I have spent the last week revisiting all the amazing local artists in the Maremma, and it has been a blast!
To be honest, I’m not surprised artists from all over the world have gravitated towards the Maremma. The region is inspiration in itself, and I’m not just saying that because I happen to live here!
But what did strike me was just how varied the local art scene is. Contemporary artists, classic artists, super realists, modernists and truly inspirational sculptors from all over the globe call the Maremma home.
And so, it is in homage to them that I write this blog post.
You might travel to the Tuscan Maremma looking for gorgeous countrysides and beautiful medieval cities. But if you miss its artists then you’re missing out on a really beautiful aspect of this part of Tuscany!
Niki Saint Phalle
Where: Garavicchio, Capalbio
What: Tarot card sculpture garden
Useful info: Open April 1- October 15, 2.30pm-7.30pm, www.nikidesaintphalle.com, €10.50 for adults
The queen of the Maremma’s art parks, Niki Saint Phalle was a French-American artist who decided to leave a very impressive legacy to the gorgeous seaside city of Capalbio. Over many years, Niki worked with fellow artist friends to represent the 22 tarot cards in gigantic handmade mosaic sculptures.
Visitors are invited to wander the park at their whim, admiring each sculpture randomly, almost as if it was drawn from the deck. The sculptures have a definite Gaudie feel about them, but they’re loved by adults and kids alike, with the latter finding an infinite amount of fun in climbing all over the statues, especially the Castle, which is effectively, one big castle.
What: A sculpture park where nature meets industrialism
Useful Info: Open different times throughout the year, www.danielspoerri.org, €10.50 for adults
Swiss artist Daniel Spoerri built this incredible open-air gallery at the foot of Monte Amiata in Seggiano. The almost 100 strong collection isn’t just of his own creation though. Sculpture artists from all over the world have donated pieces to this amazing project.
Originally inspired by the artistry found in food, Spoerri became infatuated with bronze and many of his works in the garden are made from this and other industrial materials. They present such an incredible contrast to the organic environment around them that you can lose hours musing over the conundrums of naturalism and manmade art.
Where: Montegiove, Castel del Piano
What: An eccentric and eclectic collection of 15 years worth of sculpting.
Useful info: Open upon request, ph: 0564.969602, firstname.lastname@example.org
Piero Bonacina came to Castel del Piano to be close to the Buddhist enclave, Merrigar. He opened this garden on the wave of popular demand so that everyone could admire his fantastic and whimsical sculptures.
Most of Piero’s work can be divided into two categories. There are his beautifully shaped wooden sculptures, which are so smooth and curved that you could be forgiven for thinking they were made of some easier to manipulate material like steel.
And then there are his more poignant pieces, which use discarded materials like old steel support frames, teapots and kitchen sinks to make veritable works of art. There’s even a sculpture completely covered in ivy and shaped to look like a man with his arms extended.
Where: Boccheggiano, Montieri
What: A sound/sculpture garden
Useful info: Open by request, ph: 0566.998221, email@example.com
German artist Paul Fuchs wasn’t content making beautiful architectural sculptures. His pieces double as fantastic musical instruments. The more than 20 pieces in this garden have all been produced by Fuchs himself and scattered across a beautiful and open corner of lush Montieri.
The fantastic thing about this garden is that you’re not just admiring the art with your eyes, but also with your ears. The pieces move on their own and with some help from the wind to generate sounds that are in perfect harmony with their environment.
Where: Castiglione della Pescaia
What: Recycle art
Useful info: Open by request, ph: 39 0564.948904, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rodolfo is a bio-architect turned artist and his garden is a Viaggo di Ritorno (A Return Journey). In short, Rodolfo takes what we consider to be rubbish and recycles it into beautiful pieces like ‘My Office’ – a brightly coloured, semi-human sculpture, which he’s placed under a tree, or ‘Large Whale’ – a huge piece made entirely out of fishing nets.
What’s interesting about Rodolfo is that he doesn’t buy his art materials, he finds them, so everything he produces and displays is intrinsically connected to the terrain where it is displayed. I guess you could say it’s the Maremma seen through the eyes of an artistically inclined recycler.