Marco Petean, sculptor from Udine, Italy. Photo © Courtesy of the artist

1.Tell us what you do and your beginnings.

From an early age I have been passionate about working with terracotta and painting by attending my mother’s laboratory of artistic craftsmanship, with whom I collaborated until 1999. Over the years I have cultivated an interest in modern and contemporary art by visiting museums, exhibitions , art fairs and coming into contact with artists from my region, Friuli Venezia Giulia and from the national scene. This path led me to resume working with clay, giving life to polychrome terracotta sculptures.

2.What does your work aim to say?

Through my terracotta sculptures I rework and reinterpret the experience of having met contemporary artists in their studios. In my boxes I want to convey the emotions I felt in being welcomed by artists, in having the opportunity to learn more about their personality, their history, to capture some of their particularities from the objects they surround themselves with or from the choice of the place where they work.

3.Where do you find inspiration for your art?

It derives from the knowledge of the artists that I then portray in my artist studios, it can be real, based on the encounter with the artist during the studio visits, or it derives from the knowledge of the great historicized artists by visiting museums or exhibitions. I also find inspiration for my work in the knowledge and study of classical and contemporary sculpture. I particularly love the work of sculptors such as Alberto Giacometti, Marino Marini, Arturo Martini, Fausto Melotti, Lucio Fontana, Leoncillo, Nicola Biondani and Pino Deodato. Artists who have used or use clay to create their works and have been able to enhance its characteristics of expressiveness and strength.

4.Could you give us some insight into your creative process?

Part of the experiences lived, from the emotions felt. These are fixed through photography or quick sketches, then I create sketches which I then transform into three-dimensional images using clay. Sometimes I use models, which I portray live, which I then transform into the protagonists of my sculptures, my favorite model is my father.

5.What are your future projects?

One of my sculptures was selected among the 100 semi-finalist works of the Art Award of the Rivista Arte di Mondadori and is in the running to become part of the exhibition of finalist works in the prestigious setting of Palazzo Reale in Milan.

I am creating the works at the base of new exhibition projects that I hope to be able to carry out in the course of 2022, with the aim of recovering the solo exhibition entitled Studiovisit canceled due to Covid-19 during Spring 2020. I am experimenting with new languages and new media like drawing and engraving to be placed side by side with my sculptures. The use of clay and working on three-dimensional shapes will always remain a fundamental part of my artistic and expressive path.

Interview by Fabio Pariante, journalist – Twitter


Marco Petean on social networks: Instagram

Marco Petean (Udine, 1976) is an Italian sculptor from Friuli Venezia Giulia and through his production we can visit some of the studios of the most important artists of the twentieth century art world up to the present day. After collaborating in his mother’s craft laboratory, for some years Petean worked as an interior designer around the world and then devoted himself, among other things, completely to the terracotta boxes in which he realizes the “Artist’s Studies”.

In each sculpture Petean imprints his memories and emotions for the artist, and sometimes to make some sculptures, he is joined by the wife Diana Cerne. Indeed, both created the sculpture dedicated to Marina Abramović and Ulay during the “Rest Energy” performance, and the box dedicated to Yayoi Kusama which refers to the project that the Japanese artist created for the French brand Louis Vuitton. Marco Petean lives and works in Cervignano del Friuli.