Artist Ramon Todo breathes new life into stone sculptures and simultaneously celebrates the use of contrasting materials. His Stone Series features the use of unique rocks—including obsidian, volcanic rock, fossils, debris, and rocks from historical sites—all carefully selected to tell different stories about time and place. These stones are split and reattached with bluish glass layers—ranging in thickness and size—that diffuse light and allow us to see through each piece. They are like windows into the soul of these stones that have laid in various locales, witnessing history.
“I use the rocks, debris, Bota (stone similar to coal) for my works believing they have such memories inside,” Todo explains. “I used the glasses as material in the middle to peek into the time and the history of inside the rocks.” The artist also shares that the cuts and juxtaposition of rough debris with modern, sleek glass allows us to see “the characteristics of the place. The uniqueness of the place. Like the memories of the place and time.”
This intention has led the innovative sculptor to utilize narratives from many places of historical significance, typically near two cities where he spends most of his time—Dusseldorf, Germany and Kanagawa, Japan. For an artist whose work represents a “uniqueness of place,” it is critical to understand the influence of both of these locations. Todo’s work is a result of his impressions of Western Europe combined with a classic understanding of Japanese beauty.
The sculptor also extends his splicing glass to other materials, beyond those organically found in nature. In his Book Series, Todo utilizes the same memory-based narratives found in his stone sculptures; but, this time, the glass is embedded within novels, taking the place of pages. The sculptures included in this series allow viewers to find meaning in the transparent cuts more literally, as text from the spine is visible through the glass.
Scroll down to see some of Todo's incredible sculptures and images from a recent exhibit at Art Front Gallery.