Extra Moenia – Bronze Sculptures Embedded In Gallery Walls
The collection of sculptures Extra Moenia was created by the Italian sculptor Matteo Pugliese, who lives and works in Milan. The collection depicts men who give the feeling of being trapped in the wall. Their construction is primarily made of bronze.
Matteo Pugliese has been moving for some year, lightly and at the same time with a strong ability to express himself; by nature and personal desire a modeller, lover of the classical Italian tradition, he is once more giving life, heart and everyday expression to the ancient and modern language of sculpture.
The Extra Moenia series or as the artist himself has defined it, the “flight from the walls”, may seem to be more linear and less complex in the stratification of different, overlapping suggestions, but is equally strong in terms in formal and emotional terms its refocusing of the attention on the human body as an incredible receptacle for contrasting and opposite emotions, forces and tensions, and on its continued existence today, despite a thousand technological discoveries, which are at the same time our strength and our damnation.
One of the few contemporary artists who skilfully synthesises classical Italian tradition with contemporary, multi-cultural pop ideas, Pugliese holds a deep love of English literature, animation and science-fiction films that has helped him view the world as a variety of images from which he can express with total freedom. Passing through the wall as if travelling in a time tunnel between the previous, the present and the next life or traversing between different worldly situations, his striking sculptures of man captivate the viewer with deep and exacting defined muscles and bone structures. Crafted from bronze, these figures convey a strong sense of exotic emotion. In contrast, his women figures from The Underwater Series appear to defy gravity with slim, streamlined forms that float as if in the safety of amniotic suspension. With out-stretched limbs. these silver-plated bronze sculptures are set against a dark background to invite the viewer into imagination.
Revolting against stagnation and immobility, Matteo Pugliese is inspired by movement and development. Pugliese is looking for evolvment in everything, setting aside all notions of quiescence. Playing safe he considers as a cowardly path to follow. The wall is a metaphor for such situations, the eventual withdrawal of which he sees as his goal. In The Flight from the Wall (Extra Moenia), Pugliese elucidates the experiences through which one has to go during this struggle. The athletic bodies are caught in moments of rage, frustration, desperation and final victory. Both classical and dramatic, the images bringing up these universal themes have gained the recognition of many art lovers.
Besides The Flight from the Wall, Matteo has created a series of works depicting guardians – strong warriors from all over the world, each having an impressive appearance. These guardians are meant to protect their owners: together forming a silent army of tough soldiers. The fulfillment of this theme can be explained by Matteo’s affinity to the genre of comics.
Matteo Pugliese graduated with a diploma in Modern Literature and a thesis on art criticism in the comic-book world. He has always had a passion for creating models as witnessed by his past work for Disney and Warner Brothers. In 2001, sculpting took a more prominent place in his life, as he gradually got more involved with this subject. Nowadays, Matteo has reached recognition as a sculptor and gained attentions from galleries in Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Hong Kong.
Matteo Pugliese was born in Milan in 1969. In 1978 his family moved to Sardinia where Matteo lived for the next 12 years. During this time he developed a strong love for drawing and sculpture and continued his art work without any formal education. After finishing his secondary school studies in classics in Cagliari, he returned toMilan to attend university.
In 1995 he was awarded his degree in Modern literature at the University ofMilan with a graduation thesis on Art criticism. Encouraged by friends, in 2001 he organised and financed his first solo exhibition renting private exhibition space in the centre of Milan. Only 18 months later he held his first “official” exhibition in a gallery in Brera,Milan, and after a fewmonths he held a solo show in Brussels.
Today his works are on permanent display in galleries in Italy and major cities throughout the world, Rome, Hong Kong, London, Brussels, Lugano and TheHague and have been shown at some of the most important Italian and international art fairs such as the Hong Kong Art Fair (Hong Kong), ArtFirst (Bologna), Miart (Milan), Arco (Madrid), and Fiac (Paris). In recent years his pieces have been sold with considerable success at some of the world’s most prestigious fine art auction houses (Christie’s, Sotheby’s, and Pandolfini). Matteo Pugliese is married with one daughter.
Name: Extra Moenia
Technique: bronze sculptures embedded In the walls
Artist: Matteo Pugliese – Milan, Italy
Text Description: © Courtesy of Matteo Pugliese, Galerie Noordeinde, Galleria Gagliardi, Kwai Fung Hin Art Gallery
Images: © Matteo Pugliese