Ahead of Mauro Perucchetti’s solo show Nuvole at Alon Zakaim Fine Art Gallery (7 September – 31 October 2018), we spoke to the artist on his upcoming show, which marks his transition from established sculptor to painter and breaks a three year hiatus from the art world.
Can you tell us more about your upcoming exhibition, Nuvole. What was the inspiration behind the body of works and what was the genesis of the exhibition title?
The title, Nuvole, ‘Clouds’ in Italian, befits the work with the spontaneity of looking at the sky and seeing images in the clouds – images that might look like a face to one and a skull to another. Much like clouds, the paintings evolve and transform to produce a whimsical world, where shapes, lines, colours and forms thrive in visual harmony.
Which medium do you prefer – painting or sculpture – and why?
I find painting more absorbing while I am doing it, probably also due to the fact that it is carried out in a more Zen-like environment. It also is always a surprise and it is at times instantly rewarding and thankfully rarely, sometimes disappointing.
Sculpting is more like a Special Ops operation. The process is more complicated, often technically challenging and almost never something you can do alone.
The Zen aspect is when I make the clay master. After that I basically know what I am making and the process doesn’t allow for many impromtu changes whether I am working is resin, marble or any other medium.
The result is very gratifying, it makes you think: I can’t believe I made that!
Your website says you embrace “techniques from classical methods to totally experimental ones.” Can you describe some of your more experimental ones?
Number one is for sure the large scale pigmented resin work.
When I first started in the 90’s I instantly realized how technically challenging it was and as I became more ambitious with my projects I searched the world rather unsuccessfully for companies that could help and had to sell my house and my company to finance it.
Ultimately I had to do it alone and over the years I built up an arsenal of special tools, machines and very talented people to help me.
Marble was experimental in concept more than technique, blending my childhood admiration for classical sculpture with POP contemporary subjects.
I only touch the marble in its final stages; the rest is done by masters in Italy, all by hand and never with the use of CNC machines.
I have often been asked where I learned how to sculpt and the answer is: with my resin.
People tend to think that resin sculptures pop out of a mould in a perfectly industrialised process, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Resin work requires hundreds of hours in chiselling, grinding and sanding in a myriad of grades just like marble does with the difference that it is a much harder material.
Your website also says you “unite[s] Pop aesthetics with social comment to address some of the most pressing and difficult issues in today’s society”. What issues do you address through your work? As a follow up, do you believe an artist has a responsibility to address societal issues in their art?
From in your face fake arses to vulgar obsession with displaying “price tags”, from corrupt politics to the inevitable collateral damages, from man made religions to the inability to empathize with one another, from race to race where colours seem to be more important than they can ever be even to an artist.
I can go on and on but I think the responsibility lies with all of us not just with a certain group of people.
Have you exhibited with Alon Zakaim Fine Art Gallery or in Mayfair before? What do you hope to achieve with this exhibition after your three year hiatus?
I have been exhibiting in Mayfair many times before but this is the first time I have a painting only show.
This show marks for me a major transition from sculpture to painting and fulfills my ambition as an artist to work in all mediums, a trait often forgotten in contemporary art.
If your art embodied a nationality, would it be Italian?
When it comes to art I need three passports: Italian, British and American
Nuvole will be on display at Alon Zakaim Fine Art, 5-7 Dover St. London W1S 4LD from 7 September – 31 October 2018. Gallery opening hours are 9am-6pm, Monday-Friday. Weekends by appointment only.