Staring at the Sun, 1998 Mamiano, Parma, Italy Welded metal sheets, painted Size (cm) 60/100 W x 300D x 240 H
Lightness, torsion, tension, brightness, movement and warmth by means of shape and color are the visual effects perceived, defying the actual weight of the steel; the landscape compliments the sculpture with a sense of musical harmony. It was built more as an idea not as an object with its own enclosed space -- knowing no limits or boundaries. More than a space, it is a place.
This Stairway was designed and built in memory of my brother, killed in a car accident at age 16. Our parents wanted to build something that was not a traditional monument but a rather a young, joyful, and living contemplative and spiritual place that could be used by everyone. I conceived this symbolic object made of red-painted metal sheets welded together, bolted to a reinforced concrete foundation underground. The challenge was to create a single object that carried the emotional burden of tragedy and yet that could inspire hope, contemplation and belief. The cost was $5,000. The high platform allows to watch the sunset and the landscape from a higher point like a belvedere; traditional monuments prototypes were altered by eliminating any type of monumental stand (that would have detached the spectator from the artwork) and by creating a structure that can be used and lived, completed by human presence). Instead of an inner supporting structure I chose a structural form or structure-shape. Un-grinded welds express the sense of unhealed wounds or scars, the color accentuates this effect.
The color is Red, color of the Sun at sunrise and sunset, vivid (alive), full of light even in rain or fog. The sculpture’s longitudinal axis, East-West, follows the travel of the Sun. The sun casts a shadow on the lawn: its shape changes, giving the idea of time, life and movement. The shadow, moving, symbolizes a living presence and at the same time it makes us feel the relentless weight of absence. A place of prayer, a way to get in touch with the transcendent, the stairway is a mediation between heaven and Earth: the meaning of Ascension and resurrection is evident in the upward expansion of the structure; the absence of a plinth and the small footprint at the point of contact with the ground accentuate the character of lightness; as in the dream of Jacob (angels of heaven ascending and descending a stairway) this place wants to be a landing from and towards the sky.