The complexity of human beings and cities in Marce...

The complexity of human beings and cities in Marcello Silvestre’s sculptures

 “I have neither desires nor fears, – declared the Khan, – my dreams are composed either by the mind or by chance. – Cities also believe to be creations of the mind or of accident but neither one nor the other are strong enough to support its walls. You won’t be able to enjoy seven or seventy-seven wonders of a city, but it might answer a question could ask”.This idea was told in Italo Calvino’s book ‘Invisible Cities’ which reveals, through the words of Marco Polo, the importance every city takes for one of us: a space to get lost and reflect, a space which you can leave but also to come back to, which you can find or find yourself as if it was a day dream.

Emotions, scents, tastes and the sounds of the city give you space to build dreamlike worlds where people can lose themselves and confront their unconscious selves that becomes visible and can be reflected in art pieces. As a matter of fact, the city has always been part of artist’s development, transformation and aesthetic restructuring. Also many artworks were created thanks their iteration with public spaces.

Through the urban art Marcello Silvestre managed to unite his two biggest passions architecture and sculpture which became the main object of his art. ‘ I sculpt bodies, legs and arms on which I create towers and buildings, in a continuous flow, in an intertwining of soft lines, triangles and edges. I have always loved Calvino’s writings; ‘Invisible cities’ has accompanied me during all of my university years thanks to one of my professors of architecture design who invited me to read and reread this book’.

Innovative and curious Marcello has managed to give his dreamlike visions a material form by creating a series of bronze sculptures. The idea of ‘Invisible cities’ was born from the novel of Calvino. His artworks represent the investigation of indissoluble relationship between humans and the city as they belong to each other and can’t be separated.

“My art wasn’t born in the street how traditional urban art was, however, the inspiration was found in the streets, cities and their unique spirit. There are many ways to talk about the city; personally, I do it through unreal dreams and materials that grows older with time like stones and hearts do.

This perception of unity between the man and the city can also be seen in digital techniques used as part of the creation process. As a mater of fact, Marcello uses innovative techniques in his 3D modelling and particularly “Blender”, an open source software of immense creative potential. ‘In the laboratory we also use 3D printing technology with the biodegradable material Pla, very efficient from both an ecological and technical perspective as it reduces imperfections and the printing has higher quality. Contact with the materials and manual labour starts with the assembly and the sanding, where a layer of non-toxic resin and transparent water is applied to the 3D printed shapes. From here on there are two possibilities: either I deliver the model to the foundry for lost wax casting as it is the case for Le città invisibili or I proceed with a hand-brush finishing as in the La Ruggine dei Sentimenti cycle.”

The second project that is exhibited at Espinasse31, ‘La Ruggine dei Sentimenti’ is an investigation into the feelings and concerns that arise during the crisis of couple relationship where rust is the symbol of a malaise that darkens the heart; it hides the truth and reveals the passage of time. ‘I tell the story of their difficulties through the tension of their bodies rather than with their facial expressions or their eyes.

The bodies are carved with triangular polygons, which approach, rotate and recompose until they form bodies of woman and men victims of misunderstandings, preoccupations, sustained by hope and scared of a long goodbye’.

The use of digital techniques manages to preserve the traditional soul of classical sculpture, for example, if we talk about Michelangelo and Rodin as masters. ‘Making sculptures has always meant giving a substance to the ideas that were created by Michelangelo’s chisel in the white marble blocks or with Rodin’s expert clay shaping hands. Even if the technique changes, there is always a need to tell a story through form and matter, lights and shadows, completeness and emptiness’.

Marcello has been collaborating with the Fashion brand Zegna brand for the last two years, designing pop up stores and window creativity around the world. At the moment, he is one of the finalists of the Art Prize 2018 which exhibition will be held at the Palazzo Reale of Milan from the 16th to the 21st of October. His art can be perceived as a ballet of emotions, where each piece is an invitation by the artist to deeply analyse the viewer’s self.

Annaida Mari

Città invisibili and La Ruggine dei Sentimenti showcased at Espinasse31’s ‘Escapes’
2 october – 2 december

Marcello Silvestre, La Ruggine dei Sentimenti, 2017, installation view at Espinasse 31

Marcello Silvestre, La Ruggine dei Sentimenti, 2017, installation view at Espinasse 31

Marcello Silvestre, Città invisibili, 2018, installation view at Espinasse 31

Marcello Silvestre, Dorotea, 2018


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