Robert Bodem


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Sculptor Robert Bodem Showcases His Work at Artviva

Of late, working on the human figure has taken on a new dimension for Robert Bodem. An established sculptor and director of the sculpture programme at the Florence Academy of Art since 1998, Rob feels his experience with sculpture has dramatically changed over the past five years. Much of this has to do with gaining the technical knowledge needed to work with the human body, he says.

‘It’s happening now. I don’t struggle with the figure as I once did. Of course, the challenges of getting the proportion and gesture right are still there. But now there’s another battle that’s different. Now that I am in control of the human form, I can play with the pose, make it move. Finally I can focus on making sculpture speak.’

Over the past two years, Rob concentrated on getting a lot of his work out into the public eye. A number of galleries in Europe and the USA have his sculptures. Last year he took part in key group exhibitions in Dublin, and in 2007 he was invited to show in Venice during the Biennale.

Now, Rob wishes to concentrate wholly on new sculpture projects. He is currently working on the theme of human introversion. He is currently sculpting an imposing figure of a man in a position of hiding within himself. He plans then to develop a female figure on the same scale. Both sculptures will appear acutely aware of each other, each introverted and shy. The idea is that, with the sculptures placed close to each other but without touching, viewers will feel they have come upon an intimate scene.

To get to where he is now, at the age of 37, Rob has trodden a fascinating path, starting as an art student at Boston University and apprentice to the Greek American abstract sculptor Dimitri Hadzi, friend of Marino Marini and Alberto Giacometti. As a boy growing up in upstate New York, Rob initially simply aspired to being an art educator, but his teachers encouraged him to take the subject more seriously, as a professional artist. His family was close to that of Dan Graves, and seeing the rich collection of pictures in the Graves home was a great inspiration.

After a while, Rob felt the need to move on. The combination of a desire for the experience of living abroad and a lingering interest in the figure made Rob decide to go to Florence in 1996. His experience studying at the Florence Academy convinced him to refocus his attention on figurative sculpture, working with clay to cast in bronze or plaster. Rob recalls how Dimitri, when he had gone to take his leave from him, gave him two warnings: ‘Don’t fall in love with the figure, and do not engage in a political conversation with an Italian.’ He didn’t succeed in heeding either one, he admits.

Artviva is proud to announce that we will be working with Robert Bodem. Clients will have an exclusive opportunity to hear the sculptor himself speak about his passion behind the art and see the sculptures themselves. This is an exclusive experience that you cannot miss. What better way to experience modern art in the Renaissance city, see the sculptures, hear the story behind them and meet the artist himself? For more information, and to book, please click here.

Text written by Zoe Bray.