Review Me: Domenico Belli: Organic Connections
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Friday, October 22, 2021

Domenico Belli: Organic Connections

Domenico, thank you very much for giving us this time to let us learn more about your artistic personality and artwork through this interview. Tell us about your artistic background story and if there was a pivotal moment when you decided to follow your path as a visual artist?

I was born in Italy, in a small town in the hill countryin, named Patrica, approximately forty miles southeast of Rome. I started to work as a metalworker when I was sixteen and I showed an early interest and talent for my job. During my free time, I created works of art using discarded scraps of metal. At the age of eighteen, my parents decided to emigrate to the United State. I found employment as a metal fabricator and welder, and also developed my skills as an artist and designer. For several years, I created primitive sculptures from reclaimed steel, and I had a successful experience at art shows.

Great! So, in adolescence, you showed interest in creating sculptures from scrap metal, and your talent in this field made you an artist. Was there ever a moment of doubt to question your art career entirely?

After suffering the loss of loved one even I was full of ideas and passions my artworks reflected my feelings at that moment and my creations were dark and it was visible the pain and sadness that I was experiencing. I decided to take a break and I stopped to create. After a while, I realized the need to create new artwork and drive them and myself out of the darkness. I started to put together objects I found as I was trying to put together the pieces of my life. The result was incredible. I created flowers, big and tall, dragonflies, butterflies, birds, and all Nature creatures. I was inspired to watch how Nature works. No matter what happens, after a storm, there is always a sunny day. That was what happened in my life. I started to attend arts shows again and people who stopped at my booth observed my artworks and smiled. My art was my cure.

For an artist, art is the therapy used in the worst and best conditions. Sorrow, joy, excitement, and anger can be expressed by art and calmed down. What is your daily routine when working in your studio?

I am very lucky because my studio is on my property behind my house so I don't have to drive to go to my studio. My routine is very simple. Every day, if I am not traveling, no matter if is a holiday or a weekday, at 7:30 AM I am in my studio, put my music on, and my day start.

Starting a day with the creation of an artwork immersed in music. Fantastic! Now, take us through your process of making your artworks.

The idea could come at any moment. I use three different types of metal for my sculptures. Cor-Ten steel, stainless steel, and bronze. It is difficult to put the process in words, but when I have an idea, I visualize the sculpture I'd like to make, not only the shape, but I know for sure what kind of material I'd like to use. I don't do any drawing or measurement, the sculpture I am going to make it in my mind. I know what it will look like at the end, the number of pieces I need, and the material. I put one metal sheet on my table and I start drawing the piece I need. I cut them with a plasma cutter and start to weld each one. I use the grinder to clean the edge and put it on the side. At this point, I build the base and I start to assemble and weld piece by piece. It is a natural process for me. Sometimes I am working on more than one sculpture at the same time and it is why in a few days I could finish two of them.

Your aspiration is to create abstract metal sculptures with a modern but simplistic style that is completely unique. Is there a central concept connecting all your works together or each series or artwork is unique?

I think my artworks are always evolving and that is visible when we look at the old sculptures but for sure they are recognizable. The central concept that connects all my works is LOVE - NATURE - MOVEMENT - FREEDOM but I think each sculpture is unique and that is why my artworks are one of a kind and I do not make any reproductions. This is really appreciated by my clients.

Do you prefer viewers to understand the concepts and messages you want to convey via your artwork without any explanation? In fact, would you like to give a particular interpretation of your work to your viewers or you prefer to leave the whole interpretation to your audience?

My sculptures are abstract and only when people ask me questions I explain the material and the process I do, but I always let the people use their imagination. I have to name them to identify on my website, but the names are very generic and when they find a forever home people love to name their artwork accordingly to their emotions.

We know that you discover a deep sense of emotion toward the material you work with. How do you seek and use inspiration for your works?

I live in a wonderful place where the nature plays a predominant role.
People, inspired me.
Love, inspired me.
But I am in love with forms, shapes, textures, patterns, balance, harmony and grace.

Nice sense! And during fabrication, new areas of interest arise and lead to the next body of work. How do you select your artworks subjects?

I think I have answered in my previous answer.

Domenico, is there an artwork or series that you would like to be remembered for? And if yes, what is it?

My art is constantly evolving, and each sculpture is as if it was one of my children, and for me, all of them are beautiful. Obviously, the last one is always the most beautiful. The best is the one I haven't created yet.

What are your art influences? Were there any artists or artworks which significantly influenced your art career along your artistic path?

My favorite contemporary artist is David Smith, and my art reflects some of his artworks. I love the geometrical shapes he used especially cubes and boxes. The simplicity of the shapes and the complexity of his sculptures intrigue me.

And, if you could meet one of your ideal artists from the past, who would it be and what will you ask about?

I'd love to meet David Smith, it could be an honor for me, and I will ask so many questions about his works and the inspirations that drove him to build 27 sculptures in 30 days when in 1962 he was invited to participate in the " Festival of the two worlds " in Spoleto, Italy.

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