ALWAYS FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS GIACOMO BEVANATI
Updated: Aug 12, 2018
I saw Giacomo's work at the Brick Lane gallery a few weeks ago and was very excited to meet him in person to talk about his beautiful wire sculptures! I was luck enough to try some of them on!
What brought you to London?
I moved here two and a half years ago because I wanted to change my life. I was an architect in Italy, I worked in architectural practice for 6 months and after that time understood that it wasn’t for me.
On the other hand, I have always had a passion for making. For example, I would always make presents for my friends.
Unfortunately, it is hard to be an artist where I am coming from, I am from Umbria originally. It was impossible to showcase my work in Italy and get any recognition for it. So, I decided to move to London to change my life and follow my dreams.
You have Bachelor Degree in Product Design and a Master’s degree in Architecture. How did that help you to develop the narrative of your current work?
During my studies, I realized how much I enjoy making three-dimensional objects. The idea of making something with my hands, and not on the computer, was always appealing to me. I enjoy working with my hands and have the freedom of experimenting with materials and the way I work is very important for me. I find it very relaxing.
I was also attracted to the concept of making something precious from something simple and cheap!
Your pieces are very intricate. How did you develop this technique? It seems to be very complicated.
Yes, it is complicated. It all started, when I made a scale model of a lampshade at the university. It was made out of wire. I was experimenting with the material and tried to weave it in different ways. That model sat in my room for a long time. Four years ago, I was cleaning my room and came across this model. Instantly I was so attracted to the technique and the idea of using wire again. Ever since that day I work with wire every day! I am making three-dimensional objects by changing the direction of the wire. I never create a 2D object and mould it around a shape. Each piece is three-dimensional, it is like a structure of a building. I am using the strength of the material to create curvature and shapes.
You have made a few masks. Why masks?
I am exploring the idea of changing the concept of the mask. Normally mask is used to cover the face of an actor and give a person another character or personality.
Using wire to make masks changing this concept because you are going to show your face.
You are still yourself and at the same time, you are the character of the mask that you are wearing. You have two personalities; thus, you can show them the way you want them to be, in combination with your real self.
Personally, I was very excited to experience the new reality that I have created by wearing my masks!
Apart from masks, you have a wide variety of sculptures, which range from everyday objects to fruit to unicorns. Where is your inspiration coming from?
I want to have a different perspective on an object. As you said, my work varies from unicorn to pineapple and at first, it seems that they are not connected. However, they all have a symbolic meaning.
Each sculpture has a story behind it and it represents my imagination. At the same using the same material for all of my sculptures connects them with each other.
For example, pineapple... I wanted to pay a tribute to the pineapple! Last year when I started to work on this piece, it was a pineapple boom!
The pineapple was everywhere! The fruit is so beautiful, so I wanted to celebrate it!
I choose brass wire because I wanted it to be gold and extra special!
The unicorn has a different story. I started working on it as soon as I moved to London. It became a symbol of London for me. London is completely opposite to Italy. The city is so open-minded, it is a fusion of energy. I imagined a unicorn with a horn connecting to the universe because it is so open-minded.
As you can see every piece has a story and a meaning to it.
I like to be open to different ideas. I don’t want to limit myself to one theme or narrative. I like to take different directions.
You are currently working from home. Has it always been like that?
Yes, at the moment financial situation won't allow me to have a studio space. Before we moved to this flat, we lived in a small studio flat in West London and the space was so small.
Your work is really influenced by your studio space. If you change your studio you change the way you see things and the way you work.
In the other flat, I felt really claustrophobic. The table I was working on was close to the window and that was the only window in the flat. It was overlooking the neighbours across the road, and the neighbour thought I was stalking her. Because I was always at my desk working, but she thought I was watching her all the time!
Once she actually stopped me on the street and said: "You can actually see into my flat from your window, I see you there all the time!"
I had to explain that I'm an artist and I work with the wire, so I need natural light. It was funny!
In this flat, I don’t have much natural light, but I put mirrors on either side of the table to reflect the light from the window.
In general, I am comfortable here. This place is much bigger and nicer.
How long does it take to complete one piece? I know it would depend on the size and the complexity. But let's say a mask. How long does it take?
A mask will take from two days up to two weeks, depending on the complexity. The most difficult one was the pineapple. I spent a month and a half working on it. I was working on it five days a week, around 10 hours per day!
What tools do you use?
I use very basic tools, just clippers to cut the wire and round nose pliers to turn the wire. Otherwise, it is all done by hand. The wire is nice material to work with. It is very comfortable and you really don’t need any other tools. It would only over complicate things!
What is your working day like?
As a real Italian, I start a day with a coffee and then I work throughout the day. However not every day, because it is difficult to work in isolation all day, every day. You need a break.
If I am not too busy I work for a few hours and then go out. I like walking around streets of London. I find it very inspiring. I also visit exhibitions and attended art events. It is very important to have a good network in London. It opens up so many doors.
However, if I have a commission, I need to make sure it is done on time, so I will put solid hours of work into it.
Where do you go in search of inspiration?
Inspiration comes from everywhere. It could be something I saw on the street, or the conversations we have at home or simply watching TV.
It is interesting, how I find inspiration. I can have a place in mind to go to find inspiration, but then my inner voice will be telling me to look at something completely different. I think when you start thinking, that you need to find inspiration, that is the moment when you won't find it!
Have you ever tried any other forms of art?
I haven’t yet. I have been wanting to paint for a long time, but I am waiting for the right moment. I want to put all my energy into it. I want it to be an explosion of feelings and emotions. I feel like, right now my current work will influence it a lot. I want to express myself in the purest possible way, so I am waiting for the right moment!
You can see more of Giacomo's work here