Giampaolo Bertozzi and Stefano Dal Monte Casoni met while students at the Gaetano Ballardini Ceramic Art Institute in Faenza, Italy. In 1980, the pair opened a ceramics production company called Bertozzi & Casoni s.n.c. Their current and second show at the Meatpacking District's Sperone Westwater features recent sculptures of "found objects rendered in ceramic" (from the press release). The works showcase the duo's incredibly realistic and life-like style. Seriously, Grottesca (testa Gorilla su piatto) looks so real, it almost made me cry! As the press release states, "Their precision of technique and composition make the works hover between the real and the surreal."
With the subtle "political nature and satirical content" in the pieces, Bertozzi & Casoni "create scenes that depict the aftermath of modern human consumption and the fragility and transience of life." In the massive Composizione n. 12 (Cicogne), two storks nest on top of hill composed of oil barrels, plastic crates, and garbage - "[T]he birds become the innocent inheritors of our waste products." In Composizione-Scomposizione, five large-scale panels feature mazes of pipes and valves with items like astrological images, Virgin Mary figurines, and newspaper pages peeking out from behind them - all suggesting human internal plumbing and the assorted crap we consume.
Bertozzi & Casoni infuse powerful messages into their works composed of amazingly realistic reproductions of junk. "The artists push the meaning of the work, as they do the medium of ceramic." Learn more at Speronewestwater.com. Through March 20th.