Edoardo Manzoni (Crema, 1993) lives and works in Milan. A young visual artist, he graduated from NABA in 2019. His sculptural, pictorial and installation works develop from the analysis of the relationship of seduction and violence between human and animal.
His research stems from the rural context in which he grew up, which stimulated in him an interest in the relationship between natural and artificial, human and animal. Specifically, his works reflect the dynamics created in the practice of hunting, a mixture of seduction and violence, of weapon and ornament. Many of his sculptural works analyze the concept of a trap, emphasizing the deception and concealment that humans employ to lure the animal, with the ultimate goal of killing. Edoardo Manzoni’s traps appear as jewels, something beautiful that attracts the viewer himself, subtracting the idea of pitfall and focusing only on the aspect of beauty and desire. As in the case of Untitled (FAME) in which the artist bends a bird deterrent, making it take the shape of a crown of thorns. By subtracting it from its usual context, in which it is camouflaged and hidden, the artist makes it a protagonist in the exhibition space.
Edoardo Manzoni’s works reflect his creative process: some are more immediate, made on the spur of the moment with salvaged objects; others are more meticulous and precise, assuming a more technical design and execution. An example of this is the work Allodoliere, in which the artist takes up in a sculptural key the form of the classic “lark’s mirror,” a bird trap formed by a revolving pallet on which small mirrors are arranged. By turning and reflecting light, the trap attracts birds, which are thus caught by hunters. The object also inspires the typical expression that figuratively refers to deception through flattery.
One of his series entitled Scene consists of wood panels, UV prints found in hunting encyclopedias, and mirrored plexiglass. In these works, also featured at ArtVerona 2022, Manzoni removes the animal component from photographs, cutting it out and replacing it with a mirror. In this way, the artist merely emphasizes the animal presence through the silhouette in which the viewer can reflect himself.
His latest series Inchino, on display until March 18, 2023 in the Sotto project room of the Renata Fabbri gallery in Milan, takes on a new nuance, that of courtship. The body of new works reflect the methods of seduction enacted by the male bird to attract its mate, such as displaying its plumage or singing, which are essential to attract the female who will choose her mate in this way. Manzoni takes these behaviors and translates them into sculptural form through colorful materials, luminous elements and geometric strokes, seeking the theme of ornamentation. The small sculptures with the appearance of exotic birds emphasize the human practice of creating objects without a useful function, but with the sole purpose of elevating one’s social status.
Photos by Mattia Mognetti