The Gallery of Mario Loprete

Artist Statement

In the world I inhabit, I wield the power to shape it to my liking through virtual, pictorial, and sculptural expressions. These serve as my means to translate experiences and capture reality through the filters of my mind, a process I’ve honed over years of research and experimentation.

Painting is my initial and enduring love, a pure and vital connection. It begins with the fervent exploration of concepts through which I aim to convey my message, forming the bedrock of my artistic journey. Sculpture, on the other hand, serves as my artistic paramour—a voluptuous and sensual muse igniting a range of emotions and striking chords often deemed taboo.

Recently, a series of concrete sculptures has brought me increased personal and professional satisfaction. Its origin can be traced back to a comprehensive investigation of my own work, a quest for that elusive missing element. In reviewing my body of work over the past decade, I recognized a certain semantic and semiotic logic embedded in my images. However, the suitable platform to amplify their message was lacking.

Reinforced cement, a material with a history dating back two millennia to the Romans, now symbolizes modernity. It conveys a narrative of amphitheaters, bridges, and roads that have transcended time and conquered both the ancient and contemporary world. Everywhere one ventures, concrete walls embody the essence of modernity, encapsulating the spirit of contemporary society. From Sydney to Vancouver, Oslo to Pretoria, this presence supports writers and enables them to articulate their narratives.

This journey has led to a fundamental artistic question: If art was brought to the streets to make it accessible to all, why not bring the urban to galleries and museums? In the context of my painting process, once a painting has thoroughly dried, I apply a specific substance that unifies every color and shade while infusing the artwork with a glossy sheen akin to posters we’ve all had hanging on our walls.

For my concrete sculptures, I incorporate my personal clothing into the artistic process. Utilizing plaster, resin, and cement, I transform these articles into hanging artworks. The intent is for my DNA and memories to endure within the concrete, allowing those who observe these sculptures to metamorphose into postmodern archaeologists, deciphering my work as urban artifacts.

I like to imagine that those who view my 2020 sculptures can discern the anguish, vulnerability, and fear that each of us experienced during the global challenge of COVID-19. Beneath a layer of cement lies the clothing I wore during that tumultuous period—garments that persevered through the pandemic, reminiscent of the resilience displayed after the catastrophic eruption of Pompeii over two millennia ago. These artifacts tell the story of humanity’s struggle to confront shattered lives and devastated economies.

Immersed in a world of self-fashioned creation, Mario Loprete explores a diverse palette of virtual, pictorial, and sculptural expressions, honing a unique process through years of dedicated research. With a profound love for painting, each canvas becomes a testament to Loprete’s intricate conceptual pursuits, while sculpture emerges as a clandestine lover, evoking forbidden emotions beyond the constraints of two dimensions. A recent foray into concrete sculptures has proven to be a personally and professionally satisfying endeavor, born from an intense self-examination sparked by the perceived absence in the artist’s body of work. Grounded in the historical narrative of reinforced cement, a material crafted by the Romans two millennia ago, these sculptures symbolize both antiquity and modernity, telling a story that transcends time and geography. Mario Loprete’s unique fusion of personal clothing with plaster, resin, and cement transforms these sculptures into postmodern artifacts, inviting viewers to become archaeologists exploring the urban remnants of the artist’s DNA and memories.