My imaginative faculty results from different elements handed down over to me from people living in distant times and places: the clay loom Appenines of Italy, the extinct populations and the survived cultures of the Andes, the mysterious arts of Africa, and the global world that mixes any kind of experience in a virtual circulatory system, in the mass media and on board low-cost flights.
When I deal with mineral materials and the heat that gives them a consistence, or when, with my camera, I get lights and shadows to coagulate and then move, I don’t purport to create anything new: I just look for the forms through which my mixed-race forefathers – in whose blood Europe, Africa and America got mixed,- expressed themselves.
I have of course studied academic sculpture, I have been to art galleries and I have admired museum collections, but I owe my most peculiar characteristic to something else: I leave a space in my mind where my inner voices, which make up my tangled genetic code, can resonate; I listen to native South American women who, after cooking, tell me how, by playing with scraps, one can mold small figures with bread crumbs or potato starch just as they do with their technically perfect clay pottery cooked in the patio’s oven; or I get back to the expertise of the potters from Basilicata, my Italian great- and great-great grandfathers that made oil amphoras by following the prescriptions of who knows what remote ancestor that had crossed the Mediterranean sea; or I get the high skills of the Tuscan potters, whose splendours are exhibited in the museums collections, to combine with the skills of craftsmen that molded bowls or idols with the mud of Africa.
Why do I, an internaut and a globetrotter, assume the right to bring all that back to the surface? Why can’t I recognize myself in the original artist that amazes the public with his innovative ideas? Why can’t I feel at ease in the role of one who adds a new meaning to the existing ones? My answer may sound banal: I have learnt some techniques, I have met lots of people, I have kept things in mind, and I have mixed and pugged…
To put it another way: I’m a craftsman into listening; maybe I copy from others or I recast things, I don’t know: things come out like this and I just accept them. However, when I’m at work, I try to understand, and stick to, the rules of the mineral roots of a vase, I adapt myself to the discipline imposed by materials that don’t very often allow for mistakes or adjustments. And I let other people find a meaning in this work, as though I were just a medium. And this meaning very often revolves around some such issues that come out any time I come across people living at the margins, people whose lives are marked by madness and crime.
These so-called deviant subjectivities and their experiences marking (or, rather, defining?) social normality, bring nowadays back to life the inspiration, so often violently effaced by history, of many men and women.