Nothing is the way it seems to be in the world of Matteo Peducci (1980) and Mattia Savini (1982) , two young talented Italian sculptors that under the name of Affiliati Peducci/Savini challenge our senses and make us doubt for a moment whether we should like their work or not. Having met each other while studying in Carrara, Matteo and Mattia are obviously not afraid of risks and experimentations. They even make the marble look like burned wood or soft foam! Furthermore, their ironic look at classic beauty is by itself a great achievement. Of course, having in front of you some sculptures that seem to have survived out of a terrible fire or a heavy crash is not something usual or ordinary at all.
But despite the aforementioned, what really surprises is the fact that their work still maintains a kind of an awkward appeal, a kind of a strange charm. Behind the distortional proportions and the strange looking aspect of their sculptures, behind the dialogue on forms and textures it is hidden a strong beauty, screaming for our attention. After all, nothing should be taken for granted in this world and art is the best prove of it. Watching the work of Affiliati Peducci/Savini we had the sense that the suffering beauty is in a way more sparkling than the real thing. Thrilled by all of this, we couldn’t help but find Matteo and Mattia through Galleria Rubin, (Milano / Italy) which represents them and let our curiosity take care of the questions. Yes, their answers were more than rewarding!
Dear Matteo and Mattia, do you believe in karmic coincidences? What did βÂ¨you see in each other that made you decide to work together?
We do not believe in Karma even though in one of our professional trips to Thailand we were told that in a past life we were two architects who attended the construction of the temples of Ankor Wat, the ancient capital of Cambodia…
Our encounter was a matter of coincidence. We had both arrived in Carrara to attend the local arts academy and were also looking for a house to live in. We were eager to learn and needed to survive so we shared an apartment and earned a living in workshops where we started exchanging opinions on sculpture while being submerged in the problem solving of our day by day activity as craftsmen.
How is your working process? Would you say that each one of you has a different role or do you decide everything together?
We wanted to start a new studio together for the production of our own original sculptures and we thought that the typical craftsmen’s workshop would be the ideal setting. In order to create our recent creations we started from silicone casts of ancient sculptures of different periods and we subsequently worked in a very classical fashion in order to blend the different models used in a coherent form through the very process of sculpting.
We recently got in touch with a lot of young talents from Italy that use sculpture as their artistic means of expression. Could we speak of an Italian sculpture explosion? Why choosing sculpture after all?
We feel that the return to material objects is becoming necessary in this highly virtual contemporary world. Therefore the artists who are aware of these changes should revert to less conceptual and more tangible works of art.
In which way the personal life of each one influences your work as a duo?
Our idea of art is very practical. Our artistic research is directed towards obtaining new forms and, having this simple perspective in mind, we are not influenced by our respective personal daily lives.
Is the choice of the materials that you are using a declaration of principles? What is the idea behind treating materials in order to appear they are something totally different? Is the creation of illusions your ultimate goal?
Yes, undoubtedly the choice of marble is one of the basic principles in our art because we believe that the development of the particular technique used in carving this material is essential in shaping our artistic personality as well. This is an idea that was also present behind the great accomplishments of famous Italian sculptor Canova. Like the artists of the past, we like to imitate nature and create illusions following Aristotle’s suggestion that “sometimes a not so accurate reality is better than an ugly one”. However, playing with illusions is rather a means to investigate new forms rather than a goal in itself.
You distort sculptures or combine several classical pieces in order to obtain strange human creatures that arouse curiosity and tenderness. Which is the motivation behind this need and which are the most common reactions of the people?
In the case of these works we looked for common aesthetic solutions of the past that could be a source for contemporary forms. We were not interested in merely distorting these existing forms as in discovering what is already present in classical sculpture that can well represent the present age. The reactions to our work are always very strong, whether enthusiastic or bitterly critical. Viewers unconsciously identify themselves in contemporary art. Sometimes this feeling elicits a sense of satisfaction. In other cases people see their own limits mirrored in the artworks and experience a sense of frustration.
What inspires you? Do you have any favorite moment of the day to work or any favorite type of music?
Our idea of art is strictly linked to craft therefore our work schedules are similar to those of most craftsmen. Our main inspiration is the old masters of the past and contemporary life in all its aspects. As for the music we like to listen to while at work… Let us say we find this question rather funny as the noise of the tools in action and the singing of the many workmen who surround us is more than fulfilling!
What is left for you to explore? Tell us something about your futureβÂ¨ plans.
Our investigation in this new direction has just started therefore it is difficult to envision our future clearly. There are numerous projects on the table but what we can be sure of is that we want to develop the technical excellence of our workshop in order to reach the highest creative potential.