(2 min read)
Though the first mosaics took their initial inspiration from ancient wall murals they soon evolved into a unique art form that never ceased to evolve and amaze. Over the centuries artists have continued to push its boundaries with new techniques, materials and themes to tell their stories and connect with us in meaningful ways. For the new year we talked to three leading mosaicists to get their opinion on upcoming trends.
GIULIO MENOSSI (Giulio Menossi)
If there is a true mosaic poet, it is Giulio Menossi. His unbridled passion for his art and his love of light and color comes to life in his vibrant three dimensional pieces. As he so eloquently says: “I have robbed snowflakes to use their crystals, handled strange materials, crumbled colourful marble, trying to tell a story.”
(Primavera, 2012. Copyright © Giulio Menossi)
Born in Udine, a small town in northeast Italy, Menossi moved to Milan at the age of 18 where he began three years of tutelage under mosaic maestro Domenico Coledani. After spending additional six years at Crovatto Mosaics in New York to expand his expertise, Menossi returned to his beloved Udine to establish his own studio.
(Notturno, 2010. Copyright © Giulio Menossi)
Menossi recognizes a lot of excitement amongst younger artists but also a lack of craftsmanship that he believes is holding them back. He admits that his own path to finding his true artist expression was a long one. “I have traveled many roads before I understood how and what!” He trusts that the upcoming year will see some real talents continue to grow but mosaics need dreams and imagination to truly come to life.
Though he does not see many “new trends” he does see original ideas emerging from established mosaicists. “Masters”, he says, “sow ‘wisdom and knowledge’ they tell stories. And above all they have things to say. This, in my opinion, is the newest and most fascinating thing in the mosaic world. We have learned that we too can with our age-old technique, made with the patience of the Certosini, we too can tell ME STORIES. I think it's a fundamental point!” So the current trend is one of improved storytelling, of connecting with the audience at an emotional level. His advice to emerging artists is: "You must believe in your dream, cultivate your talent day after day… and especially you must tell stories."
Words spoken by a true master that will hopefully inspire a new generation of amazing artists.
RACHEL SAGER (Rachel Sager)
Rachel Sager is an internationally renowned mosaicists who also spent time studying with Italian masters. She brought back their knowledge and philosophy to her native Pennsylvania where she spends “large chunks of time sifting through the earth itself, gathering materials like sandstone, limestone, slate and coal seams” to continuously push the boundaries of this ancient art form.
(Monolithic Kin, 2016. Copyright © Rachel Sager)
Her inspiration springs “from the well of human experience” and her pieces, soaked in all forms of storytelling, and are truly inspiring.
Rachel predicts two main trends for 2018 which expand on some Menossi’s thoughts on storytelling: “Artists who have already begun a great innovation surge will keep pushing the boundaries of what mosaic can be. These innovations will embrace the use of non-traditional materials while at the same time utilizing the traditional but simple perfection of the hammer and hardie. I see a future where the materials themselves help to tell the story, whether because of the places they are sourced from or because their hand-cut nature reveals so much about the human being behind the work."
(Allegory of Free Will, 2014. Copyright © Rachel Sager) HELEN MILES (Helen Miles in her Edinburgh studio. Photo: @Ashley Erdman)
To Helen Miles the future of mosaic art looks ever brighter in 2018 as “dedicated and determined mosaicists throughout the world continue to produce work which challenges, inspires and shakes the notion of what mosaics are.”
(Octopus and fish, 2016. Copyright © Helen Miles)
Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Helen lived in Greece for 15 years where she learnt the traditional methods with a focus on Byzantine iconography. She later expanded her knowledge to Roman mosaic techniques and now makes contemporary pieces inspired by ancient masters.
(Wedding Mosaic 2, 2014. Copyright © Helen Miles)
“Keep an eye peeled in 2018 for public art mosaics,” says Helen, “there are brilliant examples already out there from Isidora Paz Lopez’s glorious community mosaics in Puente Alto, extraordinary works by multiple artists in the New York Subway and Gary Drostle’s floor at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Stanford, California.”
(Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, Stanford, California) (Isidora Paz Lopez, Puente Alto)
“The more mosaics in public spaces are noted and admired, the more they will be in demand which in turn will feed through to an appreciation of mosaics in domestic spaces.” says Helen.
Discover more about Isidora Paz López amazing community project
So here’s to a successful 2018 for you all and to seeing more of our public spaces brought to life with this wonderful art form.
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