Every end of May, beginning of June the city of Carrara in northern Tuscany hosts for a weekend a special art event called “ Carrara Studi Aperti ” where visitors have the opportunity to stroll along the narrow alleys of the old center discovering the secret ateliers of more than 180 artists.
If you guess why a small town like Carrara could houses so many different artists coming from all over the world, there are at least two reasons. The first is that Carrara is the world capital for extraction and processing of marble. The second is that Carrara hosts the National Academy of Fine Art, that has a lot of appeal to the emerging artists.
During the two days of the exhibit, all artists will open the doors of their private studios, giving visitors the opportunity to admire their masterpieces and the way they work. And they will be happy to tell the story of their life.
If you have never experienced Carrara Studi Aperti event before, I recommend you to visit at least the special workshop called Ponte di Ferro, a fantastic location just out from the downtown. It has been introduced to me by my friend Marco Pedri and it really worth.
What you cannot miss at Carrara Studi Aperti: Ponte di Ferro Workshop
The name “Ponte di Ferro” (Iron Bridge), takes origins from the dismissed rail bridge made in iron that overlook the workshop area. This is well known to all the inhabitants as remains of a different industrial Era. Between 1876 and 1964, the people and the heavy marble blocks extracted in the near marble quarries were transported downstream by a special rail system instead of trucks, that have been using since the mid-sixties.
The industrial area under the big bridge, once was used as stone processing factory. Moreover after many years of complete state of abandon, the building was occupied by some emerging artists. Today, with their hard work, the building has been brought to a new life. It keeps the original industrial aspect, but has been transformed into a co-working place for artists and area for annual events and special exhibits.
Corrado Marchese: one of the artists of Carrara Studi Aperti
During the Carrara Studi Aperti 2015 edition, I met Corrado Marchese, one of the founder of “Ponte di Ferro”, which introduced me to his wonderful sculptures that I immediately loved.
The style of Corrado Marchese expresses the ability to blend the intimate sense of the artist with social themes into the stone, taking inspiration from his favorite music genders such as punk rock, hardcore, rock n roll, reggae, ska, and blues. His sculptures always send messages of social protest with the characteristic elegance of masters of art as Michelangelo, Donatello, Bernini, and Vangi. The delicacy of details such as flowers and juvenile feet represent this grace.
Do you wanna dance? – Photo Credits: Corrado Marchese
One of my favorite sculpture is titled “Do you wanna dance”, taking inspiration from the song played by the Ramones. Here, I clearly read the sacrifice of dancers to reach the goal of the perfection on their execution, expressed by the dancer shoes surrounded by the flowers of the glory and by the big bones on the sides.
Tin Soldier – Photo Credits: Corrado Marchese
Staring at the “Tin Soldier” instead, I read another sacrifice. While in the other artwork, the sacrifice of “do you wanna dance” lead to something of positive as the perfect execution, here the sacrifice is a consequence of the wars where kids are used as a soldier (the helmet). This message is confirmed even by the young hands holding a flower. The music track with the same title by Stiff Little Fingers, inspired the young artist to create this artwork.
If you love art and sculpture, I would not miss this opportunity to explore Carrara visiting the studios along the river Carrione or hidden somewhere in town. I cannot wait to attend the next edition of Carrara Studi Aperti, see you there!