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With Courage, Thematizing Mental Illness

Brunolupo’s artistic interest lies in the plastic confrontation with the human body: the head, and the view inside and outside. He sees man as an inseparable part of nature and addresses relationships, coexistences, un-relationships, and the emptiness and fullness of co-habitation. Brunolupo works often with clay, sometimes to create works of overt social criticism. He transforms clay into figures, landscapes, and minds, a sort of figurative expressionism. His works are ambiguous and subtle, often disturbing, and eternally interesting. Many of his works are reminiscent of porcelain, crystal, or watercolors. Up close, the figures’ bodies are comprised of rugged mountains and vegetation, and each figure is unique in its own handwriting. His ceramic works combine the lightness of watercolor with the seriousness of sculpture. He aggravates the clay to push material to its limits. His white sculptures reflect the light like crystals, but show the fears and worries of our imperfect world. Though superficially nice, they reveal evil political and human truths. The figures are meant to be viewed from eye level. Occasionally, Brunolupo also works in concrete, wood, PET, aluminum, and paint. He has created critical urban landscapes in abstract relief, lightweight concrete and asphalt objects, and consumer garbage pies.

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“Brunolupo’s sculptures are fascinating because of their particular ambiguous mood, reinforced by the “eyeless” embodiment of the artist’s head models, which are presented alone or in multiples. Without eyes, the figures remain to some extent anonymous, despite their physiognomic differences. Notches and gaps create the impression that their inner life is visible to the outer world. The artist combines vast quantities of heads in close proximity, evoking at once community and confinement. Some faces form a tower, or a tightly arranged relief that stretches over a wall. A dynamic, emotional spectacle lies on the surface of the figures faces: their ivory-like glaze creates a shimmer that evokes wild vegetation or rugged mountains. They are ragged and broken and testify to the physically intense work process Brunolupo uses, shaping the clay with heavy beech slats and blocks. The material’s properties and texture play an important role for the artist: Brunolupo speaks of “material-appropriate working without the use of sealant” (“materialgerechtem Arbeiten ohne das Verwenden von Kitt”). The artist begins without sketches, drawing from random shapes for inspiration. He brings great precision and concentration to the figures’ individual details, focusing on the mouth, lips, and hair to simulate the impression of invulnerable skin.” –Alexandra von Gersdorff-Bultmann, Galerie ART CRU Berlin