What artists, journalists, critics and friends
told about me.
My curiosity regarding the sculptural research of Emanuele Giannelli has always been directed towards the unusual situations that his work depicts, a sort of serial and inexpressive army that moves though a background of disquiet, a constant presence of the human figure that doesn’t represent any centrality in the world but more likely a disorientation in it. An individuality that has no reason to exist and that is generated, in a world where temporal subversion becomes spatial subversion, a situation of complete upheaval where the shapes and images of the artists work take to life. A kind of humanity born with welders glasses that moves into a reality that embraces multi dimensions in which he orients himself with new found senses; elements that, till now, are represented as a constant in the artists work. The multidimensional artist Patrick Mimran wrote: “Art today will be found where you wouldn’t expect it to be” and surely the project presented by Emanuele Giannelli for the Duomo of Pietrasanta perfectly embodies this concept.
About the artist
The name of the exhibition Identità alterate (Altered identities) intends to point out the key aspect of Giannelli’s research, which - unintentionally perhaps - is summarized by the quote “as the face is the image of the soul, the eyes are the interpreters” (De oratore, M. T. Cicero): having established an interest in the human body, which most certainly matured during his years as a student, it is necessary to dwell on the outline of the face.
Being from Rome and having lived there for nineteen years I was able to visit the classical museums of the city, and observe the paths and evolution of ancient sculpture. At the Academy of Fine Arts with Emilio Greco in Rome first and then with Floriano Bodini in Carrara, we worked on figurative art a lot and I always saw it as a challenge, looking for improvement and fusion. Over the years I thought of figurative art as a conceptual element, bringing together proportions, twists and muscles with theoretical objectives, making figures become ideas and thoughts and human sculptures become mental representations. Finding a balance between figurative art and conceptual art wasn’t easy: the risk of academicism or of trivial search for beauty is always lurking. What’s important is to know when to stop and to let outside energies intervene, attaching a bolt to a back, making lines and cuts into wounds, microchips, mechanical parts and looking for elements that draw the attention to contemporary concepts. The challenge of figurative art remains, and there is a lot of work to do to juxtapose the human figure to modern neurosis and change.
I think social and political involvement should be expected by every artist. Art is a crucial tool for looking into, examining and portraying the contemporary world. Problems connected with bioethics, biodiversity and body manipulation can - and must - start a debate. Lets not forget that the natural essence of art is communication. I have no certain answers, but through my research I plan on asking questions to fuel debate and confrontation.
About the artist
Emanuele Giannelli comes out of the shadows for the first time. His success was inevitable and lately, his work has expanded and grown larger, making it difficult to express his vision in restrictive and contained spaces. Although the exhibition spaces were large in the recent Spoleto and Viareggio shows, they confirmed the urge for a challenge with urban landscapes. While the strong references to figurative art from the past and inclination to identify and interpret the present and the uncertain immediate future, typical of the artist’s values for some time, were in themselves positive factors for the challenge of displaying sculptures in public spaces, his recent, larger work highlights the inevitable need for generous exhibition spaces.
Art has to encourage communication between people. Society is ever-changing and consequently artistic research must also be in line with the times and look for new drive, advancement and unusual transitions: it must be able to approach innovation. Unfortunately nowadays artists often deal with a tight network of experts and critics excluding prospective consumers. I think creating a language for a restricted group of people is wrong. Art is sharing.