Giovanni De Cataldo is born in Rome in 1990, he lives and works in Rome.
After attending the Academy of Fine Art in Rome, he keeps on studying at the Arts and Crafts School “Nicola Zabaglia” focusing on sculpture. Since 2014 he works in his studio at Pastificio Cerere. His artistic research comes from the study of materials from the industrial and construction industry. Investigating their deepness, composition and peculiarity, de Cataldo is able to understand their limits and potentiality, testing always new sculptural techniques.
2014-2015 “Nicola Zabaglia” School of sculpture, Rome
2011 Academy of Fine Arts, Rome
Solo show, nmcontemporary, Monaco
Z2O Sara Zanin Gallery, Rome
Got mit uns, Una Vetrina, Rome
Festa Franca, curated by Marta Silvi and "Franca", Cannara, PG, It
Art Verona, Z2O Sara Zanin gallery, Rome, It
Colore sempre vivo, Treviglio, It
A new space is born, nm>contemporary gallery, Monaco
Premio HDRÀ, curated by Valentina Ciarallo, Palazzo Fiano, Rome straperetana, curated by Saverio Verini, Pereto (AQ)The next era, Z2O Sara Zanin Gallery, Rome
2015 Collective Studio, Fondazione per l’Arte, Rome
Talent Prize, Inside art Magazine, finalist
Prize City of Treviglio, finalist
HDRÀ Prize, Rome, finalist
Text by Emanuele Riccomi
Giovanni de Cataldo (Rome, 1990) is a young artist from Pastificio Cerere. After attending the Academy of Fine Art in Rome, he focused on sculpture by pursuing a degree at the Arts and Crafts School “Nicola Zabaglia”.Giovanni has a deep connection with the city of Rome, and his works are the result of the dialogue between both the ancient and the contemporary history of the city. In fact, despite his deep knowledge, also archaeological, of the urban millenary stratification, in his work he uses construction and industrial materials characterizing the contemporary era.
Although his artworks are realized with different techniques, they are intended to illustrate the sedimentation of the elementsthat he uses, in order to show the development of his art, through the various layers it is composed by or the various phases that characterize its life. By creating several layers, de Cataldo expresses the history of the ancient city: each layer partially covers the previous one and is the foundation for the next, finding inspiration in one of the most peculiar characteristic of Rome.Asphalt and concrete are the main protagonists of his research. The preference for these ma- terials originates from his desire of giving value to items that are essential to our daily lives. They are almost invisible, even if they are the buildings surrounding us, or the streets we walk on. De Cataldo is able to enhance materials that are not considered as artistic and show their artistic potentiali- ty: concrete can be grim, grey and sad; asphalt is black, dirty and it is generally used as a surface to step on.The artist explores the specific characteristic of each material, creating every time new te- chniques allowing him to combine different elements of his repertoire. With concrete and asphalt he uses more traditional materials such as wax and wood. In ancient times wax was used to seal and store while wood, especially olive wood, recalls Roman buildings as well as the sacredness of Chri- stian origins. Wax and asphalt, wood and cement, combined together, provide the viewer with a direct connection between the two eras that the artist is interested in, making visible their temporal continuity.This latest aspect is the base of a series that the artist has recently started to work on andthat represents a new path for his research. De Cataldo recovers guardrail segments, bent by the impact of vehicles, by painting or covering them with opaque industrial varnish or with fabrics such as cotton and felt.The impact moment and the artist’s intervention coexist in that specific object, creating a relationship between the past and present. His works are extremely experimental from both a technical and a conceptual point of view. The way they evolve, the choice of elements and the method they are combined together are empirically designed.The interaction between materials from different background can be only obtained through such an experimental process.De Cataldo realizes experiments linking diverse elements, and he adds the coincidence, another important aspect of his work. In other words, being aware of the impossibility of controlling each trial’s outcome, he considers the coincidence an external agent that actively takes part in the final result, whether it is contemporary or prior to his action (i.e. the artwor- ks realized with guar- drails).De Cataldo challenges the substance by forcing it to its limits and the result is often unpredi- ctable.He sometimes comes up with artworks that are very different from what was planned, and this unpredictability gives him new ideas.The process is much more significant and interesting than the result. Thanks to his ability to analyse both the combination and experimentation of different elements, he can explore qua- lities and limits of each material and discover new techniques. Materials are picked up from their original context and used for other purposes, so to craft something whose objective is often deeply diffe- rent from the one they were thought for.The interaction between experimentation and randomness gives birth to a new technique, which is necessary both as an arrival and a starting point.