Intelligent Bathers

Sandro Chia

“Sandro Chia is a brilliant artist,” in the words of Fabio Novembre. “His art is vibrant, his vibrancy is art.” Back in 2002, Novembre commissioned him to create a mosaic frieze for the new Spazio Bisazza he was designing in Milan. Chia’s first visit to the space was during construction. “Building sites have always fascinated me,” asserts Chia, who is best known as one of the masters of the Transavanguardia movement. “Frenetic activity, bare structures and all that. On site, Fabio told me about the architectural design and it was like someone describing a dream, trying to get across the facts and the feeling. Clearly, we were working together and what was wanted of me was to plunge body and soul into the job in hand. Nothing could be more exciting.”

“We asked him to take his inspiration from the blue of the sea of Capri,” explains Fabio Novembre, “and Chia replied with a design featuring two figures, one of whom is diving from the top of the Faraglioni. He courageously hurls himself headfirst into the water, flanked by a faithful companion, who covers his sex, conserving it for the joys of love and the continuation of his species. A species on the verge of extinction, a gene to be protected and passed down."