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Fabio Viale tattooed and carved marble sculptures

Fabio Viale sets tattooed and carved marble sculptures across the tuscan town of Pietrasanta



The tuscan town of Pietrasanta has been treated to a public exhibition featuring the monumental works of the sculptor Fabio Viale. The artist, who is widely known for his tattooed marble sculptures, was invited by Pietrasanta’s mayor to display a series of works conceived in dialogue with the town’s historic urban fabric.


Titled ‘Truly’, the exhibition was held across Pietrasanta’s most picturesque public spaces, including its piazza del Duomo and the 14th century church of Sant’agostino. responding to the ongoing pandemic, Fabio Viale interprets the meaning of our period of enforced isolation, premiering — among other works — hissculpture ‘The three graces’ within the church.


ITruly, an exhibition produced with the support of the Galleria Poggiali, Viale responds to the new iconography to which we are all subject — face masks.


The artist symbolically expresses the theme through the sculpture ‘The three graces’, set within the church of Sant’agostino. Made in white marble and featuring detailed drapery, the subjects depict three women originating from Ghardaïa, a city in Algeria.


Here the women wear the traditional haik, a loose, white, full-length garment wrapped around the head and body, leaving only one eye uncovered. Having visited the city of Ghardaïa on one of his frequent travels, Viale says that he wished for the artwork to focus attention on the issue of denied freedom and, at the same time, on the clichéd perception of this idea that westerners have.

The positioning of ‘The three graces’ in the church highlights its mystical and symbolic energy, and further seeks to stimulate a conversation around the issues of personal, religious and meditative freedom. This idea is also reflected in its juxtaposition with ‘Stargate’, a sculpture made out of arabescato marble from mount altissimo.


Comprising two monumental fruit crates joined together with a small gap left in between, the sculpture becomes both a passage and a boundary — themes associated with outcomes of new spirituality and emancipation.




All images: installation view, truly by fabio viale, pietrasanta 2020
Courtesy l’artista e galleria poggiali | photo credit © nicola gnesi.