with Massimiliano Pelletti
Elegantly Sculpted Busts by Massimiliano Pelletti Interpret Art History Through Imperfection
Italian artist Massimiliano Pelletti (previously) gravitates toward imperfection, and his practice revolves around transforming presumed defects like impurities, cracks, or chips into elegantly carved figures. Pink marble sliced to reveal the stone’s pillowy, crystalline insides bisects the artist’s interpretation of Venus de Medici, while in “Blue Venus,” marbled sodalite and Mexican white onyx are spliced together into a fully formed bust. Contrasting smooth segments with the rough texture of unpolished stone, Pelletti evokes art history and ancient sculpture traditions through the lens of flaw and fallibility.
This focus on the material determines much of the artist’s work—his studio is conveniently located in Pietrasanta near caves filled with the precious stones he utilizes—in addition to the way green onyx or black marble, for example, interacts with light. Understanding absorption, reflection, and illumination has grounded his practice and is a skill he’s developed for decades. He explains:
When I was a child, I used to go downstairs to my grandfather’s studio, and I could find him working marble, always next to the same window; from there, during certain hours, a magical light entered that could make the sculpture almost alive, with a soul. When I pointed it out to him, he answered me: “My dear, the light is so important. There are some works that should be sold with the window that lights them up”.
Pelletti is currently working toward a solo show slated for May 2023 in London, in addition to a series of sculptures set for display in a public square in Italy. Until then, follow his practice on Instagram.
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The Crystalline Busts of Massimiliano Pelletti
Italian artist Massimiliano Pelletti works within a variety of materials including marble, bronze, and stone to carve elegant busts and human forms that evoke echoes of ancient sculpture while infusing each piece with a contemporary twist. Among his more intriguing works are figures carved from white onyx, where the rough crystalline edges are left largely intact as a juxtaposition to smoothly carved faces. Embracing the imperfect elements of his chosen mediums appears to be one of Pelletti’s hallmarks, as he often accentuates or even highlights cracks or breaks in the rock.
Pelletti lives and works in Pietrasanta, Italy where he attended the Stagio Stagi Art School. You can follow more of his work on Instagram and Artsy.
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