Arte Sacra Claudio Riso
Born on 10 July 1966, as a boy, Claudio became passionate about and dedicated himself to the world of papier-mâché, attending the workshop of Maestro Antonio Malecore, now deceased and one of the most important papier-mâché makers of the Salento tradition, in Lecce. A choice that immediately put him in contact with the materials, techniques and secrets of this ancient art, leading him to make it his own business, involving his brothers and opening a workshop right in the historic center of Lecce.
Today, Claudio deals with the restoration of large statues destined for sacred places and the creation of classic crib works of different sizes, to which he wanted to add new figures, more common and profane, but also closely linked to traditions. Thus, the representations of peasant and popular life are recurring among his works (the old man carrying the bundles, the woman who washes the clothes or the fishermen of Salento) with characters strongly characteristic of his own land, Puglia.
All the works are entirely handmade, respecting the processing phases of the past, from the internal structure in straw and iron wire, to the hands, feet and head in ceramic, up to the clothes made of papier-mâché, first molded and then painted with oil colors or focussed with hot irons. Well recognizable items that stand out for their accuracy and taste for detail, finely reproduced.
In times when authenticity is being rediscovered, this ancient art has never been so modern. Throughout history and to this day, papier-mâché is anchored to the city of Lecce in an inseparable combination. Linked and innate to Baroque architecture, a great artistic season developed during the 17th and 18th centuries, from which it takes its starting point, proposing "lightness" and disenchantment.
If on the one hand the Baroque art of Lecce links its flowering to the local schools of stone stonecutters, the famous "Lecce stone", on the other hand, papier-mâché with its extraordinary ability to lend itself to imitating more noble materials, leads back to time in which, thanks above all to the religious commissioning, it brought about a real ennobling of the traditional craftsman practice.