Italian art: Pietro Sedda

Sep 15, 2019 82

Pietro Sedda is an artist who boasts several records: to have become the first Italian tattoo artist of world renown, to have crossed the border of his work thanks to his art, to have landed in a museum for his first anthological exhibition and to have worked with luxury brands for capsule collections.

Pietro grew up in Oristano, in Sardinia; he graduated from the Art Institute in 1989, then moved to Milan, where he graduated in 1995 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Brera.

In 1999 he began to tattoo, opening his studio in Oristano and then moving to other cities such as London, Urbino and finally Milan, where he became a recognized tattoo artist of international renown, thanks to his studio “The Saint Mariner”.

Last year, for his first anthological exhibition "L'opera al nero", in the rooms of the Pinacoteca Contini in Oristano were exhibited about eighty works made between 1998 and 2018, twenty years of research in the wake of a stylistic consistency that makes black the symbolic constant of his poetics. At the entrance some large drawings on dusting paper represented animals in the eighties graffiti style. A parade of ambiguous images followed, mysterious painted characters, with quotations ranging from Caravaggio to Bad Painting. Follicles, moths and fakirs fill his paintings on paper, on wood and on supports of more industrial and "pop" production such as the decorated plastic tablecloths: they are the protagonists of a borderline society. Witnessing the social and sexual revolutions taking place in recent decades, they speak to us of love and death reminding the viewer that life is short and must be lived fully. In the drawings, we find some surrealistic portraits where the face is transformed into a landscape in a continuous journey to new seas to explore.

The exhibition also featured Polaroid, photographs and videos that complete the development and coherence of his work. The titles of the works are also an active part in describing a world where the body is the protagonist, because we must never forget it, almost all the drawings on display travel even now on living bodies that move.

In 2019 comes the collaboration with Rosenthal, a famous German porcelain brand always looking for new decorations in step with the times. “Cilla Marea” is therefore born, a collection in which pieces from Rosenthal's archives re-emerge from the past with a completely new graphic layout, urban and contemporary, rediscovering vigour and modernity. Some of Sedda's iconic designs find their place on vases, plates, glasses and small yokes, creating a beautiful combination of the cheerfulness of porcelain and a very masculine style of long-distance sailor, expressed in a surrealist key. Design perhaps needs tattooists when they stand out with their personal art and storytelling, when whales, sailboats and dream sailors, reminiscent of Fassbinder's Querelle de Brest, happily appear on the saucers for bread or dried afternoon tea biscuits. Porcelain enamel replaces the skin as a support for Sedda's art and the effect is truly surprising, almost dystopian, like the setting up of the collection, presented in Rome last summer.

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