From Waste Materials to Real Sculptures
Artists often create alter egos to keep their private life separated from the public one. LABADANzky is one of them: he prefers not to link his factual identity to his artistic production even if he doesn’t hide it so much telling jokingly “I am not Batman”.
The alias LABADANzky comes from the corruption of a nickname the artist had when he was younger. Being a neologism, he also chose how to write it, deciding to have a part in capital letters and another one in lower case. Moreover, he defines himself Unpolite art machine because he uses not so common ways to create his works, or he spreads less mainstream messages in those forms of art to which he belongs: Street Art and Relational Art.
The choice of defying himself impolite, using an incorrect or at least outdated term, is already significative of his will to be free from conventions.
Actually, his works too may be defined ‘unpolite‘ because they are made with waste materials, no longer suitable for our society. The artist himself says: “They are technological abominations; I don’t pretend to think that they are good for everyone“.
The choice of recovering objects, pieces of cardboards and plates can be related to the awareness of problems like planet’s pollution, consumerism, planned obsolescence…
These messages can be found in LABADANzky’s artworks but not because he wanted to spread them, rather because, as he says: “It’s always easy to find around us waste materials or carboard; I made big sculptures from them“.
At the beginning, LABADANzky’s works were set in the streets being often made from traffic lights, security cameras, or road signs. They raised as real artworks when, in 2018, the show Rest in Pieces was set up in Palazzo Ducale in Genoa, Italy.
Exhibition’s title played on the similar sound between ‘peace’ – usually used in R.I.P. sentence on tombstones – and ‘pieces’ to underline how salvaged scraps used as artistic materials could rest in peace in museal spaces although they were made by pieces.
In this way, artworks were protected from acts of vandalism, bad weather, and negative opinions of passers-by.
The poses of these sculptures, similar to androids, mimic human’s behaviour in a such realistic way that it seemed they could feel melancholy, boredom, and fatigue. Indeed, LABADANzky always tries to give his ‘machines’ an appearance as much as possible empathic or friendly making them big eyes or feet. While others, because of their huge dimensions, can seem threatening.
The artist also creates sculptures and painted panels inspired by art and literature’s worlds. For example, he includes references to Michelangelo’s David, to Warhol’s Campbell’s soup can, to Rodin’s Thinker, and to Japanese prints from XVII to XX century.
Among literature’s personalities, LABADANzky portrayed Dante and Virgil respectively in the event Dante Plus 2019 and in Subsidenze Street Art Festival 2020.
Dante can be easily recognised from the red of his vest and the laurel crown, while Virgil is more tough: he is light blue as his vest in classical iconography, and he is covered by quotes from him. He is represented as a vehicle, a sort of armchair with big robotic legs, because in Dante’s poem his function is to guide and help him to make his path, in this case even transporting him physically.
In general, LABADANzky’s sculptures are inspired by the first robotic toys sold in the Eighties, when he was a kid.
In that period, teenagers’ science-fiction was still at the beginning and so it had, as the artist says, “a comforting superficiality“.
It’s precisely this immature side of futuristic technology of those years that still fascinates and inspires him nowadays.
LABADANzky surely updated those influences but he also succeeded in overcoming prejudices about Street art transforming scraps in stunning art pieces with so much to transmit.
There will be an online show these days. For more info click here.
Photo credits: Silvia Cerrati (for the cover image); @xnart0 (for the traffic light android and the Campbell’s soup can one), Marco Miccoli @bonobolabo (for Dante), Benedetta Pezzi @benedettapezzii (for Virgil). All other pictures are from LABADANzky Studio.