The close relationship that the sculptor Vivianne Duchini has with horses makes her works seem to come to life, despite the statism of bronze. The horse, in turn, seems to wear the vestige of the artist’s hand on its coat, thus creating an interesting symbiosis between the two. From Rome, with clay in her hands, she tells us about her works.
Dolores Lamarca: The practice of animal sculpture seems to be something typical of past centuries, however, your sculptures have something of the classical tradition combined with a contemporary aesthetic. What is the reason for dedicating yourself almost exclusively to representing horses?
Vivianne Duchini: At a very early age I had a special approach towards them. When practicing horseback riding, the rider and horse pairing becomes one, sharing the same delight for the sport and the needs of one and the other. I spent a lot of time interacting with this animal, observing its behavior, its movements, its attitudes. This led me to represent them artistically.
DL: Last year precisely on March 19, you would have inaugurated your last exhibition in the gardens of the Isaac Fernández Blanco Museum of Hispano-American Art. Due to social isolation, you were only able to show your works from the last quarter of 2020 and January 2021. What conclusions did you draw from that experience?
VD: The Museum gave me the opportunity to show my works in an ideal setting such as the recently restored garden. The works looked magnificent and unfortunately, the framework of the pandemic made their viewing difficult.
DL: The large-scale works in that exhibition were titled with conceptual words such as Limerencia, Utopia, Bonhomía, Resiliencia y Empatía. Do they respond to something special?
VD: At the time of creation, the names were emerging that turned out to be the own feelings of the horses in different situations. This animal is the mirror of human feelings. At the time of the pandemic, all of us were living those feelings to the surface right after the works were created.
DL: Something that amazes the viewer is the magnificence of the sculpture and its realization. Could you tell us in a simple way what technique you use for your works and how your works were born?
VD: My work starts from the sketch that I make in my workshop, then I model the work in clay in the foundry. Once the original modeling is finished in its true dimension, the lost wax bronze begins. All this long procedure is carried out at the Buchhass foundry with their group of technicians who collaborate with me. Once the assembly and chiseling of the work are finished, the patina is made, reaching the expected results. All my works are the result of long, constant, and meticulous observation and research. Thanks to this I was acquiring knowledge that guides and inspires me when creating new projects. I express my internal emotions there, by making them concrete.
DL: Apart from horses you also have a passion for dogs. Why specifically for greyhounds? Is it because of its sleek elegance or for some other reason?
VD: I have a very particular relationship with greyhounds, especially for being so long-suffering since they were used for racing, feeling the need to rescue them from that. In fact, I have two adoptees, I collaborate to avoid their abandonment. Greyhounds are very aesthetic and became the muse of several of my works
DL: What were the best recognitions in your artistic career and what does it mean to be a woman sculptor of such a specific and large subject?
VD: My greatest recognition is the family support I had during all the years of my career, which allowed me to grow and stay true to my style and artistic ability. Being a woman is not an impediment, at all. The moment of creation is infinite. Looking back, I am aware of the long road traveled and the great achievements I have made.
DL: The last time we met you were fighting for a big dream, and you are currently in Italy preparing for a new project. What does it consist of?
VD: My big dream was to make a work in Florence, the cradle of art. During the pandemic, I received an invitation to participate in an exhibition within the framework of the Venice Biennale 2022. This was a great opportunity to realize my dream in that city. I did not hesitate to accept and create the sketch for this great project. The work that I am days to begin, entitled Tocante, is also related to the pandemic. It reflects the fusion of two horses in the attitude of a hug.
Saying goodbye to Vivianne, a text by Marcelo Renard comes to mind, on the representation of animals in art. One of the concepts mentioned is that they do not pose according to the desire of the sculptor, but it is he who must wait for the moment when the animal gives him its soul, and that is precisely what this unique Argentine artist does.