Livio Scarpella is a contemporary Italian sculptor whose work harkens back to the incredible craftsmanship of marble sculptors from the 1700s. His artistic veiled busts impressed us.
His series “Ghost Underground,” which depicts ghostly souls, both peaceful and in anguish, are influenced by the famous veiled sculptures that rest in the Cappella Sansevero, a chapel in the historic center of Naples, Italy. The figures seem to be in eternal conflict with their materiality, trapped like lost souls within the confines of stone.
Opposite destinies (the “blessed” and “damned”) are signified through either a light quartz or dark amethyst rock placed near the heart of the sculpture. The crystals also serve an interesting contrast between the softly veiled faces, reminding us that, indeed, both are stone-hard.
Meet also the busts by Christina West HERE!
In this series the artist uses the aesthetic dialogue normally associated with classical Renaissance masters, establishing the suggestion of movement within the frozen busts; necks contort, and mouths hang open as if to speak. Visual weight is distributed uncomfortably, and like Michelangelo’s Prisoners, Scapella’s figures yearn for escape, gasp for air.
Like a moving, writhing funeral shroud, the fabric is rendered with the utmost delicacy and softness, affording the busts a ghostly significance, as if they were invisible men and women defined only by the cloth in which they are contained. Like those caught frantically between life and death, the haunting figures seemingly do battle with the elements of the natural world and its order. As they strain against stone, they are powerfully anchored by spectacular quartz and amethyst held steadfastly to their chest. Like an external representation of the soul or spiritual self, the burdensome yet magnificent gemstones lie cradled within the airy fabric above the heart.
Meet more artistic busts HERE!