Chimera art

artwork by I. Giardina

Embarking on a transformative journey spanning the years from 2009 to 2012, Italozazen’s artistic evolution unfolded like a dream within the arid embrace of the dry tropics. This phase marked a profound departure from the realm of mixed media plaques that had characterized his earlier creations in the lush embrace of the wet tropical region.

In the realm of Chimera art, one finds a mesmerizing counterpoint to the marble plaque base reliefs that had once captivated his artistic essence. Here, within the intricate labyrinth of his sculptures, the enigma of consciousness began to take shape—an ethereal exploration of the profound mysteries that lie beneath the surface of human existence.

Intrigued by the subtle complexities of consciousness, Italozazen felt compelled to fashion sculptures that stood alone, distinct and evocative. The motivations for this profound shift were twofold. Firstly, he grappled with the notion that consciousness, viewed from a human perspective, could either emerge as a simple byproduct of the non-physical soul or manifest as a complex interdependent state intricately woven into the fabric of physical existence. Secondly, if consciousness were to bear the weight of representational theory, it demanded an approach deeply rooted in human agency. Thus, the ethereal quest to explore the subtle problem of consciousness found its sanctuary within the contours of his standalone sculptural motifs. It was an artistic embrace of the hard problem of consciousness, a dance between the manifest image and the concealed nature of human awareness.

Guided by conceptual currents that flowed like a river of thought, the forms that emerged were not premeditated constructs but rather manifestations of an organic experimentation with materials. Yet, within these forms, the traces of theoretical inquiries that had captivated his academic pursuits began to surface. The mask-on-man, the Eco warrior, and Saving Sisaphis bore the imprints of environmental philosophy and the philosophy of mind. The Eco warrior, with its tape recorder face and plaque, became a testament to intentional states in the intricate dance of species with their environment. Italozazen, for the first time, ventured into the realm of sculptural narratives that sought to capture the essence of profound philosophical conundrums. Gone were the days of mere commentary on basic problems or overarching themes; the sculptor now delved into the heart of intricate philosophical discourse.

From these foundational steps, Italozazen embarked on audacious journeys of thought. The brain project, a striking embodiment of a brain replicated and adorned with color, spoke volumes about the “Brain in a vat” thought experiment championed by philosophers and elluded to through science fiction. Yet, the intention transcended the realm of diagrams and depictions; it sought to encapsulate the very essence of the conundrum in the tangible world, marrying the artifice of sculpture with the organic beauty of the tree trunk. In this fusion, one sensed the tantalizing possibility that our reality might be but a simulation, and the “mad scientist” a hyper-dimensional entity weaving multiple simulated universes.

The path of artistic inquiry led Italozazen eastward, toward the realms of existential exploration. From the fertile grounds of eco-spirituality and consciousness, his curiosity flowed toward the philosophical territories that had piqued his interest in the 80s and 90s. Indian classical metaphysics, once confined to traditional iconography, now found expression through his sculptures. The vortex form, a contemporary incarnation of psychological centers often depicted as chakras or wheels along the body’s length, offered a fresh perspective. Sculptures like the latex lady and running walking delved into yoga psychology, unraveling the layers of the self, from the outer sheath of manifest skin to the inner sanctum of intellect. This exploration birthed a rich tapestry of yogic forms, a testament to Italozazen’s boundless artistic odyssey.

In the hands of Italozazen, sculpture became a medium through which the mysteries of existence, consciousness, and metaphysics converged in a breathtaking journey that transcended the boundaries of traditional artistry.