“Italian in emotion casing” – this is how one could describe Italian contemporary artist GIGI MARIANI from Modena in Northern Italy. Gigi’s other favorite passion is painting. His painting brushwork are rough and powerful. In the saturated terrain of scratches and cuts, texture is the way he reflects the processes of his inner world.
In recent years, ornaments that resemble sculptural images becomes more the objects of emotional transfer. “My jewellery is a small sculpture born in my imagination. It is important for me that person is able to wear it on a daily basis.”
The artist works with precious metals and practices antique and unique jewellery making techniques. This allows him to differentiate his works from other artists. NIELLO (silver oxidation) is an ancient technique that came from ancient Egypt. “It is rarely used in Italy, so I am very proud to keep this tradition alive. With this method I get the black, rough shapes of the jewellery.” Niello method produces a strong, heavy, carbon black texture similar to miniature frozen lava fields. In the process of creation, the lava with its elusive emotional force has erupted from the volcanic throat and has frozen in its path to burn down the gradation of every possible sensation. The most fascinating side of jewellery pieces created this way is the sight of hidden precious metals. On a black, coarse lava-like surface of coal, gold and silver have scattered scars, boiled and sometimes crossed the edges.
The other technique used by the artist is granulation. This method has come directly from Italy. Granulation technique in jewellery is a very ancient form of decoration in which tiny gold grains or balls are attached to the surface, either individually in a geometric or linear pattern, or concentrated together to fill the finish area. The technique was first used in the 3rd century AD. West Asia and Egypt, later taken over by ancient Greece and reaching its peak thanks to the Etruscans in the 7th and 6th centuries AD. This technique was adopted by ancient Roman artists and continues to be used today as well by Italian contemporary jewellery artists.
The fluidity of associations, the ambiguity and the place for endless interpretation… such is a aftertaste that lasts long after viewing Gigi Mariani’s works.