Project Description

Santo Alligo ( Roccalumera 1948 ), Swatch

Terracotta partially painted cm 33 x 10 x 11 made in 1993.

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Since the late Nineteenth century, begin to appear in the urban views of the French post-impressionists, slogans, advertising posters, flyers presenting products and brands that in a few years, thanks to the last decisive evolution of the industrial revolution, forcefully enter the daily lives of European citizens: starts, in this way, to appear a deep cultural transformation that will impact profoundly on fashion that in a few decades will be defined as ” consumer society”. Just the passive acquiescence of the average consumer in front of the pressing and increasingly sprawling market sirens is at the center of the complaint, conveyed with ironic lightness, by Santo Alligo, artist just in advertising has traced its path of versatile and eclectic artist ( trained in the study of Armando Testa, in 1967, he sculpted in polyurethane the famous hippopotamus Pippo, who became one of the most famous icons of postwar advertising). As written by Olivieri Adriano, in a recent catalog anthology dedicated to the production of the Sicilian sculptor, “The immediate transposition of the typical taste of the illustrated tables in the third dimension has pop seal in itself that is still filled with the contemporary suggestions of the publicity, but translated to imitate the subject of the icons of juvenile fashion contending a record of image but capsizing the value that becomes purely artistic and mimetic. Where the object surrenders in authenticity it grows in reality, where the fetish ceases it assumes artisanship”.


In the artistic itinerary of Alligo, Photo-Realism and Pop-Art coexist in the outcomes of full maturity, in a series of works that echo the ironic analysis of consumer goods, typical of a Oldenburg, among which stands out this “Swatch” where clenched fist raised to the sky, one time a clear political symbol, is decorated with a flamboyant model of a clock produced by the legendary Swiss company with a bright polychrome dismissing the reality more intensely than spiritual crockery unpainted, typical of a previous artistic stage in the sculptor’s activity. The attention to the popular and fashionable objects, in the early Nineties, encourages Alligo to adopt a language of advertising, swapped into the artistic one, distorted in order of purpose and regenerated in a combination attractive aesthetics.

The sculpture is reproduced in the catalogue of The Opera Gallery published on the occasion of the retrospective solo show held in 2014.