Ludovico Bomben is a young and promising artist from Pordenone in Italy. After attending the Academy of Venice, he has concentrated his research on objects, investigating them from a functional, formal, and symbolic point of view. He has also focused on installations, graphics and design.
I would like to start immediately with the most challenging question: what is art for you?
Art for me is a path. My work "selfishly" stems from the fact that I need to do it. I have always been convinced that the process of creating an object is more important than the object itself. As I said on other occasions, the idea from which a work of art stems is a vision which I pursue until I find myself in front of the finished work. This path of creation, which is often winding and difficult, is also a path of knowledge and exploration of the self which allows me to grow. Art is thus a means to discover new roads and to land on new shores.
How did your adventure as an artist begin?
I had a traditional education: I attended the Art Institute and then the Academy of Fine Arts. I immediately started with environmental installations thanks to Davide Rosolen, my professor of sculpture at the Art Institute, who encouraged us to experiment, both in terms of ideas and of their practical implementation. Later, at the Academy, I refined my language thanks to another great professor, Gaetano Mainenti. I do not want to sound romantic, but meeting David Rosolen and Gaetano Mainenti was fundamental for me.
Can I say that your work lies at the intersection of sculpture and design? What is the contribution of the former and that of the latter?
I grew up in the productive North East. I love tools, materials and production techniques. Hence the attitude to question myself about how objects are made and what they are made of. I create my works mainly with the support of companies and with the help of specialized craftsmen. The former allows me to achieve very high levels of precision, whereas the latter allows me to work with the materials with greater awareness. I would like to mention in particular the Theke company with which I have begun a fruitful collaboration, which has already resulted in interesting works and projects. Technique has always been very important in art: the word art itself has always been associated with the Greek word Téchne. You see...I am an Italian man!
In 2019 your work Compasso a tre gambe won the Cramum prize. It seems to me that this sculpture is a great example of the way your objects materially come to life.
Indeed it is. I had the opportunity to use sophisticated techniques of industrial production thanks to the collaboration of two companies, Lavormec and Corallo s.r.l, which are based in my region. I am personally responsible for the first stage of my works: I design the object in the golden section, convert it into a 3D model with specific software and, at that point, I export the tables of the various pieces and deliver them to the companies that will produce them. Even if I do not “physically” take care of this second stage, I always try to supervise it. In the case of Compasso a tre gambe, Lavormec took care of the mechanical processing (for example numerical control turning and laser welding), while Corallo s.r.l. was in charge of the finishing. I would like to focus on this last step: the soft-touch finishing which I chose for my work made the aluminum surface of the compass look dull and velvet-like. In my artistic research, the reflection on the nature of materials, on the surface effects, on the ways in which light is absorbed or deflected is essential.
And … from the point of view of the themes? What do you generally investigate? What does your imagination feed on?
I have been working with light since I was very young. I have never thought of my installations as mere decorations but I have always adopted a philosophical approach when creating them. I look for spiritual feelings and concepts: I focus on what we feel but cannot explain, on the things which we do not see but which are there, on what we cannot fully understand. I am very fascinated by ancient symbolic sculptures, which created “magical” objects used for prayers and rites. Many cultures still produce objects not with the purpose of selling them but simply for the desire to investigate the world and tell stories. I can divide my research into periods and right now I am not creating objects, but “tools” which I need to fight my anxieties and to raise my thoughts. In my work, I look for silence.
Can you describe a work and/or a project you are particularly fond of?
I am particularly fond of the work R436. It is a Christian rosary, 43.6 meters long, in which I multiplied the cycles of prayers. I was interested in reaching a considerable length/weight/size of the object so that those who use it are compelled to be patient because it takes a long time to complete the cycles of prayers and because the rosary is very heavy and not easy to use. I wanted to recall, in a very physical way, some fundamental values of Christianity: sacrifice, suffering, and endurance. Without expressing a personal judgment, I wanted the observer to question whether these are authentic values or not. For the installation of the rosary, I created a special drawing in the golden section that recalls the inverted perspective of the nave of a church. I am particularly fond of R436 because it combines design, sculpture, and installation and because it marks the first change ‒ on a formal level ‒ in my research. By creating it, I began the transition from light installations to sculptures and therefore from ephemeral and immaterial works to pure form.