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Guido Dettoni (Milan, 1945) began his artistic route at the end of the 1950s, working with both painting and sculpture in a complementary way. Through the years, he devoted himself more and more to the latter.
The mystical artworks of Christian inspiration belong to the sixties. It is only since 1990 that they appear again. With the first exhibition of the work MARIA in Barcelona in 1998 he decided sign his mystical artworks adding to his name the one of his mother, della Grazia.
Besides aesthetic research and academic engagement, since 1969 his work is mostly the result of the encounter between hands and matter. So he molds malleable matter, often blindfolded. The hands see and the eyes touch until they attain the final shape which is meant to reach everybody’s hands. The original hand held shape is further enlarged, so that what we are containing might in its turn contain us.
To communicate and to share: two wills which united in the practice of the art did led him to conceive the creative and collective process Handsmatter. The process starts with the encounter between hands and malleable matter. Shaping happens with eyes blindfolded while perceiving sensory and intellectual stimulations chosen in advance (I.e. story told music, fragrance and edible elements). Shapes are the outcome. Digital (2D) pictures of one or more points of view of each shape are composed on the screen. The resulting illustrations are meant to interpret and to represent the initial stimulations addressed to senses and intellect, awakening memory and emotions. The composition process might also happen with shapes scanned in 3D. the final result will be obtained through solids printing or numerical control. Thus the outcome will be a shape/sculpture and no more a 2D image.
Documented experiences of Handsmatter realised by Guido Dettoni:
- 1998 Sakpata, the God of the Earth - Cotonou (Bénin)
- 2004 Virtual Saint Félix - Vilafranca del Penedès (Catalonia)
- 2005 Quixote and Sancho - Argamasilla de Alba (La Mancha)
- 2006 The Rosemary Flower - Calvià (Majorca)
- 2006 Herz Jesu - Herne (Germany)).
Aiming at a full communication process, Dettoni completes his shapes/sculptures with an installation that stimulates not only touch and sight but also smell, hearing and sometimes taste. He invites to enter into his installations to live a holistic experience, by establishing with the shape a direct and sensory relationship. So the shape becomes mostly part of a cognitive process and a "tool" to experiment and to discover.
The shape/sculpture can be observed from several viewpoints, each of them showing different aspects of the shape. These aspects, complementary to the touch, evoke visions and sensations previously latent in our memory and imagination. In the Greek sense of the word, they become "truth": what was once concealed is now revealed.