The sculptural installation ARTE DA STRADA PER STRADA
is original by the Barcelona-based sculptor based in Rome
The young partner Javier de Mendoza tells us in first person about this great adventure.
On Sunday, July 12, a sculptural installation was made in the characteristic neighborhood of San Lorenzo in the Italian capital, Rome. The purpose of this action is to give back to this neighborhood what he has brought to me as an artist: the inspiration that has emerged after living in it for a year and confined for months. It is an art project, emerged from life on the street, which is returned to the same streets that shaped it.
I placed three sculptures in three determining places in the conception of this Installation:
It portrays an absent man, his face corroded by alcohol and a self-destructive life. Blind in one eye, barely able to hold his head upright and staring blankly, a gaze that pierces and has no soul
Location: Largo degli Osci
It is the epicenter of cocktail bars, where it is common to stumble upon highly intoxicated characters who scream, or who, on the contrary, hardly see where they are walking.
He is an aggressive and challenging character, with his gaze fixed on his goals, intimidating and violent. He portrays a nightclub doorman, under the prison of drugs and the night world, always looking for the opportunity to create or participate in an altercation.
Very characteristic character of this square.
Location: Piazza dell’Imaccolata
In this place it is frequent to come across drug dealers, or characters in search of the unwary to steal
“Woman of the pill”
It is the bust of a woman who, during her youth, adopted a lifestyle that was impossible to maintain, a woman imprisoned by vices and the bad life, in constant search of anything with which to “put herself” to calm the anxiety of addictions. that condition your whole life. It is the portrait of someone who cries out for help, but does not allow herself to be helped, with a shattered and devastated look that does not see beyond the next 24 hours
Location: Piazza Dei Sanniti (Cinema Palazzo)
Here it is common to find people sleeping on the street, or drug addicts sitting on the curbs, trying to protect themselves from the passage of people
The project combines a series of sculptures, busts of a classical Roman character, but which I modify by applying to the characters the characteristics of the current environment in San Lorenzo. Decadence, drug addiction, the night life, the path to perdition that some cannot avoid. It takes into account the cultural factors of the past -the classical Roman bust-, the current factors that give the work its theme -decadence and marginality-, and future factors, its quality of ephemeral work due to the materials used (plaster and resin) and external factors such as vandalism and destruction of the work, which will probably be carried out by the same characters I portray. And it is precisely these consequences that give meaning to the project and make the circle close: it is born from the characters it is portrayed, it is a gift for them and they will be the ones who, probably, will destroy them over time .
The three busts were placed on concrete bases made up of blocks, with a height of 130 cm., On which each sculpture will be placed. They will be located in the three areas of the neighborhood most frequented by decadence, alcoholism and nightlife. The entire installation will run from my account, without going through the administration: FREE ART that I give as an artist, without any economic benefit for it. Just give back to the neighborhood what is in the neighborhood.
The works were assembled on Sunday July 12 in broad daylight, dressed as a bricklayer and simulating public works. The neighborhood will be the one to decide until when they will stay.
San Lorenzo was a decadent neighborhood degraded by crime and poverty, where you can still see the traces of the bombings of World War II. But it has also been the cradle of the PCI, of student movements, of the Palazzo cinema and of its union meetings, of the pastificio Cerere that would later become the San Lorenzo School and, later still, the home of artists who develop their creations among their walls. Today San Lorenzo is linked to artistic and student life. Its streets are frequented by students from the Roman University La Sapienza and the RUFA (Rome University of Fine Arts), who have been filling the floors of this neighborhood and have transformed it, giving it a new life, which I have shared during this last year.
This project is linked to all these aspects: decadence, life in the neighborhood, youth and the way in which I, as an artist and as a resident, am interested in the beauty found in everything that represents and which gives these works a context and a specific character that they would never have had in any other neighborhood in the city. For a year I have lived in these streets as an Erasmus student and those same streets are what have inspired my work. Therefore, the purpose of this installation project is to give back to San Lorenzo what he has given me: the inspiration that came from living on its streets. They are therefore works for the most disadvantaged characters in society, a monument that reminds us that not everything is greatness and power, that the decadence of big cities exists and that it cannot be hidden that the current way of life creates characters like the portrayed in my project.
Art emerged from life on the street, which is returned to the same streets that shaped it.
I am from Barcelona and I moved to Rome almost a year ago, with an Erasmus scholarship, to study the last year of the Fine Arts degree at RUFA (Rome University of Fine Arts). But during these months everything has turned against me to continue with the projects I started: COVID, quarantine, total isolation … Many resigned and returned to Spain, to their homes, with their family. However it was something that I could not do, I could not abandon all that I came to this city for, forget about the dream of a young sculptor who comes to the city of sculpture. So I have taken advantage of these months of confinement to focus more intensely on my projects and on the grounding of the works to their final destination and purpose. I have chosen to continue creating and producing work against all the problems posed by this crisis; That is the key in the development of this idea: take advantage of the closing time imposed to do something relevant for the city and the neighborhood, in an artistic period in which art has been left behind as a decorative object exclusively for the bourgeoisie. and a stage has begun in which it is shared and used as a political tool of opinion and demand.
So the administration cannot be part of this project. That is why it is street art for the street, ARTE DA STRADA PER STRADA
I am JAVIER DE MENDOZA, a young sculptor from Barcelona, at the beginning of his artistic career and with a still short curriculum. But in which I can highlight having been selected with my work “Luigi” for the Reina Sofía Prize for Painting and Sculpture this year 2020, last March, in Madrid. The work was going to be exhibited in the “Casa de Vacas” center in Madrid’s Retiro Park, an exhibition that had to be canceled as soon as it started due to the pandemic and the confinement measures.
installation video and more