Bronze - Black Patina on Marble | Armi Archeologia Sperimentale
1.5m-1.9m in height (base dependent) | 100-150kg | (7) Seven Individual Works | Unique Pieces | Limited to 3 sets (21 total)
Antonio Signorini started an in-depth study of primitive art in 2003. In particular, he focused on the Libyan, Saudi and Iraqi caves and findings within them. Then, the discovery of new caves in Europe led Signorini to develop his research further and to work towards recreating the rupestrian drawings he saw in these caves into sculptural form - a modern day creation to connect people with their past.
As his research widened, Antonio became further acquainted with findings in the Mesopotamian region and this inspired him to create The Warriors, one of his most compelling collections. This series is inspired, influenced, and dedicated to the Paleolithic prehistoric period. The first warrior was inspired from drawings in the caves of Saharan Libya, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and regions within Algeria; the other warriors developed one after the other like a memory of his own past, like an ancient tale that was turning into life through his art connecting all humanity together.
“Everything started from a close encounter with our past; the one from which we have very little information; the one from which everything began. Pure quartz spheroids, jasper almonds streaked with gold and purple and waxy leaves of translucent flint. Refined graffiti, evocative paintings, millstones, axes, blades aged thousands of centuries: these are the drawings and objects that guaranteed the survival of the first human communities and leads us to remember them today.
The precious beauty of the chosen material, the research of symmetries, the creation of perfection in the smooth convexity suggest that the unknown makers were growing a need that was going beyond the simple usefulness of tools. These forms of higher handicraft - evidence that archaic man has migrated from the African plains to the Saudi Arabian desert - might reveal the original nucleus from which art stems. More than any other science, the study of prehistory grants an incredible access to imagination, contrasting with the objectivity of scientific data.
During my research I became fascinated by 14,000-year-old drawings. They are abstract and also real at the same time. In their purest simplicity they are also incredibly similar to drawings by children. Cave drawings are like the childhood of the world; we all start out drawing in the same way. For me, past and present do not exist. Life and art are not chronological. Art is always contemporary because it inspires emotions that are always real.
These drawings inspired me and I imagined what they would be like if they became sculpture and that is when the warrior project started in my mind. I saw my warriors running and moving in the desert, in the endless lands filled with running gazelles and animals. I imagined their spears and their bows and arrows ready to hunt and I connected myself with our ancient past as if it was my real present.”
Thanks to Signorini’s wide ranging experience and his constant research he has invented and developed his own techniques and an individual approach towards the materials he uses. He has realized new alloys to give his pieces the specific aesthetics and the beauty that he desires; working with several metals to achieve unique textures and chromatic tones and surfaces.
Mixing fine marble powder with pigments and colours, he produces engravings that bring a new dimension to sculpture and also enhances his art pieces. In his paintings he mixes oils with acrylics on marble and fabrics. The use of his own techniques and of the new bronze alloys, allow him to create beautiful and archetypical works of magnificent universality.
They are strong, modern and linear. Their clean lines create equilibrium and movement and they are all created in dynamic poses - running, hunting and posturing. Cut segments in the area of the eyes and the back create an angular feeling and missing sections at the hips create abstraction and a beautiful balance between two halves.
The spears and bow and arrows for the warriors have been created using advanced experimental archaeology methods that derive from the same processes used at the period. The artist sourced stone and antique wood from the region and made the objects using our understanding of processes from the past.
This collection has been created as a journey of the artist and as a metaphor for human life as a journey in itself.
THE ENCOUNTER WITH SARUQ AL HADID
When Signorini found out about the discovery of the archeological site at Saruq Al Hadid, he was so impressed that he decided immediately to fly to Dubai and, he fell in love with what he saw.
“It was amazing to me to think about how these pieces were forged thousands of years ago in the middle of the desert. They are exquisite pieces with great attention to detail. The animals, particularly the gazelle, are fascinating to me, because they are so life-like. The anatomy was exactly in proportion, which is very impressive.”
Signorini’s intrigue in movement and dynamism was heightened even further by the Saruq Al Hadid finds. He began imagining the additional dimensions of the gazelle, originally found as a bas-relief.
“To me sculpture is my poetry and I was enchanted by this baby gazelle. The anatomical details as well as the abstraction was incredible. I couldn’t stop thinking about and imagining what would be the movement on the other side. So, I started to work on making my own versions.”
The pull of this discovery and the positive energy that Signorini and his wife found whilst visiting Dubai were so strong that not long after they visited the museum, the family decided to move permanently to Dubai.
“We came initially to see the museum but then we felt energized by the passion and spirit of the people in the UAE so we wanted to base ourselves here. We are also completely fascinated by this story of the civilizations that lived here more than 6000 years ago and our aim is also to share this news and discovery with the rest of the world.”