The Artist Gallery – From Tradition to Self-Expression
Manifesting his precocious artistic talents at the young age of 23, Vincent Apap represents Saint Anthony the Abbot can be considered to be one of the most powerful sculptures of the Modern period. Standing stiffly and paralysed by an acute state of physical and psychological tension, Apap’s figure of the saint is caught at the instant when diabolical temptation seizes and literally ceases his body. Hints of female heads and figures sensually rising and writhing beneath the monk’s clothing make up the corporeal temptations that St Anthony is afflicted by. His severely vertical stance, the protruding veins and bone structure of his wide-opened hands and the culminating gaping mouth are all highly expressive signs of this ascetic monk’s profound agony. It is thanks to Apap’s profound sensitivity and deep knowledge of the human figure that this sculpture is so striking to the core albeit so simple and so essential in its rendering.