These hard-bodied men emerging from bare, white walls are the works of Milan-based artist Matteo Pugliese. The most apparent and impressive aesthetic choice that Pugliese has chosen in this series entitled Extra Moenia is the decision to present his sculptures in fragments. A bent knee opens the opportunity to represent one whole form in at least two pieces. It is the spectator’s mind that makes up the limbs and other body parts that aren’t visible. The body movements and configurations are equally intriguing, especially those that are contorted and reflect muscle tension.
The figurative bronze and silver-plated bronze sculptures represent a strength and struggle, as these warriors burst through the pristine surface. In some cases, it’s difficult to tell whether the statues are materializing out of the vertical encasement or actually submerging into a pool of white. Are they breaking free or being engulfed? It’s a fascinating thought to ponder. Either way, Pugliese brilliantly exhibits his skilled mastery and understanding of the athletic male form.