Tore Spanu: Sculpture as a sense of place
There’s no doubt that Tore Spanu, aka TORE, shows a vast knowledge of prospective and static, both in his paintings and sculptures. He shapes the clay with craftsmanship, investigates the human face as he does with a flower and, in reproducing them in one or another way, he absorbs its private essence. In his painting the notes of pure colors, and, most of all, the sober construction and the spontaneous brushstroke give works a deep poetical meaning. Tore is an artist that, avoiding too crowded and seen artistic roads, has created a rather wide one himself, for a personal and more open spiritual relief, but nothing, nothing I’ve seen has ever suggested any kind of exaggeration in his works thanks to the balance, the dignity and smartness of his doing. Actually, his works are what tell more and at its best about Tore, it is therefore rightfully that he’ll be getting to the hall of great contemporary Masters of art.
Entering an unknown world, quite often generates anxieties that keep us from moving on and lead us to meditate on something. A sort of fear and uncertainty make way through the unconscious, leaving us longing for some proximity and a guide to show us truth and security. Tore’s works, in need of safety, comprehension, and attention, allow us while we observe them, to meditate about what surrounds us. A mean, rough world, ruthless to the neighbor and with no community safety. Tore shows us the monstrosity of the world in his sculptures, what makes us feel so lonely even in a crowded place that is our life. I stopped and pondered on his simplicity and spontaneity, noticing, in his massive amount of statues created, the solitude in each of them. In these characters the current human tragedy the we experience everyday; drugs and addiction, old age, defense of the poor, misery, and the pursuit of happiness that seems so unknown nowadays. Tore Spanu persists in his own simple, true and honest way, his pursuit of love towards others.
Salvatore Spanu, Tore, branches off confidently in many directions thanks to a technique that allows him to face colours, clay and bronze without uncertainty; a coherent and sensitive artist with many exhibitions on his side in places like Rome, Milan, Oristano, Villanova Monteleone, Porto Cervo, Cernusco sul Naviglio, Baia Sardinia, Cortomaggiore: personal and collective shows that attract a numerous and fascinated audience. He gained prizes and awards in Terni, Deruta, Sassari, Bologna, Venice, Reggio Emilia, Rome, and his art is included in volumes like “Albo Artisti Sardi” and “Pittori e Scultori Italiani d’importanza Europa” published by “Il Quadrato”. His works appear in various publications, newspapers and magazines: La Repubblica, L’Avvenire, L’Unità, L’Unione Sarda, La Nuova Sardegna, La Voce Serafica della Sardegna, Arte Mondadori, Stampa Tas Sassari, CAT, “Mercato e Arte 1998-1999, Euroarte 2000.
Coherent and spontaneous artist, faithful yet personal interpreter of the real, Salvatore Spanu, “Tore” as his friends call him, is more than anything a sculptor: clay fascinates him and his pieces are part of private and public collections. Not to be underestimated is his activity as muralist, with its many subjects and the effective prevalence for the figure. Ceramist deeply committed to a fruitful pursuit of meaning as of different forms of language. That said, the artist continues searching for unexplored strategies that can reward his hard wish, like the Sardinian people, to set new goals.
Art has no age: it can suddenly and inexorably explode when the artist himself less expects it, showing that the spirit has many hidden creative resources, leaps and inner bounty. The works proposed by Tore Spanu at his shows confirm how this creative skills can, all of a sudden, emerge in a person blessed with a personal talent. As an artist, Tore Spanu is pretty young. His acquaintanceship and friendship with many sculptors and painters woke up the need (in 1976) to transfer his soul flow onto canvas and clay, being the artist so focused towards everyday issues and agitations of our time. He worked the clay patiently, feeling, as he likes to say again and again, “The urge to create something new and different, inspired by everyday objects and subjects”. So he gave life to the “NATIVITY, a subject which awakens in the observer all the charm this sacred representation can possibly do to the human heart. In all his humility and simplicity, Spanu seems to want to express artistic language as to reproduce, through sculpture, reality and life conditions. He uses his works as messengers of symbols and stories. That’s how the representation of social life was born, expressed as they are in the character of the sick, the addicted, the elder, the woman, and in other subjects portraying our very own reality. Tore Spanu is able to project all his sensibility for the more fragile and the needy onto the clay, using the language of art to communicate his point of view on today’s society. Reality in its empty and formal appearance doesn’t attract his attention as, in fact, does the existential dimension that is more truthful and profound instead. This cannot be missed by an attentive observer, because it immediately catches the eyes and spirit of viewers, enriching them with authenticity. This is the most fair and honest reward I wish to express for the artist work.
The great artist and connoisseur of all things art Antonio Amore says: “Abominable is the action of the critic who turns the work of art into words to make himself the protagonist”. It’s on this statement I make my considerations when it comes to an artist validity. My fear is, indeed, to transform a work into a word, to make it mine in order to get it accessible, to transpose it into phoneme, scarifying its meaning so as it can be read by others with no personal intent. So that it needn’t being investigated by a critical individual critic. The critic activity becomes an actual responsibility to guide the viewer on the interpretation of the work of art in this respect, which would be bordering thoughtlessness if he wasn’t able to interpret, without a shadow of a doubt, the artist’s creation. That’s why I can talk serenely about Tore Spanu. In his shrewd painting hand, but most of all when he shapes the clay, an extremely clean sign is visible, besides an inventiveness leading the painter to look for new shapes and aesthetic models, which have belonged to great pioneers in the extreme art which is sculpture. See, for instance, hi works “Barbagia”, “Il Cristo”, his sweet presepial figures, or the poignant introspective representations of the human soul (“La Sofferenza”, “Il Clown”) and, again, the mythological, biblical and pagan characters of “Adamo ed Eva” and “Venus”. Limitless love and sweetness is easily spotted in some of his subjects on which the artist can skillfully carve the intimate essence, describing everyday stories, the strength and temper in the faces; the incredible passing of time framed into a face, which is like a sort of map of an entire life re-readable on that features (see the moving piece of ceramic “Mia Madre”). If we read carefully through his complete work, monumental at some stage, we perceive the presence of eager themes and constant research, leaving us guessing he might have taken the right way. Now that the artist is mature and has reached a rather impressive technique, he already knows what awaits him: further suffering of perennial pursuit of things, the study of his predecessor masters. And of himself. Things a real artist could never give up, as an inexorable sentence since, one day, he couldn’t help choosing to be an artist, that is, author of existential emotions.