Art, Emerging Artist

Raffaele Salvoldi Creates Elegant and Unique Towers from the Basic Building Block of Architecture

In the midst of the quarantine in Italy during the pandemic period that affected the whole world, photographer and director Raffaele Salvoldi’s artistic works took a very different turn. Salvoldi explains his change as “It was a difficult period for me when I wasn’t working and had a lot of time, so I started creating small different forms to keep my hands and mind busy,” and shares that his decision was based on a nostalgic childhood activity of mending and stacking simple wooden blocks.

The Unique Effect of Kapla Planks Shapes Salvoldi’s Art

The temporary installations in Raffaele Salvoldi’s towering structure consist of a single component, KAPLA planks. Designed by a Dutch antiques dealer in the late 1960s, KAPLA is an alternative to larger blocks that facilitates the construction of tall or horizontal features such as lintels and roofs. Initially, Salvoldi started with a set of 1,000 wooden building bricks, and as he accumulated thousands more, his constructions became increasingly larger and more voluminous. Spiral columns, slender towers and airy openings gradually emerge from their foundations in the ground, and the structures are often illuminated from within, creating dramatic and unique effects in the cavernous spaces. Each piece responds to its setting, highlighting unique settings such as the historic neoclassical Casa Bossi.

Each Project Takes About 1-4 Months to Complete

Each of Salvoldi’s installations can take three weeks to four months to complete, and viewers are invited to observe him adding pieces piecemeal over time rather than seeing a completed work in the exhibition. Raffaele Salvoldi “It’s not just a performance, I believe it’s a kind of window into the artistic process. That’s why I like to describe it as a living room, a mobile room or a workshop where people can visit and see the installation grow day by day, week by week.” says. When an exhibition closes and the work needs to be disassembled, visitors are invited to reconstruct the installation by throwing additional planks until it falls apart.

Founded the Wood Arc Project

In May 2022, Raffaele Salvoldi founded the Wood Arc project, where he continues his research on architectural and structural forms. With this project, Salvoldi finds a home for impressive spaces such as lesser-known, almost forgotten palaces, exhibition areas and historical houses of the European continent, which is rich in places of incredible beauty. It comes to life through the creation of installation art that gradually rises in harmony with the rooms that house them.

The space gradually transitions away from the museum and into a warm, inviting living room where people can “hang out” surrounded by installations. The highlight of the WoodArc experience is that there is a day devoted entirely to workshops led by the artist, where both adults and children can experiment and create their own installations.

It is certain that Salvoldi’s unique art requires patience, gravity and thousands of KAPLA planks.

“It’s not just an art performance, I believe it’s a kind of window into the artistic process.”
Raffaele Salvoldi

You can find more of his work on Instagram and learn more about on the project website.

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