Many works by the recently late Polish sculptor Igor Mitoraj (March 26, 1944 – October 6, 2014) grace the Piazza del Duomo in Pietrasanta! I like his work, the way over life-size big bronze sculpture being impressive in and of itself, but sometimes I find myself leaving a bit depressed. His figures are idealized, or perhaps imitations of idealized figures, such as were made by the Greeks. They are beautiful and no doubt well made, but I am not sure of which emotion he hopes to elicit from me.
Walking amongst the larger-than-life figures (as was the great experience in the main piazza of Pietrasanta) tends to make me feel small, as if I am nothing meandering in a sea of a dead ancient civilization. These are all relics and I find myself feeling a sense of loss, but I am not sure of what? But I also find myself a bit curious: Who were they? Why do they find themselves in pieces and lying around, seemingly unwanted? Why does Mitoraj like the squares, some empty, others, as show here, with a face inside. I can think of many interpretations, as I am sure that you can. So, the art works in the end because it does help us ponder, and each viewer takes from it what he wishes.
That said, this cracking clay series intrigues me. I tend to like the beauty in destruction at whatever speed. I have taken some close-up shots so that you may see his mark-making in the clay, the armature (supporting framework, in this case, metal), and how the sun is drying out this clay and causing it to give Mitoraj’s signature cracking. His work “Passo Segreto” is shown here.
I find this process fascinating. I would like to know more about it actually. Not only because the artist Mitoraj died last October and thus, I wonder if these creations are done by others, but to his specs, or even whether this is not actually clay that is drying out in the piazza, but is in fact, BRONZES made to look like cracking clay. But I suspect the former.
Mud tends to crack in patterns. Fractals are the mathematical term for the lines/designs of these shapes. You may see some of the dramatic patterns here. I am curious how much is totally natural and how much is altered by the armature underneath. I also took a shot of the underside so that you may see this armature. I saw Mitoraj’s work in several other places and he occasionally makes a sculpture that seems intended to be displayed against a wall. Or, he enjoys showing “his undies.”
This exhibition titled “Mito e Musica” [Myth and Music] in Pietrasanta continues through 30 August.
|Cracking Clay (sculpture detail)|
|close-up of eye & socket Mitoraj sculpture|
|Metal armature on the back/inside of the giant face sculpture|