About Sterpi Massimo

Avvocato, esperto di Fondazioni d'arte

The word that creates great ambiguity is the word “collecting” which is a false friend because the proposal and the true opportunity is not the collecting by the companies that tend to buy corpses in that they are buying previously-made pieces for celebrative reasons. I am not going on hearsay, I am one of the founders of the Impresa e Cultura Award. I have seen nine hundred project in five years. I have also carried out a cultural project within our law firm. Initially I too let works of art in, but later the next step was to go for this so-called “lateral thinking”. Artists would come and do conferences, to talk about their work and to interact with us. This was the true stimulus, it gave us the tools to be able to interpret everything, including the works that were hanging from the walls. I can see with great interest the experience of the resident artist, of the artist who comes not with a project as such but rather with a vision of the world. Later we will see what will come from this. It could be a work of art, a change in behaviour or even nothing. The most beautiful projects are those that change mentalities, the very mental structure.

I find that Mario’s stimulus is very strong and moreover I believe that he is drying up into a sort of post-ecological discussion, or rather the artist is giving an ecological cue which the industry rejects and this seems to me the wrong path to take. The path that you are instead taking is that of “cross fertilisation”. The almost vexed position of the artist and the entrepreneur is very interesting, in which the artists throws a “very distant line” and the man of reality says that “apart from a certain range, physics prevents you”. What you have said is beyond reality. In reality this is the function of the artist: he must go beyond what is real and possible or what has been possible up to that point. The very strong stimulus that this encounter has given us, I myself am fascinated by both those of you who I had never had the good fortune of meeting earlier and by the depth of reflection and all this cannot be declined to the reflection of just one product or project. What I find truly fascinating is in reality that, based on these stimuli of such high level, the very perception of the object which we are talking about in this encounter is put into discussion. This time it is water, the last time it was wine and perhaps next time it will be plastic. We are reflecting upon water itself and from this everything can arise; a new type of communication, or approach and distribution, but this is not an immediate problem. My problem is that of taking water from its physical and commercial confines and giving the artist complete information that can be useful in making sure that an artistic stimulus is transformed into, for example, an object. The very important observation made at the beginning of the twentieth century on this beautiful object – the purifier – which Annie Ratti too spoke about, today however is no longer valid because there are some certain substances in the water which were not present in our rivers or sewage before. I would like to confirm my great appreciation for this stimulus of the highest level and invite you all to appreciate the possibility of confrontation. Moreover, in my opinion it is necessary to assess on one hand the total absence of limit and on the other the presence of the limit itself as a stimulus to advance this reflection on very important themes.

I’m a lawyer involved particularly in art foundations in Italy and abroad.
I would like to say two things: one in answer to the initial stimulus regarding the fact that a business of great value could fail due to being unable to find a commercial outlet. I would like to say, in a positive sense, that perhaps in that historical moment all of it could be consigned to failure, but today the situation is exactly the opposite. Being in a period of robotization where more and more perfect objects will be created with no need for human intervention, the objects with a human contribution gain added value, from an artistic viewpoint, a conceptual as well as communicative value. The artistic intervention renders the object unique, and this will inevitably acquire greater value. Italy, the cradle of craftsmanship, is destined to attract more and more attention. We can see the success of the Miami Design Biennial where in reality there are editions for design, not art. The 70s saw an attempt to democratise art through the multiples of art. Here on the other hand we are talking about creating hybrid objects.
We are talking here about hybrid objects between art and productivity which is completely different from the Michelangelo Pistoletto project of the Seventies.
The second thing I wanted to share with you: two days ago I received interesting input from the Sicilian painter Francesco Laureta who is playing around with the concept of painting. It’s always something different. The last show was completely awful and I asked him: Francesco what happened to you? He answered in a really clever way that he was trying to de-identify the artistic object. He wanted to create an object which contains the negation of the painting itself. He divided the painting into pieces and made a table out of it. Which means the destruction of the painting. I found this very contemporary. The traditional artistic object finds difficulty in its existence and destroys itself by violating its own state, trying to add something.
There is certainly not a continuum between art and any form of creativity, design and whatever else. Drawing the line between art and other forms of creativity is no longer possible. The impact is the real problem of new objects, not the number of the editions. It can be one piece or a million pieces if the created object is good enough.
Murakami in his project for Vuitton poses that problem. Can we still talk of art or not? The failure of previous operations was precisely an economic one.

I would just like to bear witness to what we call the opportunity of the object or giving the object an opportunity. Emilia has a company that deals with transferring design ideas, transferring commercial ideas, etc. When they moved office we had to furnish the new one and give it an identity. Instead of going to IKEA and buying lamps or going to Cappellini and buying better lamps, we asked various artists and designers to create objects for that setting. It is a common work space that through art becomes an extraordinarily interactive space. Just like our hosts here have allowed their home to be used as a public space, we decided to carry out an experiment in the office by turning it into a living place.