Graziano Spinosi was born in Bologna in 1958. His research has always been characterized by the use of various different materials. Since 1994 Spinosi has been teaching Contemporary Art Research at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Ravenna. He currently lives and works between London and Santarcangelo di Romagna.
Says Graziano Spinosi: “As a child I built small theaters and cars with waste materials found on the street: sticks, oxidized barbed wire, cardboard. It was a nice game and I lost myself into it: no sin would take the magic away. I used to spend the whole day putting these humble materials together. Today, in the studio where I work, there are the same materials. With no hurry I get closer and try to listen to them. Some materials are talkers, others speak little. A bit like cats, they all have their own character. I try to harmonize with this character,
trying to respect its physiological qualities. I do not like to affirm the value of one thing by denying that of another.
You say one thing to mean that thing and that’s it. Similarly I like to tell a material so to tell only that material. Cardboard is cardboard: arid, dusty, with a hoarse voice; water dismembers it and fire consumes it. It is amazing also for this vulnerability. Steel is nervous, austere and reliable. Iron is tireless and submissive. Plastic is often misunderstood. It is not nice that plastic is turned into faux-leather, faux-wood, faux-plastic.
Despite being a synthetic material, it has the same dignity as the natural ones. Wood makes a sound that resembles that of freshly baked bread. Water is also a material. Like trees, like air, like the horizon. A road and our memory are materials”. Among Spinosi’s artworks there is a series of shoes dedicated to renowned authors of the history of art, dance and literature that were made at “Pastificio Cerere” in Rome, where the artist has lived and worked for a long time.
Says art critic Raffaele Gavarro: “Watching the parade of shoes that was slowly increasing in the study of Spinosi, I had the impression of a special gear up for a trip, in which the only baggage was those same shoes that one might need on the way. A journey on foot, where places are witnessed by the material of the soles and the uppers, different for each location passed through. I think this has been a journey of love and pain and I am not referring only to that of the artists that have worn the shoes.
These are the shoes of Spinosi. It is his love and pain I speak of, as it is ours in the moment we look at those shoes, imagining their life lived virtually and perceiving their death in a museum display case. The rule of visual acceleration continues and shatters inevitably on that moment of space- time fixture that allows our eye to communicate with the soul of mankind. Art often makes this possible.”