Interview with Sculptor Matteo Lo Greco
1. What has been the greatest influence on you?
The greatest influence on me has been my own heart, and my life experiences, which I always put into my work.
2. What made you interested in art, and made you decide to concentrate on sculpture?
I’ve always had sculpture in my blood and have been interested in it ever since I was a child.
3. Why do you choose to mainly use plaster and bronze in your sculptures?
Each artist decides on the materials they prefer. In my case, I tend to work in stages; first creating a clay sculpture, then enlarging it into a plaster form before making it into bronze. Bronze is a good material to use for outdoor sculptures, as it will withstand weathering. However, I also cast my small clay sculptures and maquettes in bronze for the indoor.
4. Why have you chosen to explore the female form in your work?
Women have always been a man’s muse. I have never asked myself why I was specifically interested in the female form, it just comes naturally to me.
5. How do you decide on the price of your sculptures?
I work closely with my gallery, here in Venice, to decide on the prices.
6. Have you ever received any commissions and if so how did you deal with them?
Yes, I have received lots of commissions from all over the world. They often have set requirements such as specific measurements and subject matter. For example, Canada commissioned a sculpture of 2.5 meters, Mexico wanted a large horse and Japan requested an enormous sculpture.
7. How Important are the names for your works? Do you name your work before you begin or do you wait until the sculpture is finished?
There are no decisions made about the name before the work is completed. The actual work inspires the name in a spontaneous way. The inspiration for the name could be by a whim or by observation of the finished piece.
8. Why do you choose to have three studios and does each one allow you to produce a different type of work?
Each studio inspires me in a different way.
I have a studio in Venice because my gallery is here. One in Tuscany, because it is very large and offers more space to create and showcase bigger sculptures and one in Sicily because that’s where I am from and where my family resides.
9. How did you manage to maintain your growing success and exhibit all over the world?
Hard work and dedication. I also try to be smart about investing back into my art. For example, I only bought the studio in Tuscany a few years ago. I knew that buying a large studio space and grounds would enable me to challenge the scale of my works and explore different methods of creation.
Also, by buying and creating a small gallery for my work in Venice, I’ve made my work accessible to all the tourists and international art lovers. Luca, at the gallery, is in charge of marketing my work and my schedule, which is always very hectic.
I have become successful internationally, even in China and India, and have been requested to carry out commissions all over the world. People enjoy coming to Venice to visit my studio and gallery and to talk to me. I am lucky because when people meet me, they like me and they buy my work.
10. What advice would you give me as an aspiring artist?
The answer to being a successful artist is to be hard working, believe in your art and never give up.
Be an artist but also be a business person; embrace the fact that art is a competitive business.
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