“Come and walk on our heads! “an installation by Salvatore Mainardi
Born in 1954, the Italian-Swiss artist Salvatore Mainardi does not seek recognition at all costs to justify the international stature of his work, which has been appreciated for some time and has already received the favours of German, Swiss and Italian critics.
In the seventies, eighties and nineties, Salvatore Mainardi mainly painted and spray-painted surreal landscapes. Later he began to integrate everyday objects and plastics into his paintings. For the last 5 years he has been working entirely on the subject of heads made of bronze, clay, cement, leather, PET and paper.
Salvatore Mainardi’s main theme is the human being and his development, which he himself calls “People Evolution”. “The heads represent us” explains Salvatore Mainardi. “I group them together in always different installations and I also use them in my performances”. His work questions existential questions such as why is the human being in this world, in which direction is his evolution going, what does he want, why does he live, why does he love, why does he hate, why does he hate….
Salvatore Mainardi goes even one step further. His installations also take on the character of action art, in which the artist integrates his surrealist universe in a new and unexpected way. With these heads, he offers us an artistic work strongly linked to current events on the themes of the destruction of values, consumer society, isolation, love and sadness. Salvatore Mainardi: “We are both responsible and victims of the destruction that reigns in our society. However, we must not allow ourselves to be dragged along by violence, but rather move forward and serve as a model”.
These are the thoughts that the artist expressed during a performance at the printing works in Suhr (Switzerland) when he burned his installation in front of the public and immediately rebuilt it without being irritated. Salvatore Mainardi plays a lively game with his spectators and his heads, which he composes in the moment and questions: a creative and enigmatic game.