Sandro Chia

Sandro Chia’s sculpture between form and feeling. Sandro Chia’s sculpture is the natural continuation of his work in painting which, within it, cultivates a plastic strength given by his powerful and decided brush-stroke and by the strongly marked volumes, in this case marked by colour. In sculpture, on the other hand, even though it is sometimes accompanied by touches of colour, the main protagonist is the material which Chia controls, shapes and models in a kind of struggle which leaves clear signs and wounds, which move the planes and create movements and reflections that enable us to perceive that feeling for colour which is an essential factor for Chia. Chia’s work, in both painting and sculpture, is a path through art which he probes, revisits and transforms incessantly. His artistic appetite is omnivorous, he fears and reveres nothing; from all over the place he takes what he needs as food and nourishment, in a kind of cannibalistic banquet, digesting everything that the history of art has produced and which, with a personal form of manipulation, he kneads, strips of its flesh and reinvents, giving new life to shapes and images that have now become part of our daily experience. In sculpture this manipulation is even more evident and the shapes, still in classical style, are concealed inside, in a kind of hidden, tormented and barbarian life, at the same time aggressive and docile, elegant and impudent, more evocative of certain great fourteenth-century or medieval sculpture than of Michelangelo’s Renaissance sculpture. Chia’s sculpted forms are manfully powerful, strong, such as to demand and always obtain attention, so that they sometimes become off-putting in their inability to be purely decorative sculpture, in which aspect they are closer to the “Pietà Rondanini” than to the “Pietà” in the Vatican. So it is a more pained sculpture, closer to us from the human point of view and which, in this unfinished sense, possesses all the force of a universal and transverse artistic gesture, with a strong expressionist component of which Chia is the absolute master. Sandro Chia’s direct intervention is plastically evident in his sculpture, while the bronze bears the signs of his manipulations and the decided action of a hand that has probed the material, moulding it and taming it to his will. In my opinion, it is in this way of indicating his manipulating presence that the particular nature of his work in sculpture lies, since it maintains the living and vibrant sense of the act of creation. Chia’s sculpture is wild, tormented, it is not a sculpture one can caress and contemplate, but it has to be lived, tamed, made one’s own, in a kind of pulsation with erotically enveloping connotations: a sculpture that is the child of our perturbed and perturbing times which, under the appearance of an opulent society, conceal all the decay of values and feelings that lies before us. Chia’s sculpture and the reflection of these anxieties, of this torment, are thus the litmus paper of our humanity.