Alessandro Pongan

I am developing an art concept called TOTEM PROJECT.
It is about resilience, spirituality and human condition; I want to use my work to contaminate urban environments as well as natural places revitalizing them with the simple, potent, language of my characters.
My research,develops through the creation of totemic figures, ex voto, athars, sometimes exorcisms.

I use a short circuit between modern and ancient techniques, spanning between a micro scale to gigantism. I employ different materials such as bronze, iron, sand, volcanic rock, ceramics, paper, plaster, wood, nylon, inflatable PVC, video projections.
Alessandro Pongan is an artist and designer based in Milan, Italy. His artistic production cover sculptures, engraved wood tables, prints, video, installations.
Born in La Spezia, Italy, in 1963 he founfded in MIlan the visual design studio Officina Design in 1984.
Alessandro Pongan started in 2017 his personal artistic research.



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Vita
In 2017 Alessandro Pongan started the pure artistic activity developing an artistic concept called Totem Project by the creation of sculptures in a variable scale, from tiny to giagntic and installations developing the theme of resiliency.
The techniques adopted are different, from the lost-wax casting of bronze to 3D printing. The range of materials ranges from bronze and other metal alloys to stone, wood, plaster, sand, paper, etc. The large sculptures have a strong vocation for public art and are capable of communicating with potently with the public and interacting fruitfully with the territory, both urban and natural, historic or modern.

Alessandro Pongan was born in La Spezia -Italy in 1963. Due to the moves of his father, an engineer, he grew up in many different cities and countries. From 1974 to 1981 he lived in Milan and Brazil, at Volta Redonda, in the inland zone near Rio de Janeiro, and in Vitória, the capital of the state of Espírito Santo, a city-island surrounded by the Atlantic. In Vitória he completed his high school studies that began in Milan, taking a diploma in scientific studies. The period spent in South America has left its mark, in the form of a joyful, open perspective on life.

After returning to Milan, he studied at the Scuola Politecnica di Design of Nino Di Salvatore, where he graduated in 1983 in Visual Design. His teachers included Heinz Waibl, Attilio Marcolli and Bruno Munari, who entered the classroom pronouncing phrases like “the tree is the very slow explosion of a seed” or “it should be understood that as long as art remains extraneous to the problems of life, it will interest only a few people.”

After working freelance for a few years, in 1988 he founded the visual design studio Officina Design in Milan, which still operates today. In 1993-1994 he spent long periods in Athens as an art director and set designer of television programs for Ant1, a private national broadcasting network.
Thanks to these professional experiences, he was able to deeply explore the fields of graphic design, television, set design, computer animation, video production and installations, always making the force of design the central feature of his work.

His imagery is clear, confident, pithy and filmic. Latin passion combined with Nordic rationalism. This attraction to the north led him to the artistic and professional encounter with the Danish designer Hans Thyge, with whom he has done many projects, including the interactive section for children, the World of Glass, of the Glasmuseet of Ebeltoft.

The list of companies for which he has worked during almost three decades of career is a long one. In 2015 he did the installations for the New Holland-Fiat Pavilion at Expo Milano 2015; he directed a television advertisement for Alessi using 3D techniques, and did the set design and artistic direction for the prize ceremony of the Sport Media Pearl Awards in Abu Dhabi.

Nowdays is working as artistic director - designer for Simmetrico Network in projects such as Azerbaijan Expo 2020 Pavilion, new museum useum projects, special events, monuments.
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Exhibitions
2019 - Personal Exhibition
"Timeless" - personal exhibition commissioned by Centri Porsche Milano for the launch event of the new Porsche 911. Milano, Italy.

2018 - Award - Exhibition
“PREMIO ARTE 2018”- art prize, sculpture section. Curated by Cairo Editore.
Mention of honor and Exhibition between the 40 finalistis of the between 4 categories.
Work published in the Catalogo dell’Arte Moderna 2018, Giorgio Mondadori.
https://totem-project.it/premio-arte-2018-palazzo-reale-milano/

2018 - Collective Exhibition
"RELAZIONI ESTETICHE" - Reggia di Caserta - Caserta (NA), Italy
Curated by Massimo Scaringella, produced by Villam Art.

2107 - Collective Exhibition
"CONTEXTO" Curated by Casa Testori, a collettive exhibition diffuse in the town of Edolo (BS), Italy.
Sculpture in the main square of the city.

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Publications
LAGI 2019 Abu Dhabi — Return to the Source
The RED GIANT project by Alessandro Pongan was chosen to be published in the LAGI 2019 book featuring 65 selected submissions. The book will be published with Prestel (a division of Random House) and will be released in January 2020 at the World Future Energy Summit.

LAGI 2019 Abu Dhabi — Return to the Source invited creatives to design an iconic work of art for a landmark site within Masdar City, Abu Dhabi using renewable energy technology as a medium of creative expression to provide on-site energy production consistent with the master plan of the city.

LAGI Biennial Competitions
Every two years the free and open LAGI international design competition provides an opportunity for creative minds around the world to reflect on the nature of energy infrastructures and what they can aspire to be in their built form. How can they integrate themselves into our cities in ways that enhance public space, educate, and inspire? The thousands of participants from over 60 countries have made the project successful by presenting to the world nearly a thousand unique positive visions of our clean energy future.

Renewable Energy Can Be Beautiful
The design brief for the LAGI design competition contains the following baseline requirements: The artwork is to capture energy from nature, cleanly convert it into electricity, and transform and transmit the electrical power to a grid connection point to be supplied by the city. Consideration could be made for the safety of the viewing public and for the educational activities that may occur on site. The design should be constructible (rather than theoretical), and it must respect the natural ecosystem of the design sites.
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Web
https://totem-project.it

https://www.instagram.com/alessandropongan/
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Reviews
By EUGENIO ALBERTI SHATZ
The work of Alessandro Pongan is organized around a central character: the Prono (prone one, procumbent).
We are faced with the invention of a contemporary archetype that to some extent establishes a dialogue with the Vitruvian Man drawn by Leonardo. The Prono is a character represented in different contexts, languages and formats, without ever losing his identity, even when joined by a series of collateral factors and figures.
He is solid, geometric, archaic and pop at the same time. He resonates with overtones of the statues of Easter Island, of Mayan and Aztec imagery, but also Japanese manga and UFO-robots, graffiti and comics. He spreads tangible spiritual energy, a sense of mystery and pursuit of the meaning of existence.
Like many archetypes, he has a dual nature. On all fours, a sign of sacrifice and subjugation, the typical posture of the oppressed. But at the same time an accumulator of energy. In the massive body, we sense the tension of a sprinter at the starting blocks.
A creature utterly alert, waiting for the signal to leap forward. To break free of any constraints, any inhibition.
It is no coincidence that Prono reminds us of another mythological figure: Cronos, the Titan son of Uranus (sky) and Gaia (earth). Prono is the symbol of the potential redemption that lies within us.He bows on the ground, but gazes forward. Beyond the horizon.

By DAVIDE DALL'OMBRA, CASA TESTORI
Pongan is an old-school artist and, at the same time, the most contemporary kind of professional. Every work is the necessary and unpredictable interpretation of the archetypal theme he has developed in hours of maceration and ideation, immediately translated into rigorous design and implementation.
It would be inappropriate to divide the two aspects, the ideation – so dense in anthropological, philosophical and historical meanings, all together – and the project, made of hours of freehand drawing, exchanges and close collaboration with 3D printing workshops and craftsmen versed in ancient casting techniques.
The process takes on modernity precisely in its implementation as a whole, its blossoming in the contemporary material, its extraordinary ability to ride the multiple technological possibilities of the present, giving rise to the everlasting thought of these sculptures, which cross time, immutable as their own longing.

By ALFREDO ACCATINO
In the past, artists created a work.
Some artists repeated that same work over time, transforming it into a stereotype, a cage of expression in which they wound up losing their own identity. Alessandro Pongan, on the other hand, has attempted to do the hardest thing of all. Instead of making a single work of art, he has pursued life and outlined a world that he is now populating with landscapes, visions and creatures, spanning between matter and form.
He has not simply imagined its inhabitants; he first builds them in his mind and then shapes them in 3D to endow them with the breath of life. He has synthesized their DNA and has now left it free to express itself and self-generate.
The spectator is thus on the front line, seemingly seated by the side of God in the moment of creation; as if it had been possible to plan and to see even before its implementation, the terracotta army of the Emperor Qin at Xi’an.
Alessandro Pongan is therefore not just a forerunner, but also a “Creator.” After all, the word “creativity” comes from the root KAR, and in Sanskrit “KAR-TR” is “he who makes” (from nothing). Pongan is a poet, a utopian, an artisan, a free non-artist without preconceived notions, who is moving the art industry into a new territory.

By CINZIA MANFREDINI
“Timeless”
In philosophy: regarding that which is independent of time or does not refer to a definite moment in time.
In linguistics: the atemporal present, a particular aspectual value assumed by the present tense when it refers to an action as having eternal validity and universal applicability.
Looking at the works of Alessandro Pongan, timeless is the first adjective that comes to mind. His ancestral and at the same time futuristic forms seem to cross an indefinite time; their existence seems like something that has fallen from an unexplored world. Yet they summon up and move emotions inside me... a sensation of having known them in other lives.
Alessandro: I have admired him for some time; I envy his technological know-how and high-tech professionalism…
Yet... this time, opening his images, I cannot deny being strongly struck. I closed and opened again... a number of times. Then I saw…
Mysterious forms that can be very small and at the same time become enormous, without changing their proportions, without mutation.
Forms... abstract yet ready to be traced back to images buried in our imagination... that can live and be in harmony with inner and outer spaces, ancient and very modern contexts, that can be representative of many things... associated with a thousand human productions... becoming the symbol and expression of many energies… TOTEMS.
Because in these sculptures nothing changes, nothing gets becomes deformed, nothing gets lost, nothing matters...
Meteors... that have traveled in timeless spaces... perhaps signals of the future which Alessandro, like a radar, has been able to listen to... and finally capture, to bring them to us... to then convey them for us in the context of art... to pass them down, and who knows... maybe one day to return them to their mystery.
PRONO TOTEM
The sculpture was selected for the art prize “PREMIO ARTE 2018” Curated by Cairo Editore. Mention of honor and Exhibition between the 40 finalistis in 4 categories. Work published in the Catalogo dell’Arte Moderna 2018, Giorgio Mondadori. 1/7
Alessandro Pongan, Bronze, Metall
PRONO
The sculpture was exhibited in the collettive exhibition “RELAZIONI ESTETICHE” Reggia di Caserta (NA) - Italy, November / December 2018 Curator Massimo Scaringella, production Villam Art.
Alessandro Pongan, Sonstige, Kunststoff
BRAIN DRAIN
The Brain Drain is part of my EX VOTO cycle. They are votive figures echoing those that can be seen in the ancient baroque churches placed by the faithful as a sign of gratitude for the grace received. Hanging sculpture and video projection. The projection is a CT SCAN of the brain sculpture and is a journey through its mysteries. A becoming of cryptic ancestral forms that follow one another in a continuous generative morphing. In fact, one day I wondered what mysteries the three-dimensional form I had created could contain; this sort of surgical exploration resulted in surprising images. It is as if these figures were already present but invisible in empty space; the act of modeling the sculpture captured them and made them visible. A trap for the unconscious?
Alessandro Pongan, Mixed Media, Kunststoff
PRONO ENDURANCE
Red lava rocks in and steel mesh structure. This work is an homage to shaped sheet metal
Alessandro Pongan, Stein, Metall
TOTEM
Inox
Alessandro Pongan, Metall, Stahl
PRONO GIGANTINO BALOSSA
WINNER OF PARCO BALOSSA ART PRIZE 2018, curated by Casa Testori for Parco Nord Milano. Permanent installation september the 15th 2018, the sculpture is part of an art itinerary in the public park. The Parco della Balossait is a public park obtained from an area that has strenuously resisted the attack of building speculation in the northern suburbs of Milan now part od Parco Nord Milano. The work consists of a structure of recycled Innocenti tubes, a symbol of building construction, and the planting of climbing plants. The nature that resists and takes back its spaces. The creepers are Parthenocissus quinquefolia, chosen for their color mutation accompanying the succession of the seasons. The sculpture is an elaboration of my Prono archetype which here becomes a small gentle giant. His position evokes the first movements of a child, like a new awareness of humanity in relation to the environment. The sculpture has immediately become a landmark of the territory and the final stage of a path of urban art trekking. When a work of art generates a place! The last time I visited the little giant, as soon as I approached, a group of birds took flight from it. This work is now part of the European Sculpture Path of ART MOVES EUROPE.
Alessandro Pongan, Metall, Naturstoffe
PRONO FLUX
First of a series flux in the Prono Cycle.
Alessandro Pongan, Kunststoff
BRAIN DRAIN TALES
Brain Brain Tales is a cycle of works in progress that comes from the Brain Drain sculpture. These mysterious ancestral figures are frames from a 3' video animation in which they morph on in other.
Alessandro Pongan, Holz, Gips
PRONO GIGANTINO
High density EPS, resin, Vero Metal coat. The Prono Gigantino was first exhibited in 2018 in CONTEXTO, the contemporary art event that invades the city of Edolo (BS), Italy. The sculpture was placed in the main square of the town. Under the artistic direction of Casa Testori, curated by Davide Dall’Ombra, the exhibition questions the GENERATIONS, intended as a place of witness passages, of cultural heritage that are handed down, but also as acts that give life to something new, beautiful and useful for everyone. The heart of the city opens on the ground floor of one of the most beautiful buildings in Edolo, between the Via and the Corte Mottinelli. 12 artists of three generations, with painting, drawing, video art, sculpture and installation, provide an insight into current artistic production. But there are plenty of surprises for three special projects (At the Liberty building near the train station, at the Library, ex Casa del Fascio and at the old prisons), to finish with two environmental works: near the Town Hall and the Church. The EPS/resin sculpture is a 1:1 model for a bronze sculpture made upon request.
Alessandro Pongan, Metall, Kunststoff
EX VOTO - Brain Drain
EX VOTO is a cycle of works in progress. They are votive figures that somehow echo those that can be seen in the ancient baroque churches placed by the faithful as a sign of gratitude for the grace received. The installation is composed by a body, which quotes Auguste Rodin's "Le Penseur", a chromed brain on the verge of soaring and a video projection representing a journey inside the brain itself. The work is a votive sculpture about the genius and imagination.
Alessandro Pongan, Metall, Holz
EX VOTO - YES MAN
EX VOTO is a cycle of works in progress. They are votive figures that somehow echo those that can be seen in the ancient baroque churches placed by the faithful as a sign of gratitude for the grace received. This votive sculpture is against the yes men not rarely it is an amulet against the yes men that unfortunately we often have to bear.
Alessandro Pongan, Bronze, Metall
PRONO cubic
Bronze lost wax casting, black patina.
Alessandro Pongan, Bronze, Metall
PRONO Support
Metal carpentry. Oxidized steel, burnished steel.
Alessandro Pongan, Metall, Stahl
PRONO Strata
Pigmented plaster stratification. I made 20 different pieces form this geometry forming an installation.
Alessandro Pongan, Gips, Mixed Media
PRONO - Despite Everything
Despite Everything is an experimental piece made with concretized sand. The sculpture can virtually be produced in large scale. My archetype Prono is shown here like a mountain carved out of deep canyons and eroded by time. My intention was to bring back the essence of our self after the passage of life events.
Alessandro Pongan, Sonstige, Kunstharz
HUMAN FABRIC
The title of this work is a paraphrase of "urban fabric". The graphic composition depicts a bird's eye view of a multitude of shapes that intersect as in a plot of buildings. I made this work by reflecting on the human condition and on the network of relationships. The potential for strength that arises from union and cooperation, like in a herd of animals, a flock of birds. It seems to me that it is a very topical issue nowadays if we consider the condition of isolation we had to live in the historical period of the pandemic when we found ourselves forcibly isolated, locked up in our homes, leaving the streets empty. Variable dimensions. Digital print on canvas.
Alessandro Pongan, Textil
HUMAN FABRIC - Discs
The title of this work is a paraphrase of "urban fabric". The graphic composition depicts a bird's eye view of a multitude of shapes that intersect as in a plot of buildings. I made this work by reflecting on the human condition and on the network of relationships. The potential for strength that arises from union and cooperation, like in a herd of animals, a flock of birds. It seems to me that it is a very topical issue nowadays if we consider the condition of isolation we had to live in the historical period of the pandemic when we found ourselves forcibly isolated, locked up in our homes, leaving the streets empty. Digital print on metal discs.
Alessandro Pongan, Metall
EX VOTO I - Visio
Votive sculpture dedicated to the Vision. EX VOTO is an in progress cycle of digital sculpture that sometimes reaches the physical state through my sculptures, bas-reliefs, graphics and video productions. They are votive figures echoing those that can be seen in the ancient baroque churches placed by the faithful as a sign of gratitude for the grace. I will fine art print in limited series. Printed on Hahnemühle - Photo Rag Bright White 310 g/m2
Alessandro Pongan, Papier
EX VOTO II - Fortuna Adversa, Fortuna Propitia
EX VOTO II - FORTUNA PROPITIA, FORTUNA ADVERSA EX VOTO is a cycle of works in progress that sometimes reaches the physical state through my sculptures, bas-reliefs, graphics and video productions. They are votive figures that somehow echo those that can be seen in the ancient baroque churches placed by the faithful as a sign of gratitude for the grace received. I will fine art print in limited series. Printed on Hahnemühle - Photo Rag Bright White 310 g/m2
Alessandro Pongan, Papier


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