Baptiste Debombourg designed and created this amazing installation of Italian Mannerists that is made up of over 450 000 staples. This is one of my favorite installations that I have seen for quite a while. To me, it is neither ‘minimal’ or maximal (which I love), and uses materials in such an effective and resourceful way. When people re-use materials, although, yes the concept of recycling is pretty, I like it even more when the artist uses their material not for this reason, but for a more deliberate reason, based on their art. Perhaps they chose the recycled material because that material was very accessible to them – maybe there existed a surplus of staples in this person’s life – or because they wanted to re-think an everyday material, or because they were sitting there, staring at the art in a staple, waiting for that art to explode outwards. Here, I think the staple definitely adds to the effectiveness of the piece.
I love how work-intensive, and detailed or repetitive it looks and how intricate and romantic the overall piece is. You could probably say that the material is at odds with the subject matter, but I don’t know if I think so. I think they work together in a hidden way. Like the short lines/strokes of the staples create hairs or cells in the shadows of the figures. Its like it is so reserved but has so much heart (kinda like what people say about the British…)
I also just love the contrasting scales of the staples and the large image. So fascinating, and it makes the piece compelling at different distances. I feel like, because of this, this piece would be amazing to see in-person.