dynamically occupy space and capture a fleeting moment in the flow of movement.

Due to Scala’s severe dyslexia he learns best through doing. He begins his creative process with images and it is the synthesis of intense observation and molding the materials in front of him that he begins to create. Scala creates a wire armature and then applies French wax to the framework slowly building up the mass of each sculpture. It is this application of wax which gives each work such a strong sense of tactility. Once the form is complete it is sent the foundry to be cast in bronze by Andrei Petrocenco.

Mim Scala first began gaining recognition as a Teddy Boy in Chelsea in the 1960’s and sustained his notoriety through his successful careers as a theatrical agent, producer, music promoter and author, working with some of the most influential actors and musicians in recent decades. Scala moved to Ireland in 1986 where he began to earnestly revisit painting and fine art for the first time since attending art school in his youth. Since then he has explored a number of artistic pursuits, the most recent being sculpture. Early collectors of his work include Viscount Cowdray and Marianne Faithfull.

Mim Scala was born in 1940 and lives and works in County Carlow, Ireland. This is Scala’s first solo exhibition. Scala has published three books, 'The Luckiest Man in the World' (2013), 'Bibi' (2013), and 'Diary of a Teddy Boy' (2000).

Additional information on Mim Scala:

Born in London in 1940, Mim Scala, an undiagnosed dyslexic, hated school in Fulham and consequently learned very little until he took evening classes at Chelsea Art School at Manresa Road, Chelsea. Scala was a Fulham Teddy Boy and his authentic attire had him standing out and soon became part of the young Chelsea crowd.

His first major adventure was to become a gambler. At nineteen he was running a floating Chemin de Fer game in Chelsea and Knightsbridge which was frequented by Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon and also the infamous Kray twins, who eventually wanted Scala’s enterprise. Rather than joining the Soho underworld, Scala took off in 1959 with his gambling earnings and spent eighteen months in southern Spain and Morocco. Encounters with William Burroughs and other Dharma bums resulted in a short lived heroin habit and a depleted cash flow.

He returned to North End Road in Fulham where he grew up, and after several false starts as a film extra, actor, and theatre gofer, he landed the job of assistant to Kenneth Moore’s agent Stanley Debens. He flourished in agency work and soon had a list of clients of his own. In 1965 he bought the film rights to the cartoon strip Modesty Blaise, directed by Joseph Losey which became the cult film that has so influenced Quentin Tarentino. Scala sold the rights to Producer Joseph Janni and this allowed him to found his own agency, "Scala Browne Associates.” The agency was known for representing actors, directors and musicians including Richard Harris, Cat Stevens, Benito Caruthers, and Barbara Steele. Scala also packaged the film "Sympathy for the Devil / One Plus One" for Cupid Productions, with Jean-Luc Godard and the Rolling Stones.

By the late sixties Scala was disenchanted with running an agency and no longer wanted to be confined by a desk and went travelling through Spain, Moroccan Sahara, Sri Lanka, and Switzerland; painting and recording ethnic music until he returned to England in 1972. Enlightened by his travels, upon his return he became head of promotion for Island Records during the period when Chris Blackwell was breaking Bob Marley. Scala produced the first direct to disk album for the band Warsaw Pakt, before founding "ESP Music and Management," an agency which represented record producers, including Chris Kimsey (Rolling Stones), Stuart Levine (Simply Red), B.B. King, and Jimmy Miller (Rolling Stones). After the Stewart Levine production of the Simply Red album Holding Back the Years reached number one in the USA, Mim took off again, this time to Ireland.

He settled in County Carlow in 1987 to write, fish, and paint. He still resides there with his wife Janie and son Fred and their horses and dogs. In 2013, after a short hospital stay, he decided to try something new. Looking at the horses he sees every day in the equestrian yard that his son Fred runs, Scala modeled one of the horses and thought nothing of it until pressed by friends to make more. This has resulted in Scala becoming a prolific sculptor whose bronze work has achieved immediate success. “I hope that finding a new skill at the age of 74 will be a lesson to all grey haired folk, that it is never too late to learn something new or to chase your dream. Life isn’t over till the nails go in.”

For more images please click here


Mim Scala, Osprey, 2014
Bronze on black Kilkenny marble base, 12 x 11 x 10 in / 30 x 28 x 26 cm, Edition of 10


Eleven: 11 Eccleston Street, London, SW1W 9LX - +44 (0)20 7823 5540 - info@elevenfineart.com
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