The courage to dare. A voyage in the enchanted world of stefano bombardieri

January 31, 2022
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IN HIS BESTIARY, EVEN MIGHTY RHINOCEROSES
HARNESSED AND SUSPENDED IN THE AIR
WITH UNUSUAL LIGHTNESS

The world of art, by now accustomed to facing situations that take people’s imaginations by surprise, has had to reckon with Stefano Bombardieri’s creations which disturb certain logical considerations for some five years now. He exhibits our reality transformed into a surreal world where catastrophe undergoes a reversal in its contemplative approach. Otherwise we could not consider the mighty rhinoceroses harnessed and suspended in the air with unusual lightness, or an Icarus Transport crashing through houses, or collapsed capitals on the ground from which they seem to spring and be reborn.
All is enhanced by the extraordinary narrative and artistic ability of the artist who creates hyper-realistic work. Bombardieri, born in Brescia in 1968, learned various techniques with a multitude of materials in the workshop of his father Remo, also a sculptor, committing himself to creating figures according to twentieth century guidelines that had received an important innovative impulse from the futurism of Umberto Boccioni and Giacomo Balla. From there the Bombardieri that we know, who considers himself a minimalist and a conceptual artist, started and evolved; summarizing his path with the phrase “the courage to dare”. In fact, on the one hand his work’s representational essence strikes the attention of the viewer for its decisiveness and immediacy: the message is valid for what it proposes.

LARGER THAN LIFE ELEPHANTS, WHALES AND CROCODILES
TRANSCEND THOUGHT

 On the other hand, the image is particularly valid for all that it intends to convey to the observer beyond or after the surprise of the first approach; the hippos, gorillas, elephants, whales, crocodiles depicted in every detail go beyond natural dimensions in order to transcend thought, and thus enter a dimension not contemplated by habit. Since the ‘90s, Bombardieri has exhibited the fruit of his labours in prestigious public spaces and private galleries in Italy and abroad. He has also created numerous impressive installations in urban spaces in the cities of Ferrara, Faenza, Bologna, Saint Tropez and Potsdam. Let’s review some of the most significant stages of his career to date: in 2007 he was invited to the 52nd Venice Biennale, the following year he installed one of his typical rhinoceroses in perpetual aerial suspension on the wall of the Portofino Park; 2009 was marked by “The Animals Countdown”, an event that saw Pietrasanta occupied by his animals: three cetaceans hanging by their tails dominated Piazza Duomo, while other typical creations emerged from the play of light and shadow inside the Sant Agostino complex.

ARTWORK THAT STRIKES THE ATTENTION OF THE VIEWER
WITH ITS STRENGTH AND IMMEDIACY

In 2011 he exhibited at the Venice Biennale again and in 2013 he joined the group “The Italian Wave” with which he exhibited in Turkey, Greece, Romania and Lithuania. And most recently at the Erarta Museum in St. Petersburg, the exhibition “The Boy and the Elephant”, which took its cue from the sculpture of a child holding an elephant in the air translating it into an element of extreme lightness as if it was a balloon suspended in the sky. This, then, is Stefano Bombardieri’s creative terrain which also becomes ours if we allow ourselves to be involved in the encounter with the recurring surprise of ever-present wonder.

The Author

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Was born in Genoa and lives in Pegli with a view to the mountains and the sea, a contrast that inspires him. He’s been dealing with contemporary art for more than forty years and he had the privilege of spending time with important artists like Enrico Baj, Arnaldo Pomodoro and Fernando Botero, just to name a few, trying to look into the intimate motivation of their creative gesture, in order to pour it in the written presentations about private and public exhibitions in Italy and over the world. He says he was lucky to meet the director who’s been welcoming and publishing his articles for a number of years now.

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