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Art: Throw off the bowlines of your mind and cast off

(July 2010) Perhaps one of the funniest works of art produced by Fabio Viale and one of his most beautiful, can be viewed in a video showing the artist meandering down a waterway in Milan in a small white boat. Will it tip or won’t it? as he carefully takes one curve after the next.

Viale is a sculptor and works mainly in marble. But what he produces is more light-footed and funny than heavy art. E.g. the white marble truck tire so realistic that one instinctively looks for the truck to which it belongs. Or the tires so intricately worked showing every detail from the tire thread to the embossed brand name to the point of making a fool of viewers when they realize it is marble after all, albeit black.

Perhaps Viale is an illusionist. He lets us see things that are not really there, e.g. the paper airplane resting against a church wall, which in reality is made of stone.

A closer look at Viales art produces a hearty laugh when a first glance turns into surprise.

So the „Super Gioconda“ modelled after the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci. Is it really made of Styrofoam? Of course not. Or the role of toilet paper or the tattoos on a man’s torso.

Oh yes, lest we forget: the boat meandering along the water way, was, of course, made of marble – chiselled out of one solid block and weighing over one tonne. It did not tip as reliable sources would have it.

So: Throw off the bowlines of your mind and cast off!

Fabio Viale

Video

Photos: Fabio Viale