At the Castello Sforzesco, “Pietà”: Michelangelo as Seen by Barry X Ball

As always, the past and the future have their place in the work of Barry X Ball, the American artist who interprets historic sculptures using technology. Now it is the Pietà Rondanini of Michelangelo which passes under his 3D scanner, the jewel of the collection of Castello Sforzesco. The sandstone niche of the Sala degli Scarlioni, which from the ‘50s to 2015, hosted the emblem of unfinished works by Michelangelo, now hosts the replica sculpted in Iranian white onyx, celebrating the indomitable “utopia of a material”, even dominated or sublimated, adding to the virtual design and computer modelling, hand-carved details. While, to admire the renaissance original, all one has to do is go down to the Cortile delle Armi of the Castle, in the Sala XV, the public can get to know Barry X Ball through the highly expressive Pseudogroup of Giuseppe Panza: here the artist pays homage to his celebrated Italian patron with a portrait in nine versions in Macedonian marble, inspired by the sculptures of the Roman Republic. And for a complete itinerary of his works, there’s nothing better than Villa Panza, jewel of the FAI in Varese, where there is a complete retrospective dedicated to the Californian sculptor: a selection of his first works based in gold to his more recent Portraits and Masterpieces, which, including marble, alabaster and lapis lazuli works, offers a reflection on art throughout the ages, mixing originality with seriality.
Francesca Grego - © 2018 for Bulgari Hotel Milano