“I’m fascinated by it [marble]. The material allows me to create the shapes I envision. There’s nothing I can’t do with it.” – Fabio Viale
Fabio Viale is an Italian sculptor who couples his expertise in the art of traditional Italian sculpture with a unique approach that challenges us to think about our perception of classical art.
Viale is a master sculptor who produces hyper-realistic artworks, flawlessly mimicking his subject yet playing with its form and identity. The process of sculpting with marble requires both mental and physical strength to plan, manipulate and execute. However, working exclusively with Carrara marble – a tradition spanning the history of Italian art – Viale turns the practice on its head with a very contemporary twist.
Viale succeeds in not only flawlessly mimicking the human figure, but also playing with concepts of form and identity. Sculptures such as ‘Skull’ and Canova’s ‘Venere Italica’ are produced in marble, but with a surface which resembles the textured surface of polystyrene, creating a semantic displacement.
Viale recreates some of the most famous ancient sculptures to scale. The hand of Constantine, part of the colossus of Constantine and preserved in the Capitoline Museums, is now entitled ‘Door Release’. Around two metres high, it is adorned with the tattoos seen on Soviet prisoners.
Graduating from The University of Turin in 2008, Viale specialised in contemporary sculpture, and has been experimenting with the medium ever since.
He cites human memory and history as inspirations for his work, recalling the historical destruction and vandalism of iconic artworks committed in the past. His figures represent a ‘souvenir’ of these violent acts.
In creating sculptures from fragments of historically-significant statues, he references Greek and Renaissance antiquity not simply in tribute, but in a functional way to create a fracture in history and meaning. For instance, the Venus de Milo acquires a new depth of meaning when covered with tattoos traditionally worn by Soviet prisoners. A figure of mythological beauty, purity and grandeur is paired with symbols of crime and oppression, creating a certain semantic displacement.
By contrasting timeless classical beauty with more modern cultural heritage, Fabio Viale art is wholly unique and incredibly striking.
Viale’s incredible marble works have been showcased in New York, Basel, Miami and London, and have won many prestigious awards in Italy. His works have been curated by numerous prominent art critics, and both public and private collectors are eager to invest in Fabio Viale as a rising star of the art world.
Maddox Gallery is delighted to be exhibiting at Art Market Hamptons for the very first time. From the 5th to 8th July,...