Acclaimed Florentine artist Patrizio Travagli uses the ancient technique of gilding to transform the value and appeal of personal objects. Fascinated by the interaction of light and metallic leaf, Travagli draws upon the act of memorializing inherent in the gilding process and its finished product.
he Golden Touch features gilded objects made during several adult workshops at the DCCA. Participants were invited to gild a meaningful or emotionally relevant object from their homes, thereby willingly surrendering their connection to its original appearance and physicality. The gilding of each item both elevates and solidifies its integral role in the participant’s life, transforming the objects into trophies or small devotional statues. In this way, Travagli facilitates a shift in perception for each participant, differentiating her or his repeated experience of the memento and its original function from the present moment. Each newly gilded object boasts an enthralling relationship with light, riveting our senses and establishing a distant yet reverential proximity to the object.
Offering an additional layer of perception, Travagli includes his own gilded paintings of each object’s silhouette in seductive, radiant works on paper. These two-dimensional works act as scans of physical elements that may hold particular feeling or memory, perhaps featuring concentrations of pain or joy held within the curves and crevices of each object. The artist also includes representative imagery of the United States, tying the act of gilding these particular objects to a geographic location. Within the context of Travagli’s exhibition, his golden map of the U.S. reminds us of the passage of time, the possibility of travel, and our potential movement from place to place, original memories and experiences intact.
Travagli writes, “In the act of covering the object, you are also revealing it. Like a mirror, it becomes a reflection, your own personal reflection.” The Golden Touch is a collection of objects that personify these histories and form relationships with one another when viewed side by side. In a gesture of both high celebration and final release, viewers can partake in the admiration of each object, their gazes reinforcing the preservation of the owner’s private and prolonged attachment.
Patrizio Travagli graduated from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze in 1993 and began teaching painting and sculpture in various art institutes soon after. Travagli is the founder and current Director of the Accademia D’Arte Ad’A in Firenze, Italy. He has exhibited his work internationally, including the 2011 Venice Biennale and has work in various private and corporate collections.
Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts - The Golden Touch - Patrizio Travagli - 04.09.2015 - 17.01.2016