Material determines the forms of art. Inevitably, one would say, indirectly and naturally, it would be more correct to say. Over the centuries, in addition to consolidated techniques and traditional materials, artists have always experimented with new techniques and materials with the aim of seeking, and finding, new expressive codes and new forms more adherent to a reality and an imaginal world in constant change but above all, to fuel a creativity free from unfounded limitations.

In this regard, the words of Jackson Pollock who wrote are emblematic: «My opinion is that new needs imply new techniques. And modern artists have found new ways and new methods to achieve their goals. It seems to me that the modern painter cannot express this era, the plane, the atomic bomb, the radio, in the ancient forms of the Renaissance or any other culture of the past. Each era finds its technique»1.

Plastic materials, polymers, have also been part of the artistic baggage for about a hundred years and have gradually affirmed their identity, their versatility and irreplaceable. The use of vinyl and acrylic resins as mediums, for example, has allowed the production of more manageable and resistant colors useful for many new expressive practices and compatible with media other than traditional ones. Celluloid was the material with which Naum Gabo created his first sculptures between 1910 and 1920, replacing it in the 1930s with polymethylmethacrylate (plexiglas), a material subsequently widely used by many artistic trends. PVC (polyvinyl chloride) was also experimented with by many artists, probably first from Oldemburg; and again we think of the polyurethane of Cesar's expansions and of the works of Dubuffet and Pistoletto. Not to mention the resins, silicones and glass fibers with which the hyper-realistic artists have been able to create sculptural figures with a truer appearance than the real one, "hyper" realist precisely.

Corrado Bonomi and Gianni Cella have always made plastic the privileged material with which to create their works: not the only one, obviously, but certainly the one with the greatest significance and the greatest ability to show and embody the most distinctive aspects of current events and changes cultural, social and customs that occurred in the world we are living in.

The first divides his practice between the modeling of figures and characters from scratch and the use of everyday objects, puppets, toys that he disassembles, reassembles, assembles to create works whose titles attributed (which are a determining part) highlight a sort of linguistic-conceptual relationship between the perceived form, what this could / would like to be and what really constitutes it. The artist moves outside of a categorization of genres in that area "which is dedicated to the object" used, this, because it bears its own identity: malleable like any other traditional material that "constitutes" a work of art.

The second from the very beginning, which took place within the Plumcake Group, uses fiberglass painted with industrial colors, with anti-natural colors, as a material to be molded ductively to create imaginary anthropo-biomorphic forms, with simplified physiognomic features and as fixed in time, capable of going to constitute a world parallel to the real one from which, however, it absorbs the mental experiences and cultural and affective suggestions. Fiberglass is specifically chosen by the artist because "it has no historical memory", it is "easily modeled like plasticine" and its final surface bears no trace of manual interventions, resulting as smooth as many products that we could define, again, object or "industrial".

Both therefore use a material that I would define as a symbol of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, so closely embedded with our life as to be an essential part of it and in some cases, let's think about it, indistinguishable. We could say that the works of our two artists respond to that "aesthetic of the synthetic", a definition stolen from Marina Pugliese2which is now an acquired specificity of our "common feeling" with deep cultural implications. They want to dialogue with the urban context because what they are made of is already part, unknowingly, of the lives they inhabit and their forms are there to remind anyone who looks at them.

Fabrizio Parachini

1 Jackson Pollock, My Painting, 1947-48, in: P. Karmel (curated by), Jackson Pollock. Interviews, Articles, Review, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1999.

2 Marina Pugliese, L'estetica del sintetico. La plastica e l'arte del Novecento, Costa & Nolan, 1997.