BRUNO CATALANO (1960 – )
alt. 170 cm – ed. 8/8
Carried out 2017
The journey as a metaphor for life and the suitcase as the only material object to take with you, in which to keep your experiences. This is the focus that the Franco-Moroccan artist (but of clear Italian origins) Bruno Catalano wants to investigate in his Voyageurs series, of which the sculpture of the Fondazione Sorgente Group is part.
And travel is a fundamental aspect of this artist’s life. Born in Morocco, he moved to Marseille as a teenager, then when he was twenty he embarked for 3 years as a sailor. Completely self-taught, Catalano approaches sculpture by studying the works of Rodin, Giacometti and César, to assimilate their secrets and then personalize them, distort them, shatter them. In his intentions, the sculptor lets himself be inspired by everyday reality, the models of his travelers are real people who are part of his life: the girl protagonist of this sculpture is in fact his daughter, Emilie.
Each person is accompanied by her baggage that identifies and characterizes him, as if it were an extension of his personality. The businessman carries a briefcase for 24 hours, while the musician carries a guitar case. The suitcase thus becomes the fulcrum of the sculpture, it reveals the character and reinforces its peculiarity. And above all it embodies and unites the different parts of a traveler (and not just metaphorically). Speaking of the importance of luggage, the artist himself in a precise interview: “In the suitcase of travelers there are memories, nostalgia, the weight of life, ties .. but also hope, pride and the desire to live “.
Although the sculptures in this series all have an edition of 8 (plus two artist’s proofs), they are actually different from each other, made unique by small details that emerge from careful observation. All the characters are finely dressed in detail, with moccasins and watches on the wrists. They are therefore not figures similar to the flows of migrants who cross the Mediterranean Sea from Africa, but like the latter, Catalano’s Voyageurs are also looking for a new life, even if not material. For them the change is purely internal. These globe-trotters are therefore in search of the meaning of human existence, which they intend to reach through the experience of travel, to fill a gap that tears them apart from within. Literally. A void that the artist makes clearly visible in his sculptures, however attributing to it a further meaning: that of merging and at the same time confusing these characters with the surrounding landscape, making them become an integral part of the environment. In perfect harmony with the world they pass through, as the spirit of a true traveler should be.