Galleria Antonella Villanova’s Satellite curated by Emanuela Nobile Mino, focusing on the work of Diego Cibelli (Naples, 1987), presents a selection of pieces from the series “Meditation in an Emergency”, conceived by the author in 2020 during the pandemic and recently further developed.
Primarly focused on ceramic and porcelain, Diego Cibelli’s design process is a sort of open platform that includes a variety of techniques, visions and historical references, explored and delved into in equal measure, in the manner of a Renaissance bottega.
While some of the ceramic elements are individually hand-crafted by the artist himself or by his
team of apprentice potters, others are cast in original plaster molds from Capodimonte’s Real
Fabbrica archive, and still others are the result of expressly-made molds that reinterpret traditional models of the 17 /18 -century naturalistic decorative repertoire.
Cibelli’s experimentation runs along multiple tracks, bringing the object into a narrative system able to alternate between intimate domestic landscape and the surrounding territory, effortlessly shifting from micro to macro scale, from design to art, and vice versa. The artist’s aim is to create a continuous stream of interactions between reality and its representations, and an empathic dialogue between everyday objects and their users.
The works presented here – three thrones made entirely of ceramics through the assemblage of over 50 crafted elements for each piece – explore the power of metaphor and mimicry, exploring dynamics of rituality and authority in both the private and public spheres. At the same time, the thrones have a narrative potency that epitomizes the communicative value of symbols, contemporary and historical, transitory and eternal.
The hieratic image of the throne, while enhanced by its monumental scale and the abundancy of its juxtaposed ceramic pieces, is at the same time softened by the familiar quality of the objects that make it up: a triumph of vegetables, fruits, flowers, leaves and fragments of classical pottery.
The heterogeneous assembly of well-known iconographies, apparently disparate yet interconnected, is on the one hand an ode to the wealth of Italian artistic heritage and the ceremonial nature of the cult of domesticity, and on the other, a sort of monument to beauty and resilience that celebrates the hope for a future in which luxury will coincide with the dignity of simple and genuine things.