The Veiled Ghosts of Livio Scarpella
The work of Italian contemporary artist Livio Scarpella turns good and evil into delicacy. This group of sculptures, named “Ghosts Underground”, depicts lost souls anguishing beneath the effect of a thin veil. Scarpella’s interest in this subject was inspired by a trip to the Sansevero Chapel in Naples, home to Antonio Corradini’s “Veiled Christ”. Before that time, he mostly exhibited paintings for a decade. By mixing influences of Rococo sculptors like Corradini with modern iconography, Scarpella explores a struggle with religious faith. He couples his “blessed” and “damned” figures with light and dark colored mineral rocks, like amethyst and quartz, inside the chest. They are hardened hearts that embody the ghost hidden within. Reminiscent of Michelangelo’s The Prisoners, these gentle busts unveil the ghost within. Scarpella takes this idea to a new level in his recent work. His exhibit “Fuori dal Tempo” (“Out of Time”) now showing at Gallery Gomiero in Italy, looks at the theme of sin without repentance. Undeniably, Scarpella pursues a morbid imagination dominated by smug virtue and natural beauty.
“Fuori dal Tempo” by Livio Scarpella is on view at Gallery Gomiero in Milan, Italy