Love Marble

An exhibition by Italian sculptor Fabio Viale promises to cast a fresh light on this sublime material. Ten artworks on display at Moscow’s Garage will highlight the tension between marble’s classical past and an uncompromising, cutting-edge artistic appro

­Marble, especially the White Carrara, has a long association with Italian Renaissance sculpture created by such great masters as Bernini and Michelangelo. However, you will hardly recognize David at this display…

Turin-based Fabio Viale is the artist who started turning this classic material into hyper-realistic objects. Tattooed body parts, boats, paper airplanes and tires all appear in Viale’s works. Here, marble imitates other materials, such as rubber, paper or plastic.

Exploring the history of sculpture in Italy, Viale turns towards the classics, recreating parts of major statues, such as Michelangelo’s David and the ancient god Kuros, and covers them in ‘tattoos’. These, by the way, were inspired by Russian prison tattoo designs, featuring inscriptions like ‘God is with Us’, ‘I’ll Die Soon’, ‘The Sickle and the Hammer’, as well as religious and mythic symbols.

Aghalla, Fabio Viale’s marble boat (Photo from

At the very entrance to the art center, a marble motorboat weighing nearly half a ton has been placed where it will be impossible to miss. Ahgalla really can float! It floats in a pool constructed specifically for the boat’s display. 

“Marble” will open on August 21 at Moscow’s Garage Centre for Contemporary Culture.

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