Bruno Catalano is a French artist born in Morocco and now living in Marseille, who has travelled widely as a sailor, which has given him the experience of constantly moving from one place to another. Besides, and as he states, having left Morocco when he was twelve years old, made him feel that a part of him had been gone never to return. And this becomes quite obvious in his work.
His bronze statues, gathered in a series under the general title of “Travellers”, depict “incomplete” bodies, from which vital parts are missing as if they had been dropped on their owners’ hasty journeys to unknown and compelling destinations. Fittingly, these figures always carry a suitcase or a bag, probably as a statement of what they mean to Catalano, who says that “the meaning can be different for everyone, but to him the sculptures represent a world citizen”.
Catalano’s figures always lack mid sections and seem to be eerily suspended in the air, by means of the use of a technique which allowed the artist, who was clearly inspired by great modern masters of sculpture, such as Rodin or Dali, to introduce the astonishing effect of an improbable fourth dimension to his art pieces: the void. This particularity adds a surrealistic feature to his work and offers viewers different aspects which change according to their position in relation to the statues.
Furthermore, this emptiness in the body of Catalano’s statues allows their background to, somehow, fill in the gap and become part of the body, as if making a statement about where they are. In a way, we could say that, just like Rob Mulholland’s mirrored sculptures – dealt with in a previous post – melt into their surroundings, Catalano’s works have their “emptiness” filled by the environment, therefore embodying it and going beyond boundaries.