Italian artist Nicola Bolla is best known for transforming beautiful materials into memorably crude sculptures that explore mortality. His hauntingly compelling installations involve skull heads, piles of loose bones, and other death-related objects that are completely coated with sparkling Swarovski crystals. In the artist’s book, entitled Empireo, we are taken on a visual journey through his work, in which a toilet sparkles in a dank bathroom and an embellished chair, overturned below a hanging noose, is suggestively foreboding.
To create the images for the book, the artist worked in collaboration with photographer Sergio Alfredini, who was able to document the glitz and glamour of Bolla’s menacing sculptures as they twinkle in the haunting glow of their surroundings. Viewers will find themselves experiencing a sense of apprehension as they flip through the book. The photographs are strongly reminiscent of the apprehensive moments in a horror movie that linger right before something scary actually happens. The series is filled with a sense of melancholy, an emotion that is conveyed through the use of intense shadows, direct spots of light, and a color palette of earthy hues.