Critical Introduction

Painting was the first artistic way of expression of Diego De Crescenzo, but is with  the art of sculpture that he found his own peculiar language. Canvases and colours were not the right media to express himself completely as to carve different kinds of materials.   He found out something “magic” using the chisel, which could let him show his sensitivity and with devotion to his work he could going on and keep looking for a true personal artistic expression.

Diego De Crescenzo became a sculptor step by step, after a long time of training, always looking for new materials to manipulate. When he creates plastic shapes he wants to make a thought or a feeling real, physical. Diego takes inspiration for his subjects from a great variety of sources and when he  sculpts he uses any kind of material such as wood, stone and metals.

When he finds a stone or a piece of wood he approaches it waiting for some suggestion and trying to get into touch with it.

He believes in the power of cosmic energies, in the harmony of the Four Elements of Nature: Air, Fire, Water and Earth and in the deep connection between spiritual and material matters.

Every time he begins a sculpture he remembers what “Michelangelo”, the great master of the Italian Renaissance, said about his statues, that he was only trying to take out the spirit of them, taking rid  of everything is useless around. That is what Diego De Crescenzo does each time he begins to work, he draws out the “art work” from the earthly bonds which keep it in chains. So it takes shape and becomes something alive, constantly exchanging energies from inside to outside and vice versa.

First sculptures , made at the end of the 1990s, are the result of a long search that directed  this artist towards the achievement of a personal expressive artistic language, even if sometimes his works can remind the style of Brancusi.

The following sculptures “Whispered words”(2000) and “Embrace”(2001), both made of sandstone, were made after a long, deep, meditation period. The artist chooses a new stone with a kind of respect and his artistic project relates to the intimate exchanging between his intuition and what comes out of the material he is going to treat.

In “Helmet”(2004) or “Wind waves”(2005), De Crescenzo seems to feel much more easy than before when he has to face a new subject, although he is still keeping his own peculiar characters as sensitivity and quietness. These two works, like others of the same period, create much more movement regard to De Crescenzo’s previous shapes, they are much more aggressive as they seem to reach and take possession of the space around them, particularly in “Helmet” the iron inclusions show this impetuosity. The real intention of the artist is to make his works able to express their hidden energy. Last works “Paradox”(2006) and “Withdrawn into his thoughts”(2007), belong to a Diego’s following evolution. Even if they  seem to be figurative subjects, they are two human shapes: one is busy in a very special reading, the other inside a cage.

The meanings of these art works are different from their shapes, the artist give to them his own interpretation, could be metaphorical or just a thought or attitude. These subjects can be related to Conceptual Art which is connected to the ideas and the language an artist uses, apart from what he creates. In this case De Crescenzo wants to communicate his own way of thinking and he uses new kinds of materials, always trying to test different ways of expression. These last works are related with nowadays world.

He is looking today at mankind contradictions , taking inspiration from this society’s deep crisis issues.      

Valentina Bolchini


Diego De Crescenzo