This title is a reference to Lucretius’ philosophical poem in six books, written in 50 B.C., in which he outlines the molecular constitution of the universe, the human soul and its fate, our own fear of death, and individual characteristics such as the bodily senses, thought and love. The last two books are dedicated to the creation of the world, including natural phenomenon such as weather systems, and the development of civilization. Lucretius thus seeks to place mankind in a larger, universal context, investigating our own place in the natural world on both a molecular and astrological level. After years of creating art which comments on our current moment in history, Stampone has started to question the place of mankind in the world and our relationship to the planet we live on.
In Stampone’s work, hyper realistic drawings are used to expose aspects of contemporary life. The artist holds the conviction that art gives us the possibility to investigate the world around us and to shine light on absurdities or particularities of the human condition. Art allows us to engage in discussion and to relativize our own place in the world. Preoccupied with notions of time and its relationship to art, Giuseppe Stampone has chosen to work exclusively with BIC pen and graphite. These are materials with which one cannot cheat or accelerate the process of drawing, and it is Stampone’s way of protesting the ever-increasing speed of everyday life.
For his newest body of works, Gransasso, the artist departs from his past technique of using images taken from the internet which he converts into unique pieces, choosing instead to take his own photographs of the mountains where he grew up. After drawing the photographs with graphite, Stampone inputs the original images in photoshop in order to obtain the numerical references of the Pantone colours present in his own snapshots. As industrial colours which are created to mimic nature, they are then overlayed onto images of nature to confuse the boundaries between natural and artificial elements. This interest for industrial processes which are carried out by the hand of the individual represents man’s desire to imitate nature and to place ourselves in something which is much less ephemeral than the average human life. While manmade structures and objects will one day disappear, these natural formations will live on. With these works, Stampone questions what is left when we are no longer on Earth – what will remain, and what will be forgotten?
Stampone’ mountains are both autobiographical and universal. These are mountains that he carries inside of himself, and that are linked to his own identity and memories of his youth, yet even if one is not familiar with the specific mountain range one is still inspired with a feeling of awe when faced with monumental forces of nature. They also represent the nostalgia linked to major land forms, as those who grew up next to large bodies of water or mountain ranges often attest to. In this case, these mountains represent the reflections of the artist, who returned to his childhood town in order to reflect and reconnect with his roots, looking to form a deeper connection which is often only found in nature. These works are thus a proposition for us all to find our place in the world, and to create something lasting.
Giuseppe Stampone (1974, Cluj, France) lives and works in Italy. His solo exhibitions include: PERCHE'IL CIELO E' DI TUTTI LA TERRA NO?, with Ugo La Pietra, curated by Italo Tomassoni, Giacinto Di Pietrantonio and Giancarlo Partenzi, Centro Italiano Arte Contemporanea - CIAC, Foligno, Italy (2018); Stampone - Banerjee and the third meaning, Italian Cultural Institute in New Delhi, New Delhi, India (2016); Ritratti – Bic Data Blue curated by Giacinto di Pietrantonio, GAMeC - Galleria d'Arte Moderna Contemporanea di Bergamo, Bergamo, Italy (2014) and Saluti da L’Aquila da Giuseppe Stampone - Special Project, curated by Luca Massimo Barbero and Elena Forin, MACRO - Museo d'Arte Contemporanea di Roma, Rome, Italy (2011). His group exhibitions include: La Collection BIC, curated by Hervé Mikaeloff and Ingrid Pux, Le CENTQUATRE, Paris, France (2018); The Raft. Art is (not) Lonely, Galerie Teniers, Ostend, Belgium (2017); Now here is Nowhere, Instituto Italiano di Cultura di New York, New York, United States (2017); El artista entre la individualidad y el contexto – Cuban Pavilion, 56th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (2015); Nature, Limit or Liberty?, MAXXI - Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo, Rome, Italy (2014); Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2012, curated by Bose Krishnamachari, Fort Kochi PO, Kerala, India (2012);11th Havana Biennale, Havana, Cuba (2012); and Liverpool Biennial 2010, Liverpool, United Kingdom (2010).