Atelier Dall’Osso is the creative project of Davide and Maria Vittoria, work and life partners, two artists with many different nuances. In the next lines, I’m going to introduce them to you.
Davide Dall'Osso has been working as a sculptor for over 20 years. His goal is to "bring art to the people" by combining the creative component with the concept of circular economy, which nowadays is increasingly recurrent. Davide's works reflect this value starting from the beginning, thus foreseeing an industrial recovery of 80%.
His education background is not how you would imagine. It all started with the theater, an element that comes up frequently in his works. Since his teenage years, Davide began to be passionate about theater, continuing his studies at the school Paolo Grassi in Milan. From here, the theatrical journey continued to other theaters around Italy for 10 years, until he suddenly met the sculpture, or perhaps, it has always been a part of his life…
Why did you choose to associate the sustainability aspect with the artistic one? Did a particular event trigger something in you or did it come naturally?
Nowadays, creative thinking must keep sustainability in mind, or rather sustainability has become an integral part of creative thinking.
Twenty-five years ago I started using industrial waste polycarbonate and plexiglass to make my works; it was pure experimentation, research and having a large amount of material available at an almost zero cost.
Although I have always hated waste in all its forms, I have understood the sustainability of my work by studying. Over the years, deepening the research on polymers, I came to know how much it costs in terms of water, energy and raw materials to make a sheet of polycarbonate 2mm thick. I even came to know how much this wonderful material can pollute if not reused in its recycling cycles and the waste that we all did in those years, not being aware of the separate collections suitable for the recovery of recyclable materials.
Nowadays, whoever has the right look knows that the waste is the new El Dorado: the companies that are able to reuse the waste of their own productions or to make it available to other working realities, have 3 more extras: environment, savings and time.
On your IG profile, we can observe the production process of your works through some videos. Can you briefly describe how it happens?
The waste polymers (or second raw materials) that I recover must be divided into types, cut, then cleaned and adapted to the sculpture that I want to make.
The technical process through which I realize the sculpture is ancient, but supported by contemporary materials. I shape the idea of the body that I want to realize in the clay and in the positive raw clay, I melt the polycarbonate with the direct flame.
Then, once I have sketched the body in the molten polycarbonate, I extract it from the clay, wash it, place it on a base and look at it, trying to understand its dynamism and the tensions that the molten polycarbonate has given it. After that, I take up the flame and with it I melt, open, remove material, trying to accentuate the emotional force of the work, 'aiming' at the ideal zero point of the material. The most emotionally intense sculptures are those that lack material to the point that they cannot be exhibited, because they are structurally too fragile, as often happens to the most sensitive people.
The industrial waste of polycarbonate gives me the possibility to confront myself with multiple typologies of this plastic polymer, from which derive many different textures.
When I imagine the sculpture I'm going to make, I know that I will only be able to 'direct' 50% of my work, the rest is 'in the hands' of the scrap that I will have available at that moment and how it will behave in contact with the flame. Therefore, every work I create is unique and impossible to replicate.
Your sculptures are made of polycarbonate plus a mix of materials such as iron, copper, bronze, and resin. Why did you choose polycarbonate and not another material?
Most of the works I create are in a continuous state of becoming. They transform, mutate, crossed by a feminine energy that animates them. A dynamism that the transparent material of polycarbonates (which changes with the changing light) allows me to create. It is the light that, passing through the sculptures, gives form to the figures that live in the transparency of change.
In the cycle of light in which we live our daily lives, passing from solar to artificial light, the sculptures modify their state, their condition, deepening their story.
The metal wires with which I create the large outdoor sculptures, or the peeling and rusty cements of the "Macerie" collection also change by rusting, oxidizing and peeling. Nothing is protected to maintain itself over the centuries. The sculptures thus acquire a more human time, they grow, mature, age and eventually die and mutate into 'something else' like every one of us.
The theme of the horse returns often in most of your sculptures, why? Does it represent something in particular?
To me, the horse represents the willpower, the determination, the tenacity of man. Over the centuries, we have traveled with the horse, discovered, exchanged, conquered our culture, our history. The horse has been our chance for knowledge and men and horses have shared their path for thousands of years.
The horse has marked the path of man. Today, this is no longer the case; yet, when we see a horse, we instinctively stop, approach, and try to make contact. There is empathy between man and horse. Memory is also transmitted in man through the genes. We carry in us attitudes, behaviors, moods that belonged to our ancestors, so we carry in us the knowledge, brotherhood, respect for the horse. The horse that has allowed us to be what we are, a humanity of diversity.
On the other side, Maria Vittoria takes care of the image and communication of his works. Together with Davide, they founded @AtelierDall'Osso, where they design innovative solutions for indoor and outdoor spaces such as the luminous cascade "Meduse", the partition walls "Ice" and the wall lamps "Ali della dea", as you can see on the dedicated website.
Besides, the collaborations with event agencies, theater and contemporary dance companies are numerous. To give you a couple of examples: 650 ice-floes were installed for the opening ceremony of the Paralympics in Sochi Russia and they also contributed to the set design for the Sanremo Music Festival in 2016. But there's still so much more to discover about them.
It’s like a project within a project: besides the sculpture part, there is also Atelier Dell'Osso, can you tell us something more about it?
Atelier Dall'Osso was born mainly from Maria Vittoria's vision to unite the sculptural fusion of polycarbonates with design objects. M. Vittoria's training, her work as an art director in important Milanese agencies (Origoni and Steiner, Altavia, Box2, etc.) and her natural passion and curiosity for design, have marked an obligatory passage in our 'creative production'. From the tables of the 'Postindustrial' collection, to the cascades of lamps 'Meduse', passing through the partitions 'Ice', Maria Vittoria has thought and designed all the collections of the Atelier. Davide’s contribution enters in the technical planning and realization.
In recent years, where sculpture and design have increasingly crossed paths, the activity of the atelier has changed further, entering public spaces and homes together with interior designers, architects and interior decorators with site-specific projects, where lightness, transparency, light and dynamism prevail; giving us the opportunity to further expand our creative path.
As we have seen, your art embraces itself in many areas. What gave rise to the idea of combining the fields of fashion, theater, music, supplemented by an ethical basis?
Contamination has always been our motto; entering new areas, confronting ourselves with young creatives, undertaking unusual paths are the great possibilities that give our work that vital energy that we need. For this reason, every time we have the opportunity, we 'make ourselves available' trying to 'transfer' our ethical background and knowledge. This is for those projects that we believe can actually benefit from our experience, making prototypes that can be combined with clothes, stage sculptures, accessories, sculptural costumes or 'other'. At the end of each experience, we assure you that it is more what 'we took' than what 'we gave'. In fact, we take this opportunity to communicate our willingness to be involved in the projects of young and very young green creatives free of charge!
Since your project was born with a sustainable ethic from the first day, are your collaborations targeted only to realities with such ethic or also to realities that want to start approaching this world?
The importance of sustainability and circular economy consists also in making people understand that waste is the new El Dorado for all of us and for the planet. This important fact leads us to turn our design attention to everything. Right now, we are about to start a didactic project on sustainable economy, mainly addressed to schools of all levels. In the new Atelier in Castelfiorentino (FI) we have a space of about 150 square meters, dedicated to this activity where we will compare ours and realities like ours that have made sustainability their work. The purpose of the project goes from planting the seed of curiosity about recycling in the smallest child in order to lead to the creation of new startups. However, if you want, we could 'tell you' more about this important project after the inauguration of this new space.
Yes, with pleasure! By now, if you consider your first work and your most recent work, or the one you are currently working on, what do you notice? Have there been any changes over the years?
Although this comparison is a constant in my creative path, this is the first time I have been asked this question, I am surprised and I thank you.
Even though experimentation is part of my path as a sculptor, the first works, where I still didn't know the materials, and where the sign of my sculpture was more immature, spoke to me more clearly. Their less defined language, yet somehow more extreme, intimately tells me how I was, how I still am today. But that language of theirs, what my early works express to me so clearly, was not and is not understood as clearly by others. I believe that this is part of the path of every artist; the first works, the most unripe, actually contain the maximum of the artist's expression, in a language that can be understood almost exclusively by him alone. Then, over the time, and perhaps through the confrontation with the public, the artist learns to transform that unidirectional language into a multiple language and arrives at his maturity when his works are able to dialogue with many, if not with everybody.
I conclude this reflection with the idea of a short 'Manifesto' that I dedicate to Antonio Neiwiller and to his "Per un teatro clandestino" (For a clandestine theater) dedicated in turn to Tadeusz Kantor.
L’opera d’arte necessita la sua esistenza quando può essere accolta in tutti coloro che soffermandosi ne fruiscono, al di là dei ceti, delle nazionalità, delle culture.
Un’opera che si esprime attraverso concetti comprensibili soltanto a una élite, escludendo tutti gli altri, diventa un simbolo, un logo, uno status,
negando in se il senso dell’arte.
L’opera d’arte al suo meglio deve portare la catarsi nel suo osservatore e per fare questo deve poter essere letta con gli occhi dell’anima, del cuore e forse della mente.
Quando questo avviene
allora il lavoro dell’artista acquista il senso;
quando questo avviene
l’artista non è più il protagonista ma
un tramite e l’opera d’arte è una porta,
dove chi si sofferma si addentra ... dentro di se,
in quei remoti accessi in noi così lontani e improvvisamente vividi
che solo l’arte ci illumina.
We also had a chance to interview them and you can find the interview on @dareclan_mag IGTV.
Interview & Article by
Images sourced from