Blissful Happy Fool
Collaboration with Tjo
(click for sound)
Nestled atop a forested hill in Tuscany lies an abandoned villa with a dark history.
The crackling of broken glass underfoot echoes through the pitch-black musky hallway as you journey deeper into the building's eerie depths.
As you shine your headlamp on the walls, disturbing drawings made by former patients come into view. The childlike sketches depict figures and animals armed with axes, guns, and saws. A poem, written in pencil, is scrawled alongside the drawings, dated and signed "3 o'clock, September 10, 1968." The final ominous line reads, “And you'll be a blissfully happy fool for the rest of your life, crazy.”
This is Villa Sbertoli, formerly a private mental health facility from the 1600s, a prison during World War II, and then a public psychiatric hospital throughout the early 20th century. Its reputation is marred by the institute’s approach to psychiatric treatment which often involved brutal restraints and experiments. This ultimately led to the hospital's closure and abandonment in the late 1970s.
The building, grand and steeped in history, is in a state of ruin and decay.
Its architectural significance combined with its complex psychiatric past makes it a prime subject for the artists to unleash their creativity and create a one-of-a-kind collaboration.
‘Blissful Happy Fool’ blends elements of the imaginative and surreal with the tangible and real.
The artists have blended their personal styles into the textures and forms of the building by incorporating photographs taken both within the building in Italy itself and by Tjo from the other side of the world.
Ryan Koopmans and Alice Wexell, who have worked together for almost a decade, visited the building and captured its essence through photography. They enhanced the most impressive room with animated vegetation, light, and three-dimensional structure, imbuing it with their creative touch.
Tjo then integrated his signature blue and checkered textures into the walls, infusing them with his energized and dynamic hand. At the heart of the room is an original Tjo artwork that fills the empty painting frame, making it the centrepiece of the interior.
Coded by Transient Labs, the artwork transitions from day to night as the clock on the viewer's device hits 8 PM and 8 AM.
Collected by Wang for 25.536 ETH
From Day to Night
Every day, at both 8am and 8pm, the artwork automatically transitions between day and night, synchronizing with the viewer's location.
Detail of Tjo's paintings for day & night in Blissful Happy Fool.
As a visual artist, Tjo delves into the complexities of mental health, pure OCD, and psychology through his art. Born in Quebec, his work revolves around struggles and experiences, creating a visual representation of his inner world.
The art is characterized by a series of artworks created in dark blue rooms, symbolizing the depth and obscurity of the mind. Within these blue spaces, he depicts the energy of human archetypes represented as red figures, exploring the universal aspects of the human condition.
Through these archetypal representations, he aims to evoke emotions and provoke thoughts in the viewer, inviting them to reflect on their psyche. Interested in the artistic relationship between Dionysus and Apollo, he employs an amalgamation of techniques to create an imperfect balance between his subject and its physical form using collage, painting, and any form of material destruction that can blend excess with the dream.
Through his art, he creates a dialogue, raises awareness, and sparks conversations about mental health, self-expression, and the human experience.
Tjo's other artwork