Michelangelo Pistoletto


Italian Painter, Action and Object Artist, and Art Theorist.

Author Quotes

Art is responsible for taking on the role of a fundamental proposition of thought, namely being the spiritual foundation that informs common existence according to a global concept of being.

Art is the primary expression of human creativity, thus the constant reference for every structural, technical, economic, and behavioral activity of society.

Art must bring its unique perceptual sensibility to every system, whether productive, organizational, or political, to carry out the ?composition? of the various parts, understood as harmonious elements of the civil concert. The lack of this sensibility is the cause of the sclerosis of every individual organism.

Art must go beyond the limitation of the object, of the so-called artistic product (while considering it to be of fundamental importance), in order to be active in every situation and place of planetary life.

Art must reveal the possibility of determining the values of a vast equilibrium, emerging from the long ?romantic? vicissitudes of progressivism.

For me, trying to have the extended body of society correspond to the balanced and proportioned body of the person means working toward the realization of a work of art.

I simply made two triangles identical in terms of their form and dimension: one delineates the space between the standing figure?s legs, the other the space between the raised and open arms. The human figure thus appears perfectly balanced: the lower portion mirrors the upper, the left half mirrors the right, even when divided crosswise, maintaining the navel as the crucial center. In Leonardo?s drawing, instead, there is an obvious incongruence between the upper triangle formed between the arms and the lower one delineated between the legs, and thus the disproportion between the parts is clearly visible. The difference between Leonardo?s man and the person contained in my Segno arte consists in the fact that the Renaissance artist forced the human body into a pre-established geometric structure (attempting to square the circle), while my geometric form is defined beginning with the human body. Moreover, and significantly, I have replaced the male figure with a female. This is because the mark of the umbilicus, central in Segno arte, is the symbol of life that each person bears, impressed into his or her body, and this natural marking links humanity to the woman through the umbilical cord, which is cut at every birth.

In fact, by ?empty? I meant the boundless container that is the mirror, which is always filled virtually by every existing thing.

This Segno arte constructed on the proportions of the person is in itself my basic project, which is translated into practical and operational reality with the activity of Cittadellarte. Segno arte puts the person at the center of society as a symbol of new equilibrium. Looking at socioeconomic statistics, we understand how far we are from this balanced relationship. In fact we derive an image of human society that can be represented as a misshapen body made from two triangles, a smaller one above, a bit like a head, where wealth and power are concentrated, and the other triangle progressively enlarged downward, where misery and degradation extend.

Above all, artists must not be only in art galleries or museums?they must be present in all possible activities. The artist must be the sponsor of thought in whatever endeavor people take on, at every level, from that of the ?masses? to that of ?command.?

Art is responsible for a new philosophy based on the comprehension of opposite poles, such as the absolute and the relative. This philosophy corresponds to a different way of conceiving both phenomenological dynamics and fideistic immobility.

Art is responsible for establishing new principles of a harmonious relationship that involves aesthetics and common ethics, a harmony that leads all the elements that compose the social structure back to a ?classical? proportion.

Art is responsible for revealing the contrast between advanced technology and ancient dogmatic systems, producing a new way of seeing within consciousness.

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Italian Painter, Action and Object Artist, and Art Theorist.