by Alain Chivilò
End of the second decade of the 2000s. Before the start of the three-year global pandemic which unfortunately began in 2020. During a journey in Canary Islands, Gran Canaria to be precise, I met the sculptor Gianfranco Meggiato and his family after long time. Following this greeting, the interview written below, which was never published. After circa four years, light is given sharing this unpublished job.
The artist Gianfranco Meggiato brings a contemporary concept to sculpture. An internal approach that externalizes becoming ethereal. Interweavings of positivity and negativity hover in space. Sculptures that are never static and always interactive in the host place. Shiny, dark, colorful are shaped in the contemporary world and in a constantly changing society.
Please Note: © Alain Chivilò – Art Musa
Gianfranco Meggiato Introsculpture.
I think that a true work of art is born when one fights and struggles against matter, becoming a metaphor for life. So, yes, in a certain sense as for all sculptors and artists in general. In my works, if you see, there is this golden sphere that represents our inner essence. Golden because gold is the metal of the gods. All the paths of life are then reflected on the sphere, these little tubes, often black, which represent difficult moments. But, it is precisely from these moments that we can grow, we can change.
Your sculptures take on international connotations where each country “assimilates” your style as if it were its own. In your opinion, where did the chemistry that allowed this union among culture, nation and your works originate?
At the basis of every culture, depending on the diversity and contrasts that they may have with each other such as for example the Indian or Arab compared to the Western one, there is at the base a substratum of sensitivity and a common feeling that unite them. When through an abstract language, therefore free from iconographic references linked to a specific culture to the detriment of others, explicit inner energy, functional suffering for growth and direct relationship of man with energy, instinctively determines an understanding assimilated by the great part of the visitors. So it happens that, outside the West, my works in Dubai are seen as Arabic sculptures, in Shanghai as Chinese, in Seoul as Korean and in New Delhi as Indian. This confirms what I think is the true content of art: crossing all systems of power and all cultures to get directly to the essence of people.
We are in a materialistic society with a strong use of the body at different levels. What does working with matter in the 22nd century mean to you?
Shaping and modeling hot wax, feeling its softness and the scent of honey has an almost magical, I would say alchemical, meaning. Being able to transform and sublimate the material by condensing concepts and emotions into a piece of wax first and then bronze, which will flow onto the people who look at and can touch these works is the true task of the artist. Even though I am an abstract sculptor, I consider myself classical: I am Italian, I am Venetian and therefore linked, even unconsciously, to the art history of my country. I still admire Michelangelo, capable of sculpting the work of the Prisoners more than five hundred years ago, a shocking contemporaneity, in which the concept, the sublimation is achieved through the working of marble, the hard struggle of the artist who engraves the material with the chisel. The concept therefore in art through the sublimation of matter and not the concept without technique. I do not consider contemporary conceptual works to be works of art but, rather works of applied philosophy, where everything is justifiable, admissible and where there is a need for provocation perhaps to often fill the paucity of content. In this context, the male and female body is used in an increasingly provocative and denigrating way. But man is not just matter! Man is that wonderful union of matter and spirit. We often don’t realize it but we are special beings capable of loving, but also of tasting food, smelling a perfume and this ambivalence is a wealth. I think we need to fight against this logic of strong powers that would like to reduce us all to non-thinking bodies dominated by media orders, as we are wonderful beings capable of a direct relationship with energy, so in short we ourselves are energy.
The Enigma sculpture, exhibited in the Principality of Monaco, marks your entry into monumental sculptures from public environments. What will your action be in this area in the future?
Cap Martin’s Enigma work is the first in a series of monumental sculptures. A 4-year museum exhibition project has started which will lead me to exhibit in the most important American cities and their museums. In this context, much space will be given to these great works which characterize the activity of a sculptor in a decisive way. The program of the individual exhibitions is always updated and I invite those who follow me, enthusiasts, interested and admirers, to stay informed with my initiatives.
On a creative level you are based in the Canary Islands. Can you indicate precisely the place, the motivation for this choice and what you will leave from your business in Italy? Have we as a nation sunk low especially in the possibility of making art?
My move to Gran Canaria is still underway, as I am testing the technical capacity of the island’s foundries, which however seem to be of a good standard. The choice to move to Gran Canaria, more precisely to Agaete, a beautiful place located between the ocean and the mountains, was born from the need to find artistic inspiration immersed in the tranquility and simplicity of the inhabitants and in the beauty of the landscape, without all the tensions unfortunately typical of our country in this unfortunate historical period. However, I don’t rule out moving to Miami soon to be at the center of the contemporary artistic world. The thing that I think is important for an artist is to feel like a citizen of the world, that is, not tied to a specific territory, but free to move and travel.
Further information: Gianfranco Meggiato sculptor
©AC, NDSL, AM, Alain Chivilo