Stefano Bressani - Sculture vestite

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“Welcome to the world of fabrics”…. This is how Stefano Bressani greets people when you meet him for the very first time.

With this sentence, which recalls some images of the cinema, you can find the very essence of the art of this explosive artist. This is true because what Stefano Bressani wants to show is a new world, very personal and original at the same time, which finds its roots in the experimental and pyrotechnic mind of the same artist.

It would be easy to compare this world made of bright colours, energy, film icons and music to pop art. So we will enclose it in the story already known to everybody. But this art is, on the other hand, absolutely original, a unique language created with unique instruments.

“Sculture Vestite” by Stefano Bressani open their doors to a new way of thinking, of seeing and of conceiving art.

Stefano started from the attraction he had for Picasso’s works, especially in his Cubist Period. This is why the fragmentation and the reassembling of the images are part of Bressani’s stylistic and technical research which has become his own artist’s work.

The experimentation of new supports and the love for fabrics have originated everything, and a steady base acquires the tri-dimension of life, thanks to colours and different textured fabrics.

Painting is a job for blind people: you don’t paint what you see, but what you feel and what the things you saw are now telling you.” This is what Picasso said while he was giving a definition of his art, and this is how Stefano Bressani, in some ways, translates his own emotions and sensations into his original technique.

When something or someone catches the eye of the artist, the image is captured and immediately drawn in black and white. This is the very starting point when the work of art is born.

The memories, which the image left in the mind together with the fantasy free to express itself, create the whole: Stefano fragments the images on a rigid support and only after he starts to paint them, he transforms anything that comes from his mind  and soul in pieces of fabrics, which are put together in different colours as well as textured fabrics. They then contribute to create that life which “sculture vestite” are full of.

Bressani’s works catch immediately the attention of the watcher, turning him as a part of the work which is made to be seen and interpreted with different eyes: those deep sights in the portraits which tell the essence of someone who has been captured by the artist, the geometric forms of metaphysical architecture which offer sudden perspective views, cult objects which become alive.

It is quite natural an obvious to try to touch what we have in front of us: the combination between the two senses, sight and touch, as well as the predominance of the touch over the sight, give birth to intense emotions.

And a secure movement, i.e. the insert of a real nail in the work of art, seals visions and emotions forever.

Carlotta Canton
DAVICO Art Gallery - Tourin


 Stefano Bressani’s work is the result of on original contamination between pop art and the filter of a personal research on the technique of collage. The themes in his works are part of a cultural universe, such as the one of the heroes of cinema and television, who are alive through the graphic and photographic image transfer in a system that breaks down the icons into pieces, areas and surfaces. The technique of collage, skilfully improved through an experimentation which tends to reach a formal perfection, has developed in recent years to achieve a distinctive and personal style.

The peculiar line that characterizes this language can be identified in an attempt to give a texture to the images represented by a metamorphic and creative act which imprisons them in a textile surface and in a plastic support. The technique consists of copying the image and printing it on cartoons, transfer it later to polystyrene supports that are engraved along the lines of the image in order to form real color plates, which, in the final result, turns out to be the elements of the illustration itself. The art of breaking into color zones represents an exercise in an optic projection of great precision which allows the artist to form a grid in which he can create the most suitable colors, according to chromatic scales and nuances. 

But choosing a color does not finish with a simple background. The fabric, carefully chosen as mosaic tiles, is used in accordance with the brightness of the material to synthesize a new figure, shifted manually with the precision of mechanical plotter. Moreover it is varied according to a wise use of the potential tissue color (which includes various types of it), from elastic fabric to fake leather, from lace to lamè.  The metaphor of the insect, i.e. the animal that wears a chitinous exoskeleton plaque, whose joints are just engraved (in sectum = cut-in) is the one which better makes the idea of the technique by which the metameric patches are assembled, like a Harlequin suit in which the different colored fabrics are not sewn together, but put on a recorded medium and wedged in it. The act of creating textile surfaces deprived of their sartorial connection also contaminates the tradition of “Arazzeria”, saving the connection but giving birth to a contamination between this technique and that of collage.  The images, which seem to be painted with a needle and thread, are in fact deprived of their traditional sewing, in favor of a feeble insertion in a plastic body. The choice of the materials is of primary importance: each color section, such as wood inlays in the choirs of churches (eg the work of Da Lendinara) is chosen according to grain and color, with an experimental study, deserving a stone wall polychrome. However everything is characterized by poverty epidermal material, which fits in the tradition of poor art against the hierarchy of materials (bronze, marble, glass, plaster, wood and papier-mâché) which represent the Renaissance art and have long been undermined from research in contemporary art: for example the “Venere degli Stracci” by Michelangelo Pistoletto.  The translation of film legends and pornographic icons turns out into dimensional puppets and this leads us to read and understand the iconographic choices of the artist as an attempt to research and appropriation of this double world operated by a spectator leaning heavily to the fetishism. On one hand the lack of an active and central participation, so to speak “universal”, in the world of icons does not generate a passive and liturgical “iconization” of them all, but, on the other hand, it generates a frustrated transfiguration of their bodies in a malleable material, which turns the human beings into holy objects, provided with an alter ego, because the sacred has always a double face. Through this choice the artist distills his poetic unmasking.  Bressani’s anthropological operation does not finish with the fetishism of icons of the entertainment world, removing them from their universality and affecting them or better engraving them in a system of personal reference and areas. He makes them plain in the balance he uses by opposing the perfect world of celebrities the one of the evil, the carnival world of pornography, of prostitution and disguises. As if he wanted to work on the actors through changes similar to those of cosmetic surgery, the artist reveals in a very feeble way his hurt feelings and clarifies his human message. For this reason, every glossy portrait of the stars should be accompanied (as a pendant, or a medieval diptych) by a panel of pornographic subject, as if the Manichean, angelic and demonic presences, could confront in an eternal conflict without losing their expressive power of opposites, until they collide with the antithetical language which gives the simplest of concepts: the conflict between positive and negative, in which the ambiguous dialogue between the two parties is played the contest without end for the moral reason. Neither the Hollywood stars nor the bodies of the vile sadomasochistic followers lose their human dignity, but are in competition in order to attract to them the oscillating tip of the balance on which the artist every single time weighs their souls to transfigure them.


Mauro Di Vito

Historian and Art Critic, Ph.D. in History of Science, University of Pisa.



The artistic production of Stefano Bressani is the result of a personal search, which finds its roots in childhood artist. Rather than trace a history of its formation, in a forensic sense, here I adopt the point of view of the witness, who-stirring narrative and probative purpose - trying to give the reader an idea of the artist, or a portrait, it is only the track chronological catalog of his works and its innovations, but also a profile (east) ethics. This does not mean, however, that the systematic approach is the main instrument of exploitation of know-how, to SB, which is without doubt one of the most important centers of artistic landscape of Pavia in recent years, and that institutions, so attentive to the peculiarities of the territory in the sense of identity, should, over time, taking on such a process.


I will try for pleasure to recognize much more than you can do with a fully developed land of his now massive production. The anecdote I'd like to see me from sharing in the creation of a drawing, done freehand, so precise as to defy today's computer design programs, it is the representation of a car. Back in the 80s of last century in fact, like a little Giotto, SB already knew to draw freehand shapes much more complex of the famous "O" drawn by the father of painting. Admired, I watched with amazement the child perfectum opus, and, in hindsight, I should think as Vasari was right when he said that, in the formation of a youth, the design is the most important means to express a ' idea.


In those forms, however, to those mechanisms and those plates, which are also now own one of the most interesting and profound chapters of his works (the series of "Lambretta" and "Engines"), lacked life. It was a perfect test, but not artistic, because it stops, and mechanics. So it was that under my eyes mesmerized by the precision, SB said: "Wait, lacks the finishing touch!" and, to my great dismay, Biffo the paper with a mark of ink cross on 'car represented, turning it into a scribble. I screamed, as if someone had slashed, not realizing that gesture. I can not say from where S. B. he got the idea, perhaps by early exposure to a cut of Fontana, the fact is that under my eyes, he began to turn that into a sign dinamogramma, in the wake of wind left the car itself, aggiungendovene others, to transform them into slender tail of a comet, to give the project what was missing: the movement through the invention and performazione a provocative and iconoclastic gesture, at once transformed into an unexpected improvement of the design itself.



As these lines were added to the aerodynamic shape I understand their function and pacificavo my senses breathless from attempted destruction averted. How S. B. has come to his technique of "sculptures dressed" (which I define as sieving textile mosaic) is something we can not explain in the space is allotted to us. To be sure, never got it - as often happens in the work of artists conteporanei - for exceptionalism, or being outside the rules, which, however, are to him much more interesting exceptions. What binds him to the conventions (figurative pop-art techniques) is the acceptance of a compromise that allows him to speak so that everyone can understand, reorganizing than a tradition, not standing out, but never completely. In this he describes as protos euretès, ie as the first who, in the history of art, has designed a technique. One of the reasons why an artist was worthy of being mentioned in the stories (such as the Naturalis Historia of Pliny the Elder, or Giorgio Vasari's Lives) was precisely the invezione, the improvement of a technique that led to an improvement of 'art, a creative novelty that develops new forms of language. For example: Parrasio gave the painting the rules of symmetry (Pliny, Nat. Hist. XXXV, 67) ; Verrocchio perfected the technique of the cast (Vasari, Lives, Giunti, [I. 485]) and so on. But we continue to follow the subtext of Girlfriend automatic Maurizio Ferraris, art by SB is primarily an art in good faith is not an art philosophical, in the Heideggerian sense, and that is not immediately leads us to something deeper than the real, but it is undoubtedly extraordinary from a technical standpoint, and especially, Unlike other contemporary artists, and the level of formal development is often not important, in the works of S. B. we find a DC voltage to the improvement to a more complex articulation. For this I like to recall a passage of Aristotle (Historia Animalium, a32 488 - 488 b1), which says that there are animals that have voices articulate, but that some of them express themselves better than others. S.B. is like one of these: the peculiarity of his work lies in its 'ortoepia', ie the ability to reach a formal correctness and expression, a carefully studied limae technical labor, and an effect of precision and incisiveness. So if I were to write life, that is, human portrait of the artistic customs and peculiarities of SB, I would start by saying that he invented the stiacciato textile mosaic. This technique involved the composition of the figures through the linear design, the decomposition of the masses and volumes in plaques engraved on a backing of polystyrene, which is then waved in a sort of bas reliefs associated with a masterly hand modeling, similar to that of 'plastic art. The support is coated finally to weave textiles, as is the case with wooden inlays or stone with the salesperson. The uniqueness of this duty, which is more than a patent, is not limiting (as is often the case for certain artists, who become known to perform with skill only certain kinds, eg the naturamortisti, the portrait painters, the painters of religious scenes and mythological ), but rather opens a field of experimentation and hybrid metaiconografico: crosses, ie, the different subjects, from figurative to abstract. This makes S. B. a complete artist. Ironically, totemism, postmodern and vividness develop a simple message only in appearance: each realization hide different levels of development: the conceptual choice of a subject, its implementation and translation into two-dimensional drawing, thanks to the mapping of the surgical incision lines, section and of commettiture between the tiles; volumetric modeling of these plates, and finally the coloring, which occurs through the clerk textile. The colors, often played on different shades and bright tones, reverse the figure in a universe full of references to our contemporary mythology lived, composed of stars and media icons, all transfigured according to a strict formalism. The cards also differ in their materiality, elasticity, shine, softness, include a number of heterogeneous materials, from the lame ostrich feathers, from the plush leather. Should not underestimate the ability to restore the portraits that painters call the air, namely the ability to express the image of a moral person, as well as that of photography. In his series of portraits, S. B. uses a frequent quotations and dialogue with the pop-art, often crosses into a world underground, button and a tasty ironic eroticism: trans-gender faces of Marilyn Manson and Michael Jackson to those coated Hapburn Audrey and Marilyn Monroe, from urban landscapes, covered with bright colors like red mullet scales and strongly decreased in the local fabric of his city, Pavia, to the most famous statues: like the Statue of Liberty or newyorckese of David by Michelangelo. The ongoing confrontation with the world is innervated in a serial production of images, where the author's creation, having made itself stronger technical mastery, makes it impossible to reproduce the works. This only makes the interpretation of prototypes, be they real or photography: visual artifacts surpass past and present with ease and immediacy unparalleled. S.B. has the ability to engage with creativity in a chain of conventions figurative: the art for him is above all the possibility of a conversation through time. The chain of substitutions with which S. B. creates a gap between the simple and personalized copies of that continuity is the scope and the gold reserve of the artist. This production is even more valuable, rich and unique identity, if you think that is the effect of contamination of self-study, grew up on itself, so that even his city, today, the dedication, deservedly, a personal one.




Prof. Mauro Di Vito


Modern and Contemporary Art, Unige / Art & Medicine Saci Florence



The greatest artists have always been able to attend different genres, as they saw the creative experience as a kind of game: the game of the world. The demiurge artist has never disdained drawing, sculpture, painting, architecture. Often just by contamination between these categories (and by manual skills of their makers) were born masterpieces that have marked the history of art. There are those who see it as a kind of Darwinian evolution towards realism, and those who consider it to be the mirror of our sub-decaying times: art is difficult to be understood today, without a thorough, passionate and subjective research.
In this exhibition Stefano Bressani presents an unprecedented plethora of works that leave amazed at first sight: the visitor will wonder what is the common thread that unites gothic vampires, to super-pop Marylin; colored loricas of Vespas, and vintage cars to the caricatures of famous people (from Mina to Cicciolina, from Jackson to Mr. Bean); and harnessed stallions to the foreshortened views of the Cathedral of Pavia.
The red wire is the one that crosses an un-schematic route of choices. The choices made by the artist, who proves, thus, also to be a collector of icons, namely of faces, animals and objects, and who transforms his world in a vision of fabric-mosaics. Entering this exhibition is like crossing the threshold of a room of wonders, where the theratological parts of caricatures, crippled by the grotesque distorting mirror of the artist's dividing cut, live together with the precise sections of the portraits. Being located in a Wunderkammer, we could not miss the camera obscura, where the dialogue with our Renaissance tradition glows of firefly lights, with the hologram-face of Moses by Michelangelo, located between the almost totemic Skultokubi, which will replace the Tables of the Law in a cyber installation worthy of a postmodern Academy of Secrets. And these compact and composite solids mark the transition to the third dimension, towards art & crafts, with the crowning of an evident technical virtuosity, that could only veer towards the design: the shoe model, in collaboration with Maisonderriere, intended to leave an important footprint, and it is, no doubt, turning up to new creative horizons.
Fitting into a well-established Pavese School of Pop artists, Bressani is configured as one of the most original interpreters of contemporary life, and not just through an issue of revival of the myths of the present day, but also thanks to the invention of a unique technique: the textile mosaic stiacciato.
A promising young artist, who, in recent years, has established himself with a greater expressive power in the international arena, and has been able to work with a rare formal refinement and a unique design language, always full of surprises.


Mauro Di Vito

Art Historian - University of Genoa


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