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Second Epiphany of the work of art MARIA, 1998

In September 1995 I realized that the sculpture I had shaped had not reached its perfection, and although the image had already been reproduced in eight wooden copies, I interrupted its continuity.

After almost two and a half years, on January 8, 1998, in my studio in Majorca, I was finally able to find the final MARIA Icon and thus began its journey.

I could touch and look at that simple wax form. Touch and sight were complementary.
I imagined it moving away from my hands to become larger and belong to outer space. A year later at the Gregorian University in Rome, during the MARIA exhibition, I would remember that an intermediary between two parties disappears as soon as the object of the intermediation is reached. This suggested to me the reduction of the Icon until it disappears into the hand. These three moments of perception: the enlargement (only through sight), then the original dimension (hand, touch, and sight), and, finally, the reduced version (only touch), make possible a broad connection with MARIA. Lately, the further reduction has led to it being wearable.

I was aware of the many images, different from each other, of Mary as well as the feminine, bearing, and nourishing life, but I was seeing them as an adaptation to different cultures and I also wanted to reaffirm their uniqueness. The Icon would always be the same but dressed with wood or marbles from around the world, or even resin or recycled materials.

Moreover, the original handheld sculpture could not be seen entirely, erect, to show all its facets and beauty. How to present it without using your hands? What if they could not be seen? I played with the impossible to find the solid air that could contain it, namely glass. Thus, I imagined thirty-three glass cylinders, at the top of which I could place, at the desired angle, leaning forward, the thirty-three images, dressed, at that time with woods from all over the world. Like a sequence, Jesus’ years on earth had caused to arise from the very soils of the places that would host her, the glass cylinders containing MARIA.

The sense of smell anticipates and evokes: hence the distillation of herbs, plants, flowers, and woods to obtain the fragrances that would announce and accompany it ever since.
I then showed the sculpture to my poet friend Carles Duarte. He was fascinated and wrote poetry that completed the Icon with the word.
The hands are a haven where I learn to invoke you“. This poetic intuition with which he ends his poem “Mother of God after Guido Dettoni“also defines the core of my work: the hands as an instrument for concrete knowledge, preceding and causing the abstract one.

Guido Dettoni della Grazia