// Simone was born in Pietrasanta in Tuscany, Italy. His great passion for photography led him to dedicate himself to several series of photos of his home region´s places, landscapes, and people. Simone shared a series on modern sculptors turning the famous white Carrara marble into works of art.
“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free. ”
What draws you to the arts?
“I am attracted to art by beauty and above all by the difficulty and development in creating works through the working process.”
What impresses you most about the work of the sculptors?
“The passion and dedication these people have for their work”
Carrara is the beating heart for the extraction of marble, and the quarries in the Apuan Alps are famous all over the world. Many well known artists from all over the world have flocked here to work these stones. The stone they use is the same ivory-coloured precious translucent marble that the ancient Romans and Michelangelo worked with. Many towns in this region specialise in marble sculpture. Pietrasanta, on the coast of northern Tuscany, where Simone was born, is a magnet with many sculpting workshops full of reproductions of masterpieces from antiquity and the Renaissance, which aspiring artists use as models to learn their art.
Simone takes special care to document the professional craftsmen and women of the area, in this way hoping to make his territory known and valued. He took these photos at the workshop of the Carrara Sculptors Cooperative (Cooperativa Scultori di Carrara), which was founded in December 2016 by a group of young sculptors with a vision, inside a historic building designed and built for marble manufacturing in 1864.
In Simone´s photos we can admire the dedication of these modern sculptors at work, with white dust swirling in the air, lit up by the light streaming through the huge windows and by electric lights gleaming through the translucent stone. He conceived this photographic series, which he calls “Modern Sculptors”, to show how the ancient art of marble sculpting continues to exist and how it has been transformed. Now, the artists working with this fine stone have at their disposal more sophisticate tools than those the ancient sculptors used, but the craft remains an ancient manual skill, essentially still employing mallets and chisels to shape the rocks. It takes many years of training, passed down from generation to generation, from Master to apprentice.
So while the ancient sculpting process has been updated over the years, the art is still practised by men (and now also women) united by a desire to express themselves through art. Their love for the work shines through Simone´s images.
Click on the photos to see the full image.
All photos © Simone Batini
To see more of his photography visit Simone´s Instagram page.