Davide Galbiati Sculpteur

The Great Black

In the middle of urban centers, behind facades of concrete, souls exist, that are in search for meaning, faith and ideals. While facing a quickly changing world and a loss in touch with nature, humans are no longer aware of their sacred side.

Through my work, I'm therefore trying to put forward this opposition displayed between the old and new, the visible and the invisible.

Sculptor of souls

Davide Galbiati is a free sculptor. He has made sculpture his choice, wood his fondness and the great profession his legacy. Day after day he has developed his creation out of the art system of France. He is his own workmaster. The sculpted art of Davide Galbiati nourishes from the imaginary space of the tree. He is seeking the images dwelling in its shape: the pillar, the column capital, the standing man. With his chisel, heís facing its round and vertical form. Heís sculpting the fragrance of the squared yet alive tree. He nourishes from the memories of its roots, its ramifications and fruits.

The cathedral sites have long faded away but the column-statue still arises from Galbiatiís gouge. He likes to shape irreducible sanctuaries embodied by these pillars which stand barefoot, with a peaceful face and hands taking their liturgical offering shape.

Both little and large works are highly structured. Their main element and strain rise and find their clarity in their discrepancies and their balance on the face. Then, this one seems to invade all the space, overflowing its boundaries, spreading like a span of thoughts, like tree foliage.

In the old days, artists used to put up a halo to their saints to signify glory and aura. Now Galbiati is embedding it in his own sculpture.

The central theme of Galbiatiís sculpted work is undoubtedly to reveal the invisible side of Men. That is both the concern and the challenge of his creation.

However, sculpting a man with his soul is not only a matter of skill. The path that leads to the great profession is unique and no master can ever cross that threshold with his apprentice. Along with those who follow that same path, Galbiati is on a solitary quest to find out the forms that make Ďthe presenceí visible to us all.

But he knows for sure that form springs from opposite tensions both unforced and harmonized. That is how form defies gravity and therefore gives the whole artwork an upward movement.

The Founding Face
Davide brings all his focus on the faces. There lies his definition of the geometric and architectural construction of the body. Under his chisel, the head is the carrier of the temple and the whole body. His faces are designed like column capital, like keystones where both the burden of the world and the sky play out-a burden so heavy that it closes the eyes and condenses the faces.

Within them we can perceive an inner life made of prayers, fears, thoughts, kindness, contemplation, surrender and fantasy. Science as well as sculptorís skills is all about rising everything up and letting nothing going down. But Davide Galbiatiís gift goes way beyond the cold-hearted equation balancing sheer energies at stake. This constant rigor is well concealed underneath the green abundance, the life in motion and the presence of a soul.

The concrete-loving sculptor

Form and soul are connected and the artist knows it as he constantly experiments this link between visible and invisible called life. Galbiati loves to sculpt that particular bond. When he doesnít seem to grasp it, he knows he has failed and gets straight back into work. Sometimes he has to wait, for working the shapes has secrets of its own. The willpower and the know-how will not do it all; grace also has its own unpredictable part to play.

Pulling the soul that is echoing in any sculpted form towards the visible world is an artistís privilege that Davide Galbiati is committed to. As a wood sculpture artist, He has naturally found his inspiration while personally experiencing the strong analogy existing between Men and Trees. He has indeed expressed it in his work in many ways. But a day comes when he must leave the comfort of the worlds he masters too well so that he can face the unknown and pull off a couple of challenges. Therefore, his curiosity has led him to explore the strangest of materials. And little by little a paradoxical urge to blend the strongest opposites emerged from him: the most subtle forms that only the soul can provide to the body on one hand, and the most lifeless disregarded and artificial material on the other hand.

Quite like the Alchemist strives to turn lead into gold, he thinks of transforming concrete grey into noble stone. Thatís some clever chemistry too! The right mixing of materials, the proportions, the temperature control, the hydration and the setting time are all keys to success. In fact it is all about creating newer and more ductile material that can eventually become harder and time proof.

And getting better at it every day is winning a symbolic victory. Actually, isnít the gradual replacement of trees and forests by this tower-raising material a very symbol of the civilizing process? What about ennobling that material rather than losing faith in it? What about giving it the shape of a soul? And how about filling it with images and ornating these colossus of concrete so that they can unravel menís secret desires?
That may be why Davide Galbiatiís first works were essentially faces and torsos.

Aude de Kerros