Gigi Mariani

Gigi Mariani

Between Two Worlds

The works of Gigi Mariani lead us to explore ancient, remote worlds of the past, to a point that they may appear to be out of this time. The techniques that the artist employs belong to a world that no longer exists, an age where time elapsed at a very slow pace.

Today all this has changed. We live in an era where speed has become an integral part of our lives. Hours, minutes, even seconds have become more and more precious. But perhaps it is precisely this aspect that confers added value to Mariani's works.
The time to devote to a manual skill becomes increasingly rare today and consequently, of greater value. Having researched a technique such as niello, that has fallen into disuse, a technique that dates back to times prior to and even more remote than the use Benvenuto Cellini made of it during the Renaissance period, has conferred a strong character to his works. Mariani has delved into the past and has personalized this technique to the point that a completely new language has been developed.

Upon observation, the works reveal a strong manual skill. We can almost imagine the artist sitting at his workbench with his tools. We can hear the flame from the torch and the sound of the saw, whilst little by little he builds his pieces.

His works present themselves with an inner strength that seems to want to burst out impetuously. The surfaces lead us to think of desert, arid lands or cracks caused by the elements. The structures erupt into the surrounding space, evoking a distant geological era. The outer layer is fractured, uneven, damaged, ill-treated, rough, as if wanting to break free from what would normally be considered precious. A certain kind of unpretentiousness seems to emerge, that of intentionally hiding the valuable material that lies beneath, of wanting to cover any “clue” that may lead to considering an object precious.

The colour and the cracks make us think of the charcoal obtained when burning wood in the fireplace, and here again, nostalgic worlds, tools from rural scenes of the past, are evoked.

Some of the works recall parts of medieval armour, combined with elements in gold, which bring us back to an idea of preciousness.

In recent years the world of contemporary jewellery is re-converging with those that are the traditional goldsmith techniques, which in the 1960-80s had been abandoned for alternative materials and methods. In this regard, the skilful use of traditional techniques, high precision instruments such as laser, combined with his research and experiments, make Mariani a complete artist, working between two worlds, past and present, to which he makes constant reference and in which he moves with extreme skill and confidence, eliminating any subtle confines he may encounter.

Mariani collection

Author: Francesca Alice Lombardo - Content Writer