The Dolomites are the backdrop and natural setting that inspired and nourished this artistic project.
VIPERS, the mysterious creatures that inhabit these places, are a presence known to man, who has established a difficult coexistence with them, often dominated by ancestral impulses of fear and admiration.
Mario Padovani has succeeded in his intent to arouse the same dualistic and contrasting feeling through his sculpture in wrought iron.
The brute and inert material is skilfully forged and modelled by the physicality of the work processes, guided by the energy lent by its creator: noise, flames, sparks and steam accompany the process, almost intimidating us to keep away for the sake of our safety.
In contrast with these intrusive and dominating forces, the delicacy of the artist’s etching has been specially designed to decorate each unique piece.
This is the most silent and introverted phase, which guides us almost to a dimension of fascination and admiration: the previous distances dissolve in favour of close contemplation.
The artistic result of VIPERA leads us to experiencing an inner process of interaction with the artefact once it is displayed. The desire to share the experience makes the artwork take on different interpretations, stimulating a spectrum of meanings that each elaborates in their own personal way.
Acid Etching Technique:
This is a medieval technique once used primarily for decorating weapons and armour, which owes its name to the ancient “aqua fortis”, the nitric acid that alchemists discovered in approximately 700 A.D.
The method uses the properties of bees wax to resist the corrosive power of the acids that, instead, attack the metal.
The piece being decorated was dipped into melted beeswax that covered it evenly; this layer was then carved, revealing the metal parts that would subsequently be corroded in the acid bath.
Throughout history, this technique has been used as a final touch to the finished piece; in the case of VIPERA, however, it is used as an unprecedented variation of the classical technique; the piece is re-forged and modelled after the corrosion process, thus plastically deforming the pattern obtained with the etching and creating an original and unique effect.