“The vision” of Salvatore Rizzello

My job is to tell the truth; through form I believe I speak of my childhood and thus, of this land”

His vision came into life as a little boy. While looking at his uncle pruning a tree he asked him how the branches to be cut off were chosen and then how the final form was given to the tree. The uncle showed his hands to the boy, bringing them closer to his eyes and replied: “The tree must look like a hand.”


For the little boy this was the greatest lesson of aesthetic he had ever taken, and thus represented his universal recipe in the endeavor of finding HARMONY in everything.

Thanks to this experience, he decided to attend the Experimental Art School “Francesca Capece” where he graduated in 1996.The following year Salvatore joined the course of sculpture at the “Accademia Carrara”, where, however, in his view he did not find what he expected. He decided to enroll the year after at the Academy of Fine Arts of Bologna and thanks to the maestro Mauro Mazzali, in 2002 he graduated with honors, with a thesis entitled “Megaliths: Sculptures of The Past.”

After graduation, he decided it was time to go back in his land of origin (Carpignano, Salentino) and there he started the OFFART DESIGN, studio of contemporary sculpture and design, as well as the school of sculpture itself.


Simultaneously, he went to work in a mill where he began to observe the ancient olive trees and to feel their breath and energy, until one day he found an olive tree that over time had wrapped a large boulder. He decided to take it in his laboratory. He studied the wood grain and discovered how unrepeatable and unique it was; just like our fingerprints. His research on the transfiguration of matter, which began with the stone, now had a new subject of focus: The Olive Tree.


His works were always different, as were the people who were about to own them. They were the result of a peaceful encounter between him and the olive tree in a replenishment of gestures. “You do not win against the olive tree; its personality is very strong and if you try to overwork on it, it will overwhelm you with its colors and its nodes.” For each sculpture he always seeks the perfect conjunction between matter, idea and form, maintaining a constant state of mind  from the beginning till the final result – this represents the reconciliation of man with his own territory.

The complex aging of the olive tree.

It begins with the pruning which is always done during wane moo; Although, in our hemisphere the best is not November as the plant is not yet fully dormant, but  rather December and January, because during the winter the plant has poor quantity of Lymph and this prevents it from freezing.

The olive tree is not a wood like the others; thorough maturation it tends to “crack”, so the best to be done is to strew the logs with a saline solution several times in the first few months in order to minimize the loss of water. Subsequently, the heads must be waxed with paraffin and placed in in a space to mature, where it has direct contact with solar rays and is ventilated to a certain extent; probably in such a way so that the wind is not too strong and it doesn’t pass on the surface of the tree so it does not remove the moisture rapidly.

Rizzello taglio ulivo

The timing of maturation is on average twice the size of a normal wood due to its high compactness. In fact, Rizzello, for his sculptures uses wood which is matured for five years.

source: il truciolo.it

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