Lúcio Volpini in the Land of Giants

samba arte contemporanea
Mar 13, 2019 3:43PM

Time, space and passage are notions discussed in Volpini's works.

Through both pictorial and three-dimensional solutions, Lúcio Volpini (ES/Brazil, 1962) explores in his works a discussion about the dynamics of the anonymous subject of the big cities, the subject that disappears in the urban crowds. Tensioning the conceptions of painting and sculpture, the artist unites and re-creates these categories for the creation of existentialist scenes, in which the notions of time, space and passage are combined.

In recent years, Volpini has inserted in his works reflections on human existence, both in his physical place and in the imaginary space. The artist is interested in thinking of the movements that occur in the life of the individual, which is inevitably solitary, even in the midst of the crowd. His questions were echoed in Clemens Krauss's work. The series "Continuations" (Kontinuitäten) by the German artist was a source of inspiration for the series “Às vezes eles voltam...” ("Sometimes they come back..."), created by Volpini. Here the construction of the place and of a spatially diminished subject, which sees himself in the immense emptiness, reveals that emptiness is nothing other than that which the subject carries within himself.

Volpini understands that the condition of human being in the world is of an anonymous, transient, small, solitary being, which is continually in the movement of building one's own existence. Therefore, the artist deconstructs the traditional category of landscape to think of it as sublime, as the immensity of the emptiness. The landscape is, thus, a space built from what the human figure carries in itself. The works arise through these reflections on the notions of place and landscape, and on the condition of human as a being that exist and pass - through the streets, through the cities, through life.

In his later works, Volpini has given special attention to the use of scale, which was already present in the series of paintings “Às vezes eles voltam…” ("Sometimes they come back ...") and in the sculptures of the series “Empurradores” ("Pushers"). In these new works, which the artist calls “Terra de Gigantes” ("Land of Giants"), the reduction of the scale of his characters - tiny sculptures in resin or lead - interact with objects such as stones or pieces of wood, and small spaces are built. In these works, Volpini makes the spectator a kind of intrusive observer of the scene, a giant that confronts those characters. It makes the outer space immense, and the spectator an accomplice or voyeur of a small narrative.

Lúcio Volpini at studio in Fábrica Bhering, Rio de Janeiro.

This series of works produced by Volpini was inspired by the old TV series "Land of the Giants”, in which little humans tried to survive in a world twelve times bigger than the Earth, inhabited by giant humans and animals. The relation between scales produced with these works reflects the swing between individuality and insertion in the world, between mental space and physical space. As the artist claims,

“Creating micro sculptures and inserting them into the outer world has the goal of making them containers that at the same time contain and occupy space. Space exists outside and also within each head, and it is in this exercise that a human space is created in physical space.”

The situations created by the artist from this confrontation of scales, if on the one hand can reveal the anguish of the individual in the midst of a world so grand that seems to suppress him, on the other can open to a much more optimistic configuration. One of a contemplative space, of pause, respire, and also creation. A space for the individuality, where one can create or make visible the imaginary spaces. Thus each work is, according to Volpini, a place between the story and the real, a time between the origin and the forthcoming.

Of the works of Volpini's Land of Giants series

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