Astonishing marble sculptures by Fabio Viale

Fabio Viale uses a traditional and pretentious medium to reflect on contemporary thought and behavior, with references to art history – a focus on Italian sculpture – and symbols that have shaped and continue to influence human beliefs and ideals. His remarkable technical mastery allows the artist to create from marble accurate and intricate replicas of everyday objects and life-size Venuses or Madonnas, with the texture and appearance of styrofoam, paper, rubber or tattooed skin.

Two different cultures and ways of seeing juxtapose in the first image, a sculpture created after western ideals of beauty and perfection yet physically marked by the art of Japanese tattooing. The following sculpture is a Madonna, which opens its arms to embrace the faithful. However, the gesture lacks authenticity due to the styrofoam texture with various intended imperfections. The highly commercialized religious icon thus becomes a product that is representative for a thriving market of souvenirs, and an idol to blindly cherish by those unable to grasp its spiritual essence. In a humorous approach that also carries the profound symbol of man’s aspiration to eternity, two white rubber-like tires are intertwined to suggest infinity under the watch of what seems to be an empty paper bag mask. Finally, a clenched fist and a baseball bat evoke anger and revolt, and perhaps the violence defining the past, as well as the present.

Together with the extraordinary attention to detail and precise manipulation of material, it’s the irony resulting from the recontextualization and clever mixture of such powerful symbols and common objects that makes the sculptures truly unique and thought-provoking.

Fabio Viale

Fabio Viale

Fabio Viale

Fabio Viale

Fabio Viale

Fabio Viale

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Images © Fabio Viale

More info on his website.