Active for several years in the roman artistic landscape, Paolo Garau is an accomplished professional. On one hand several collaborations one after the other (don’t forget, between the most significant, his solo – show Wandel Des Menschen at sox36 gallery in Berlin and Interazioni Plastiche at Anzio Villa Imperiale, near Rome), on the other hand his intellectual and personal prestige powered by the time spent on artistic research and the humble and strong attitude of the artist.
Recently selected in October 2017 for taking part in Rome Art Week, the sculptor is now involved with the curator Roberta Melasecca in the implementation of new projects designed to promote his art on a major scale. Like the three artworks just located at MAAM (Museo dell’Altro e dell’Altrove di Metropoliz) in Rome.
His classicist spirit is mediated and moulded from the artist’s engine of innovation: then hiss artwork has become another thing, changing and deconstructing to rediscover itself like a third artifact generated by classical antiquity that marries contemporaneity. So, the form cut, the body parts cast, the research on material are revealed as tools for formal evisceration of plastic support.
Thus, his research is now focusing on sculptural fragment, that stimulates him towards new volumes and new shapes, broadening his knowledge as experimenter.
During the interview, Paolo Garau reminded us of the moments that mostly influenced his artistic choices as well as the most intense moments of his partnerships; one of this has driven him towards the teacher career in parallel to the sculptor profession.
What are the origins of your artistic productions?
I was so lucky to have a teacher, Roberto Almagno, who conveyed to me the passion for sculpture. It was an important meeting that probably influenced my choice to become a teacher.
The archaeological collections and the plaster cast gallery both had a stimulating role too.
Most of all, we could say that being born in Anzio has been a precious element. To give you an example, I remember that few years ago there was a swell on the beach that discovered some ancient sculptures and in the discovery moment I was there. That was an important moment too. In this situations the imagination is very stimulated: the stories of that fragments, having in ancient times, its own structure, have been united with the stories of the inhabitants and make the way for imaginary speculation on its past.
Moreover, also the imperial villas and the caves of my region had a role, as well as travelling around Italy, Greece, Turkey and Germany, these trips have allowed me to observe archaeological and ancient memories of great cultures.
The fragments received in that places, out of context and deconstructed compared to its flashing past, have assumed not only obviously other shapes but also other values.
Could we say that your artistic direction and the consequential research on formal component was influenced by the meeting with professor Almagno and the city you were both born in?
Yes, it was a combination of these two factors.
What’s the art user role in the interaction with your artworks? Especially concerning Enigmas Sphinx, at present at MAAM in Rome, which converses in a particular way with the observer.
That artwork story is complex. Between 2016 and 2017, I had a space inside the “Serpentone” at Nuovo Corviale, a suburb district very hard to live in. At the time some State funds had been invested for projects implementation in order to upgrade it; but, like it has often happened, the promises haven’t been kept.
So, living there is still difficult and its atmosphere affects the daily life. In order not to suffer this situation but to make my positive contribution, I had thought three sites – specific artworks, three characters that represent as many aspects, like the strenght of mind, the inner meditation and the joy.
Later on the premises changed to guarantee the artwork to be displayed and it was decided to move it to MAAM, after Giorgio De Finis’s invitation to do so. That’s ok for me. I’ve always been fascinated from the multicultural cohabitation success of that place which gives a good example and brings value to the project, despite all the difficulties.
Are you represented by some galleries now?
No, but I’ve worked with many galleries like the Arturarte from Viterbo or the Galerie Im Burggarten from Rothenburg, only to mention some of them. I’ve spent time for artistic research only for the last few years, cause of personal reasons. I do not exclude to stretch this kind of cooperation.
What was the most pleasant experience you’ve lived in terms of exhibitions?
At Anzio archaeological park, for sure. In July 2015, before Introspezioni Classiche, I had been selected for Shigle22J, the contemporary art biennal of Anzio and Nettuno. The opening was at sunset and the band Memoaria produced songs referred to the artworks exposed: that was an intense moment.
A significant episode that you want to share, in conclusion.
I met Teodosi Magnoni in Sutri. He told me his story wich was an old- time outline, when it used to be still possible to make a living out of art. He is a concise kind of man, extremely essential.
More recently, the partnership with the painter Matteo Montani, a very intellectual rich guy, very energic was very important to me. He asked me for help to create an artwork he had to display in Caserta. We did a good job, made of exchange and very intense moments.