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Classical Influence: Art by Claudio Parmggiani

An installation consisting of ornate bells and a room filled with sootInstallation in Ex Oratorio di San Lupo, Italy

Claudio Parmiggiani is a mixed media and installation artist whose works present often mundane objects that have been removed from their context and tweaked into a strange, unrecognizable state.


An installation consisting of hundreds of loaves of bread cast in ironChi mangia questo pane vivrà in eterno, iron-cast bread loaves


Uses interesting materials such as smoke and soot in his wood panel works. The soot is used in much the same manner as charcoal, to create shadows in an image. He has also been known to use this medium in installation works, smearing soot across the walls of a gallery or existing installation pieces to create a burned, abandoned feel. Sculpted heads in the style of ancient Greek or Italian busts are a motif in his recent works. Parmiggiani was born in Italy in 1943, so it’s easy to see where he may have picked up a classical influence. Some of our own artists have taken that classical theme to interesting places: painter Kevin Sloan, for instance.


A 2015 show in Hong Kong features a large number of white plaster busts of various figures piled on the floor against the wall of a gallery space. 


An installation consisting of a number of plaster busts piled on the floorInstallation at Simon Lee gallery in Hong Kong

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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