MILAN, Italy — Graziano Locatelli is an artist based in Milan who creates tense sculptures all based around the theme of broken objects. He states that he draws on a “chaotic childhood” that led into a fascination with damaged things.
Above image: Graziano Locatelli, 1995, 2012, 124 x 140 cm. Photographs courtesy of the artist.
It sounds like Locatelli was an urban explorer growing up. He said industrial ruins were common around his isolated town and so the shape and condition of those objects formed the basis of his aesthetic sense. He describes his work:
“I am driven by the desire to modify the inevitable fate of familiar, unpretentious objects, while exploring the meanings and feelings that abandoned places can bring up in those who lived there — hence the use of bathroom and kitchen tiles to recall the ordinary and everyday life. After a few attempts at mixing cement, glue and tiles, I created a copious body of work which I think embraces both realistic and dreamlike spaces, representing the sort of ruins inhabited by ghosts that still retain the memory of life.”
“Breaking” here is different than “destruction,” which doesn’t seem present in Locatelli’s repertoire. We most often see “breaking,” in the present sense. The most striking of these is the upper body of a blindfolded man breaking through a wall of what appears to be white brick, as though he’s swan diving through it.
“Broken” as a thread is more narratively interesting to me. I find myself looking at some of the odd ways the tiles have been crushed, cracked, chopped or disappeared and I wonder what happened to them. I look at people the same way and in either case my curiosity will never be satisfied.
Bill Rodgers is the Managing Editor of cfile.daily.
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