Gabriele Risso

'This series of still lives arise from a meditation on seeing, looking, touching and representation. The still lives depict objects of common use which stand motionless, calm and silent.'

The still life stands as a representation of concentrated observation, representing domestic and unremarkable objects is an act of respect. The labour-intensive act of stone-carving highlights this reverence for objects which stand for silence and simplicity. Gabriele’s sculptures, carved out of pieces of wall, have similarities to icons or alters. Yet what is tenderly rendered is not a grand religious deity but a common bowl, jar or spoon, symbols of peaceful domesticity which we can all relate to.

After Gabrielle finished his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Genoa, he worked for his professor Massimo Chiappetta as an assistant for two years. This was where he learned all the processes of sculpting, but it was carving which arrested his attention. The material itself is fascinating to Gabriele; each type has its own properties, transparent, petrified, earthy, all of them reacting in different ways to his chisel. This love of stone led him to refine his stone carving technique with further study in Milan and Paris at the École de Beaux-arts.

Massimo encouraged Gabriele to move to London, touting it as a great arts centre. After moving, Gabriele worked for a time as an assistant to Paul Vanstone, who he has learnt a great deal from. In 2020 the Salesian community commissioned a permanent site-specific installation for the new museum Museo Casa don Bosco in Turin. He has exhibited his works to great success at On Form and last year completed a large-scale commission for a restaurant in the Strand.