By Valeria Caldelli,
La Nazione

Maria Gamundí’s art is altogether feminine. Not only because she is a woman but because her constant search for harmony and beauty passes almost exclusively through the female form – women, whose bodies communicate a universe that tends towards perfection, where the curves smooth out all the angles and the shapes render light and almost “levitate” heavy materials such as marble and bronze. “Yes, it is true, men are not very present in my repertoire. Only sometimes I have sculpted them and they have come out as saints or devils …” Maria Gamundí smiles in her studio in the foothills of Camaiore – near Pietrasanta – surrounded by dozens of women, a bit languid, a little intriguing – always luscious and serene. They are all ready for her upcoming show “Marmo & Bronzo” which opens September 15, at the Sala Grasce in the cultural center Luigi Russo in Pietrasanta – and which will remain open until October 14. “I believe that the human body, male or female, young or old, is a perfect creation. I use the female body only because I feel closer to it, even if it is never an exact copy of the real. I always try to simplify the forms looking for the harmony that I am searching for.”

Maria Gamundí has lived for years in Pietrasanta, but her origins are half Venezuelan and half Catalan, as revealed by the accent on the “í” of her last name, such as is found in Miró, Gaudí, Dalí. Almost a trademark, or a mark of destiny, for an artist who also has painters in her family. But she has chosen sculpture, three-dimensional creation to give life to the beauty that is the soul of her art. “In the world of contemporary art there is often an attempt to attack, to shock the public,” she says. “I believe that instead we should surround ourselves with beauty, with the good things, so, through my work, I try to evoke harmony and peace. Whatever the trends are, I can only create what I feel and what comes spontaneously from my hands are images that represent my ideal of beauty.”

So who is the real artist, he who upsets us or he who caresses us, he who slaps us or he who takes us by the hand? “For me, art is everything that ignites emotion,” is the answer. “A work of art is one that surprises you, transports you, engages you, beckons you, moves you. I, for one, love Vangi because he conveys humanity. He is a sculptor, but he is also a poet. It does not matter whether something is beautiful or ugly. You can make a beautiful object, but if it doesn’t touch the emotions it is not art. ”

That’s why Maria Gamundí embues her women with the breath of life. “I’m very much a perfectionist,” she says. “Every step is a continuous reworking and I continue to work until I am satisfied, until I feel that the sculpture is alive. Only then I know I’m done.”

But an artist is never finished. And Maria Gamundí is always looking for new challenges which propel her creations from one material to another. Thus, “Marmo & Bronzo” is the title of her upcoming exhibition which offers us a close comparison between identical forms molded in different materials. And the artist comments: “Only their shape is the same, their lives are completely different.”

Visit the artist’s website here: