Éternel: Vincenzo de Cotiis
”My interest is focused on anthropomorphic” TLmag spoke to Vincenzo De Cotiis about his show Éternel at the Carpenters Workshop Gallery.
Gravitas and aesthetics, layered materials and organic geometries – the Carpenters Workshop Gallery presented a new body of work created by Vincenzo De Cotiis with the name ‘Éternel’ last year. The show marked the artist’s first solo show in France. Éternel featured sculptural pieces that seek to forget functionality and submit to influences of a distant memory of the East. TLmag spoke to De Cotiis about the presentation, its ethereal luminescence, and the transparency of the materials used.
TLmag: You’ve previously described your work as neo-primitivism and anthropomorphic, would you still describe your practice as such in the show Éternel? Can you elaborate?
Vincenzo De Cotiis (V.D.C.): I have used these terms while describing the Crossing Over the body of work which will be presented at Carpenters Workshop Gallery Paris from the 19th of October. In that body of work, my interest is particularly focused on all anthropomorphic forms that outline the history of man, becoming timeless, visionary symbols. The presence of neo-primitive lymph is contamination, a crossing. The organic and the monolithic mix with the recycled materials that have always been fundamental parts of my creative process. I wouldn’t describe Éternel as neo-primitivism and anthropomorphic.
TLmag: What does your work in Éternel attempt to convey? Can you speak a bit more on the narrative of your work and the curatorial framework?
V.D.C.: Éternel revives traditional Japanese aesthetics in contemporary forms, using iridescent glass and metals mixed with stone as a medium. I’m fascinated by Japanese moderation and harmony contrasted with the richness of forms and shapes visible in flora. In this body of work, I wanted to capture some Japanese influences and reinterpret them in my own way.
TLmag: Would you talk briefly about how Japan influences your work as a designer? How is it important in your practice?
V.D.C.: I have visited Japan many times. Éternel was born from emotions that I’ve felt there, and my memories of lanterns and minimal forms of architecture that I’ve sought to transcribe in contemporary works. I wanted to convey the iridescent landscape of Japanese cherry blossoms, how the color isn’t uniform but moves from pink to blue and green. Reflections are another important element as I saw many reflections, not just in the landscape, but in the cities where one has constant reflections from technology. And I tried to represent Japanese ceramics by manually coloring recycled fiberglass with those nuances, and depicting it like a Japanese painting.
TLmag: In what way is your work and show contextualized by Carpenters Workshop Gallery?
V.D.C.: My philosophy has always been to go slightly against function. I’ve always followed my own path, going towards art more than design, making unique pieces through artisanal processes. I’m very happy with this body of work, because it represents a new step in my work and how I’ve resolved to release myself from tradition.
The Carpenters Workshop Gallery (Paris) presented the show Éternel with works by Vincenzo De Cotiis from 18th October until December 2019.
All images: Vincenzo De Cotiis, Éternel exhibition views, courtesy of Carpenters Workshop Gallery.