July 3, 2023
Artist Bruno Catalano‘s fragmented sculptures have touched down on the Amalfi Coast, along the southern edge of Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula. Four of his Travelers are displayed on the waterfront, with the stunning Amalfi landscape filtering through their fractured bodies.
As a French artist with Italian origins who was born in Morocco, Catalano feels a strong kinship with these voyagers, who walk with suitcases in hand, he tells My Modern Met.
“In my work, I seek movement and the expression of feelings; I make new forms emerge from inertia and manage to smooth them out to give them new life,” shares the artist. “Coming from Morocco, I too have traveled with suitcases full of memories that I represent so often in my works. They contain not only images but also life, my desires: my origins on the move.”
Among the works on display is Blue de Chine, which is dedicated to migrant workers who travel far and wide in the hopes of being able to support their families. The sculpture’s blue tint is intended to evoke the uniforms of workers and seamen. The piece is highly personal for the artist, as he was also one of these workers, coming to France from Morocco with just a suitcase.
Two of his other sculptures, Hubert and Simone (see photo above), are a study in contrasts: Hubert, bare-chested and barefoot, is a humble traveler with a carefree spirit. Sculpted with a body reminiscent of Hellenistic sculpture, his bronzed chest is exposed to the elements. By contrast, Simone is elegantly dressed in a suit and tie. He walks with confidence, suitcase in hand. In his oversized luggage, he brings his hopes and dreams with him as he looks out into the distance at his future.
While all of these travelers have their differences, what binds them together are their abilities to blend into their environment. Through the fragmented parts of their bodies, Catalano allows these voyagers to become part of the location, giving them new memories to place in their suitcases.
Thanks to a collaboration between Venice’s Ravagnan Gallery and the Municipality of Amalfi, Catalano’s Travelers will be visible on the waterfront until September 30.
Research contact: @mymodernmet