Tique | art paper asks six questions to an artist about their work and inspiration.
This week: Marco Maria Giuseppe Scifo.
Lives in Milan
How do you describe your own art practice?
Art is a language, and like all forms of expression, necessity of place, a minimum of two people who practice communicating, and of a tension created to trigger a mechanism. I like to think that I have succeeded sometimes, in the course of my artistic career, creating a temporal space in which the one who participated in the staging of the work, felt part of it and not just in front of it.
What was your first experience with art?
I do not remember my first experience with art, but I remember the first time I tried working with marble. It was a beautiful piece of pink Portuguese marble, and I was only a second-year sculpture student of at the Syracuse State Institute of Art. I had received the task, of copying the left arm of the “Discobolt”. After the first blow of the hammer on the subbia, that resistance of the matter, struck me so deeply, that I stood looking at that piece of marble for days … Fortunately, later on, I managed to perform the exercise with a fair result. Perhaps, at that time, the necessity of giving shape through matter had matured in me.
What is your greatest source of inspiration?
I take inspiration from all that surrounds us, from the people I relate to on a daily basis, from the places I habitually frequent, or simply from a portion of raw, pure, material, perhaps found in a river bed. The habitat is my source of inspiration and all that resides there.
What do you need in order to create your work?
It is simply an intuition, transformed into an idea, and which, through drawing, takes shape, and then glides towards the material, gently, becoming form, sculpture, space, presence.
What are you working on at the moment?
From January, in relation to my new teaching position, at the Academy of Fine Arts in Carrara I undertook another work in progress, entitled “Locus”.
From the Latin locus, it represents a portion of real or abstract space, geographically, it can be seen as a specific part of the earth’s surface.
The etymology of this noun is larger than what one can think of and lives in the simplicity of what surrounds us. What is a place?
It is a term that lends itself to numerous interpretations and multiple ways of use.
Space, territory, area, region, country, location, site, are terms that describe the earth’s surface; the locus is also for an appointment or meeting, a place, a point, center, town, city, country, district, place of worship, entertainment, construction, building, location, environment, class, stratum, scope , office, function, instead, are terms that refer to a figurative sense. Even in anatomy, the place describes, metaphorically or analytically, a point in the body. Place is also the dreamlike image that, by reading a piece, is built in the mind, through sentences and affirmations. It can represent a location, an area, a place, a capital city or a non-place, a symbolic place or finally the destination of an inspection.
What work or artist has most recently surprised you?
It would be easy to name a famous artist, perhaps one whom I admire, like Olafur Eliasson, but I would not be completely sincere.
Every day, artists surprise me by their creative abilities, but perhaps those that impress me most, for their freshness, ingenuity, and for all that they can imagine, are the students of the academies in which I work. Living the mystery of creation with them, sharing their feelings, their fluid energy, surprises me and scares me, every day.
I loved Joseph Beuys and his modus operandi also within the Academy. In 1961 he obtained the chair of Monumental Sculpture at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf he had attended as a student. I would have loved to have listened to him whilst he was sharing the time with his students.