Features & Interviews
Simone Crestani artistry in Glass: A Celebration of Lightness and Fragility
Born in 1984 in Marostica, in the region of Venice, Simone Crestani started working glass at the age of 15 at the Massimo’s Lunardon glass factory. After an apprenticeship that lasted ten years, he opened his own studio, where he continues to work, dedicated to research and innovation. An introspective and self-taught artist, over the years he put together all the lessons learned and the experience gained and finally broke away from the traditional glass of Murano. In fact, he works with borosilicate glass using a special technique of flameworking that he cals Hollow Sculpture, the technique for which Crestani is appreciated worldwide - as he explains:
"I am an artisan first, before being an artist. Glass working is a very complex technique that requires years of study and extreme dedication. I was fortunate to learn this technique while I was still young. Glass chose me before I had any idea what I wanted to become".
This particular way of working has allowed him to create large-scale objects in glass with very fine and fragile details. He is inspired by the never-ending variety of the natural world, the shapes of animals and plants that magically come to life, even in their tiniest details, in a celebration of lightness and transparency. Crestani describes his creative process as "using glass to give form to my thoughts".
Crestani’s technique, together with his personal style and sophisticated poetics, allow him to "create an interaction, where glass overcomes its purely material dimension and becomes a fine and studied artistic language, a pure, silent, and crystalline conceptual element". In both the plastic arts and in the world of Italian design, Crestani is regarded as a young luminary with a compelling and diverse body of work. Other than exhibiting in some of the most important initiative related to the glass and art-world, he is also regularly invited as visiting artist and instructor by prestigious art academies and glass schools all over the world.
In this article, The Artling looks at some of Crestani's unique glass pieces! Read on...
"While my hands were still becoming familiar with the art of glass working, my thoughts were already putting down roots and binding me to this material forever. Solid bases, branches that grow and seek the light: the first projects were still only inside my head and already had the form of a bonsai"
The bonsai tree is an ongoing theme in his works - he describes it as "the symbol of my work; it is the art of giving form, with respect and full understanding of what I am taking care of". For him, the bonsai is a concentration of life, it overcomes the barrier of size and expresses strength and energy; it is a work of art that is never finished, in which nature continues to develop and evolve. He shapes the material, but the end result has an identity of its own.
"I help it to grow and wait until it gives me an indication of the equilibrium that will allow it to express itself. With the bonsai I am always ready to start work again, to reach a new limit, to follow a new branch of thoughts"
"Bubble Mirror" is carefully cut by hand, and explores the dichotomy between object and reflection. This work by Crestani is adorned with delicate bubbles of silvered glass with the traditional Venetian techniques that play between reality and reflection thanks also to a corroded effect. Each piece is unique and customizable.
"E-Sumi 'Octopus'" is a series of installations for the table, wall, or ceiling. As Crestani explains, the light creations designed as the luminous transposition of Sumi-e, the delicate paintings of the Japanese tradition. A collection of unique pieces that immortalize mating rituals of the animal world. Linear brass frames contain LED lights whose beam filters through the thick sheets of parchment.
"What remains after you pull a fish out of the water?" asks Crestani - solid bases, branches that grow and seek the light: the first projects were still only inside his head - Before this, it could have been a surgeonfish, a turbot, or a tuna. In the end, only the structure remains. Our everyday life conceals some elements that are essential, necessary, which become apparent only when it is too late. However, not all is lost. Water has another chance to touch these fish, filling them with a last jolt of life.
With glass, Crestani enhances these supporting structures with a decorative take, so that they are not only honored in natural science museums but so that the beauty of these hidden souls can be admired up close, from alternative points of view.
"Once again glass allows me to express the strong contradictions that nature conveys to me: the precariousness of life and the energy of survival, the apparent fragility of transparency, and the solidity of form"
"All that has aroused amazement and wonder over time has created a desire for possession in man" describes Cristani. First of all Nature, so indispensable for our life, has provoked in man a curiosity so passionate and blind, to be transformed into an ambition to discover and tame all that surrounds us. He adds that "the control that man has expressed through the collection is much more than love for knowledge. We do not just admire the beauty of nature, we want to own it. Under the guise of love for study and research, entire museums of natural history have been created, where instead of life, death is celebrated".
"the desire to possess the beauty of nature clashes with the need to stop it and therefore kill it: in the very moment in which it is possessed, it is lost. Art can be an alternative to this contradiction. With glass, I can celebrate beauty and life, study its details and majesty, without disfiguring beauty and interrupting the flow. The trophy is no longer an act of death but of creation".
As in a modern cabinet de curiosités, Crestani exhibits his collection of animal artworks, and the act of realization exalts conquest and knowledge. The moment is immortalized and beauty no longer has to struggle against the passage of time.
Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.
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