Catanzaro, Italy, May 2021
In this terrible year I worked exclusively on my concrete sculptures. For my concrete sculptures I use my personal clothes. During some artistic processes, in which I use plaster, resin and cement, I transform them into works of art to hang.
My memories, my DNA… it all remains concretized inside, transforming the person who looks at the works into a sort of postmodern archaeologist who studies my works as if they were urban artifacts. Under a layer of concrete are my clothes with which I lived through this nefarious period.
I like to think that those who look at my sculptures made in 2020/21 will be able to perceive the anguish, the vulnerability, the fear that each of us felt in the face of a planetary problem that was COVID-19 … clothes that survived the pandemic, very similar to those that survived the catastrophic eruption of Pompeii of 2,000 years ago, capable of recounting man’s inability to face the tragedy of broken lives and destroyed economies.
The reinforced cement, the concrete, was created two thousand years ago by the Romans. It tells a millennia-old story, one full of amphitheaters, bridges and roads that have conquered the ancient and modern world. Now, concrete is a synonym of modernity. Everywhere you go, you find a concrete wall: there’s the modern man in there. From Sydney to Vancouver, Oslo to Pretoria, this reinforced cement is present, and it is this presence which supports writers and enables them to express themselves.
The artistic question was an obvious one for me: if man brought art on the streets in order to make it accessible to everyone, why not bring the urban to galleries and museums? With respect to my painting process, when a painting has completely dried off, I brush it with a particular substance that not only manages to unite every color and shade, but also gives my artwork the shininess and lucidity of a poster (like the ones we’ve all had hanging on our walls).
Over the last year more than 150 international journals have written about my project. So despite restrictions that kept us from organizing or visiting exhibitions, my work managed to reach people through the pages of magazines published around the world: from Alaska to Thailand, from the continental USA to Russia. And now New Zealand.
Mario Loprete lives in a world that he shapes through virtual, pictorial and sculptural movements, transferring his experiences and photographing reality through his mind’s filters. He has refined this process through years of research and experimentation. Of this series he says: ‘The sculpture is my lover, my artistic betrayal to the painting that voluptuous and sensual lover that inspires different emotions which strike prohibited chords. This new series of concrete sculptures has been giving me more personal and professional satisfaction recently. How was it born? It was the result of an important investigation of my own work. I was looking for that special something I felt was missing. Looking back at my work over the past ten years, I understood that there was a certain semantic and semiotic logic “spoken” by my images, but the right support to valorize their message was not there.’