Geppetto would be proud… Venisian carpenter makes seafaring automobile

One of my co-workers sent me these pictures, of course, I scoured cyberspace to find the rest of the story and here it is! It was a series of photos where ordinary objects have been recreated or carved out of wood, some functional, others decorative…

The gent’s name is Livio De Marchi, here is what he says about himself on his own site, which he calls his own Virtual Museum

Livio De Marchi was born in Venice where, still a child, he worked on ornamental sculpture in the Venetian tradition in the workshop of a craftsman and in the meantime he studied art and drawing at the “Accademia di Belle Arti” in Venice. His activity starts there, displaying at once an astounding skill in moulding materials, transforming them with wit and panache and creating sculptures with perfection of detail, spontaneity and essence.

During his artistic evolution he worked first in marble, then bronze, and eventually in wood. However wood has always been his favourite material because it affords him a vitality which other materials do not.

Since opening his own studio, Livio De Marchi has allowed his fantasy to take wing, declaring his way of being, his interior world. After a deep inner evolution, his ironical ability to “see” life got the upper hand, letting him carve his own, unique sculpture.

His artworks have been shown in cities all over the world including Milan, Florence, London, Paris, D?sseldorf, Z?rich, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Tokyo.

His artworks have been acclaimed in several magazines such as “Interior Design“, “Capital“, “Casa Vogue“, “Madame Figaro“, “Vogue“, “Hauser“, “Decoration“, and so on.

What a refreshingly modest fellow! In third person yet! But another site was equally glowing about the 21st century Geppetto

Livio De Marchi uses simple but familiar tools to do his wood carving. He uses about 100 different chisels and an old wooden hammer which is dated “1964.” They are always on his workbench and he uses each and every one of them. If just one chisel is missing, he finds it difficult to work…

A wooden Ferrari F50 navigates the canals of Venice with Livio De Marchi at the wheel (helm?). A festival is held each year in which vessels of all kinds parade the canals. Livio has produced several such vehicles, all of which attract a lot of attention not only for their individuality but also for their craftsmanship. The third photo shows a detail of the interior…

In a flight of fancy, a pumpkin carriage and four prancing horses swim the streets and canals of Venice, Italy with sculptor Livio De Marchi at the reins. One of his larger pieces, this is called “A Dream in Venizia” and was built as an entrant in the annual floating parade in a festival in Venice…

Part of his “Casa di Libri” or “House of Books” series, this is No. 1, “Tambre d’Alpago.” The fanciful structure denotes a book lover’s dream, with many of the items of furniture seemingly made from the bindings and pages of carved books. Hundreds of individually carved books line the shelves, and the closet sports carved clothing seemingly ready to wear. The last photo shows Mr. De Marchi posed in one of the carved chairs. Not all of Livio De Marchi’s works are this large. Some of his other sculptures follow but most of his work is carved life size…

Realistically carving soft subjects like a jacket in a hard material like wood might seem a bit of a contrast visually, but it makes the viewer doubly aware of both the shape of the subject and the texture of the material. Usually no paints are used, and the wood grain and knots reinforce the nature of the material…

I find he bears a striking resemblance in his looks to Salvador Dali, but that man is another kind of European …. a Spaniard, not an Italian – he is the one who invented Surrealism, Dali’s style was often employed a lot by comic book artist Jim Steranko, like when Nick Fury was drugged to learn the secrets of S*H*I*E*L*D

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  1. hmmm… Truly talented. Wonder what he uses for waterproofing the wood?


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