Stefano Ogliari Badessi
It is complex to place Stefano Ogliari Badessi in pre-packaged artistic categories given his innate tendency to experiment. The Crema-based sculptor is best known for his almost-shamanistic approach to self-expression, utilizing found materials to traverse through natural and urban worlds, bringing his sculpture along with him as he dismantles both preconceived notions of artistic practice and humanity's relationship with it..
S.O.B. approaches art as a nomad who works with the concept of "everything changes" by questioning our own relationship with life, nature, and art. He faces the creative process in a dreamlike way, giving shape to the imagined and the invisible.
From six-inch Spherical Postcards born during his time in Shanghai, his collaboration with Swatch on a Swiss glacier, and kinetic sculptures made of scrap porcelain, to monumental animals and imaginary beasts made of nautral material and recently, a floating installation, Who Looks at What?, in partnership with The Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, Ogliari Badessi leaves no trace, but he certainly leaves an impression on every sense imaginable.
Although you create fantasy beings and worlds, there exists a connection between the imaginary nature you’re working with and that in our real lives. Is this purposeful? What it is that you wish for people to understand through interacting with your work?
I think I was more abstract in some way before, but now they’re taking a different aspect. Nature is also taking different aspects. It’s taking on faces, eyes, mouths. It’s like reverse logic. Our connection with nature is deeper, and we as humans like to give life to nature, like a tree with eyes, to make our connections easier. The tree is alive anyway, and can see without eyes like ours, but in our minds. In this process, giving eyes and everything to nature, just deepens the connection that is already there. In some way it’s a normal process, like ancient symbology. Apollo was the god of the Sun, but I mean, it’s the Sun—it’s a star, it doesn’t have a physical body. It’s just symbolic.
If people understand that, I think yes. They understand the monster [I Don’t Know Where to Go] through connecting to their fear, animals with animal nature. When they’re in front of sculpture, they have a better connection with unconscious, obvious concepts and symbols that we don’t know too well.
FROM CAMP'S INTERVIEW WITH Ogliari Badessi, "IT'S BEAUTIFUL TO STAY OPEN," IN 2020.
"Deeply rooted in notions of self awareness, social awareness, and global awareness of humanity and nature, Ogliari Badessi will weave, construct, inflate art objects and sculptures that go beyond the superficial visual and enter into the spiritual.
He lives his desires being an example not only of the artist, but of the man he wants to embody and all that he creates he has envisioned, dreamt, or experienced. Many is the occasion I have watched him practice what he preaches, which only labeling himself as a nomadic artist, and what that entails, has been the driving force through much of the works for a few reasons: mainly because of his insistence on protecting and preserving the world and the cultures he encounters and respects."
Melanie Prapopoulos, CAMP founder.
We have seen him transporting installations inside common travel suitcases and then inflating them and transforming them into grand immersive spaces. Large spheres made of plastic bags and adhesive tape become parallel worlds made of light, color, and emptiness. He’s confronted nature in extreme environments, from glaciers to forests, using them as an outdoor study. S.O.B. combines this challenge by using the few materials present to create immersive paths and large site-specific works. He’s created 1: 1 scale replicas of whales created by weaving branches collected from pruning waste, carrying it by bicycle to underline the need to discuss environmental issues. An innate passion for recycling coupled with a love for nature leads him to use brightly colored silk scraps, going as far as mixing them with branches, mosses, and lichens.
Behind all this we find an attentive eye to magic able to project us into worlds made of awe and wonder. Without warning, we find ourselves faced with an unexpected opening towards the unknown link between ourselves, nature and creativity.
Throughout his body of work, Stefano Ogliari Badessi provokes boundaries, concepts, and truths, subverting ideas of permanence, beauty, and magic. His turn to the natural world marks the next level of his already pioneering sculptural practice.
Ogliari Badessi has exhibited across Europe, Asia, and North America, participating in international art fairs and biennials, such as the Biennale of Soncino, Cremona and the Venice Biennale of Visual Arts in 201; OpenArt Biennal, Sweden in 2017; and Scope Art Fair, Miami in 2019.
LEARN MORE ABOUT STEFANO OGLIARI BADESSI