If There Is Much In The Window There Should Be More In The Room

Sunday, December 26, 2010

See Through Deep Into

Make the connection between the items which are common to each piece and the point/theme the artist is trying to convey.

What literally connects the pieces together? It’s amazing how our minds automatically fill in the gap. The suitcase/briefcase/guitar case is part of the whole statement about what the sculptor is trying to express.

Bruno Catalano gives you something to think/look/wonder about. Bruno is a French artist, who started his carrier in 1990, with a remarkable talent in creating sculptures. He has developed his own style of creating original bronze sculptures - with missing parts.

He was born in southern France in 1960. Though he had admired art since his youth, Catalano didn’t start sculpting until he was 30. He taught himself and with remarkable talent. Since starting with clay, more than a hundred of his trademark travelers have come alive under his capable hands. Since then, he’s had numerous exhibitions in France, the United States, England and China.

But what’s behind his desire to leave out parts and to portray people traveling? Here’s what one of his galleries has to say: “[Bruno Catalano’s] works reveal his desire to capture the viewer’s attention while stamping his unique mark on the subject. … These astonishing works, with their dashed bodies and the determined lack of volume, invite the viewer to mentally reconstitute its limits. … Through his statuary, he re-enacts the adventure of the human species, always between two riverbanks, repelling all borders.”

Fill in the blanks...

Bruno Catalano’s bronze sculptures have one thing in common: they’re drawing a blank, literally. Where there should have been a body, a shirt or an arm there’s, well, nothing. Regardless of whether one calls the series by its original name, “The Travelers” (“Les Voyageurs” in French), or as sometimes suggested, “
In Search of Missing Pieces”, the viewer always has to fill in the blanks.

One could go on but one question, especially upon first being confronted with the art, pushes all others into the background: How is it done? How come the sculptures don’t fall? How can one sculpt around air?

The answer to all those questions is of course: very cleverly. The binding link is so well concealed that at first, the viewer is simply puzzled by the construction. Then, he or she notices the unifying element of all sculptures: a suitcase, bag or guitar case that’s casually being carried by the person in one hand. And that connects the torso (or what’s left of it) with one leg. Very clever indeed.
The other leg is sculpted separately and simply placed next to it and suddenly, the air seems sculpted too.

Sometimes, that might not even be necessary as the sculpture below shows. The picturesque landscape seems to add what’s missing. Maybe a message to all of us to become a bit more transparent?






  1. "It’s amazing how our minds automatically fill in the gap."

    Two things come to mind for me here. One is that demonstration of how words can be misspelled, with letters missing, etc., and a sentence can be still be understood.

    The other is the Dali-like surrealistic art, in which there are dismembered body parts, floating in space, with strange goings-on in the rest of the picture.


  2. When people stand
    before a seeming
    sense of void,
    when nothing subsists,
    after things seemed
    scattered, detached,
    we don’t lose our
    gift of imagination.
    We don’t wrap ourselves
    in no-thought.
    If so it pleases,
    with willing eyes
    enslaved by
    unquenchable curiosity,
    you look beyond, like,
    you're stretching
    out your sight to
    something that’s just
    not there and
    we understand...

    We fill in the gaps,
    search for a connection,
    all the while wondering
    how and what holds
    these sculptures up,
    where their luggage
    and bags will take them
    and why these
    postures of motion....