Michelangelo Pistoletto Reflection


I’m confused. I don’t think I fully understand what Michelangelo Pistoletto envision is on the, Third Paradise (begun in 2004). However I learned about his way of viewing society as an artist, the importance of questioning everything and the beauty of accidental discovery.


The Short Film.

During his talk in the Auditorium,  Michelangelo Pistoletto begin his explanation of his experience creating the Mirrored Artworks. It was the period where the invention of the photograph has changed world. The role and purpose, of the artist and the meaning of Art, has evolved. This encouraged the making of art without the restraints of traditional practices and materials. It became a movement called Arte povera in Italy. A radical Italian art movement from the late 1960s to 1970s whose artists explored a range of unconventional processes and non traditional ‘everyday’ materials.

Michelangelo Pistoletto played a big contribution to this movement, particularly his mirrored artworks. Moving away from traditional art and understanding the restriction of photography as only being able to represent the past, he wanted to create something present. As he kept questioning, learning that the present is changing, he realised that the surface of the painting has become representative of the world if it was a mirror. This reflection is the symbol of the world, the symbol of society. 

As complicated as it sounds, by watching the audience interact with his mirrored artworks, I saw them become a part of the art-piece. The art-piece was more than a painting, it integrate the environment and the viewer into his work and to question the nature of reality and representation.

“Venus of the Rags” and “Walking Sphere” were other works by him. One brings together an iconic figure of classical culture with the detritus of contemporary society. The other was participatory, the artwork became something more as the audience interacted with it. It is meant to unify art and daily existence. 


During the talk.

Serendipity, was a word that was brought up, accidental discovery. It was an essential part of his creative process and it something he mentions that comes and goes as he progress with his works. It comes with questioning everything and trying to understand and connect with different sectors of society.  “We have to re-engage with society and the public. How do we go about it? Where is this need coming from?”- Pistoleto.


Identity was also brought up during the talk. I have always struggled with my identity and style of my works. To him, identity is not isolated but it is something that comes from the interaction with others. We need to open up our works to get feedback and through that collaboration, our identity is created.


The third Paradise sign, is now his identity. It came about when he felt the need to convey his views as he witness social freedom become a nightmare in our society.  As people interact with it, the viewer will enter the work. It is his way of putting his art in society. He also stressed about the quantity of freedom and responsibility of an artist when he/she creates works for society.


Some videos I was watching about him.




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