Gianfranco Meggiato: Matter and Energy
04 July 2023

We are proud to publish our interview with Gianfranco Meggiato, a master of contemporary sculpture. Internationally known, the artist has been collaborating with Palma Arte for almost 30 years.

The formal universe he has managed to plastically elaborate over the years - also in monumental form - has often been inspired by quantum physics.  Can you describe this oxymoronic relationship between microcosm and macrocosm, between matter and energy, that characterises your poetics as a sculptor?

I think that never before have science, spirituality and philosophy, from seemingly separate paths, actually converged towards the summit of the same mountain, and the key to this is quantum physics.

Max Plank, Nobel Prize winner and father of quantum physics, stated back in 1918 that "matter as such does not exist, but that all matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force that makes the atomic particles vibrate and holds together the tiny solar system that is the atom. We must assume (he said) that behind this force there exists a conscious and intelligent Mind that is the matrix of all matter'.

Modern quantum physics is getting closer and closer to overcoming the boundary between consciousness and matter, in the logic that everything is one.

In certain works of mine (see Quantum Man, Quantum Sphere, Quantum of Light, etc.) I model each individual piece by enjoying the present moment (the past no longer exists, the future not yet); then at the same time and in the same space I go on to assemble the individual elements by unconsciously choosing only one of the possible compositional variants, thus the work is born. According to the theories of quantum physics, linear time and space as we understand it would not exist, but everything would happen at the same time and in the same place.

Art and artificial intelligence. We would like to take this opportunity to ask a master such as yourself what is your position on this broad topic. Above all: what role is left for the artist in a world where algorithms, machine learning and immense data sets seem on the verge of taking over human creativity.

I think that 'certain human creativity' will never succumb to artificial intelligence.

By certain creativity, however, I mean not the rational ability to compose something using the same known elements over and over again, but the ability to connect with the source and instinctively draw on new knowledge and information.

Creativity seen then as co-creation with the universal consciousness, the same one Plank referred to and to which we, I believe, consciously or unconsciously belong.

Artificial intelligence is trained on big data provided by us, a computer can process that data at a speed infinitely faster than ours, but it can never process what it does not know.

In the Arab world, the figure of the artist is defined as a co-creator, and in this definition I find myself very much in it.

My very way of conceiving my works does not come from preliminary projects or sketches, but starts spontaneously modelling hot wax directly without pre-established design constraints, thus leaving room for instinct and intuition.

An open and blunt question in relation to the previous one: how do you experience the design and realisation of your works? Basically: we are asking you for a personal definition of the creative process.

As I said before, the creative process of my works is particular, but I think perfectly in line with many other artists.

Joan Mirò said: 'Images take shape while I work. In other words, instead of deciding to paint something, I start working and while I paint the image imposes itself or offers itself to my brush".

So if I tried to compose my works using only my rational component, I would most likely fail to define anything and get stuck.

Instead, I must try to feel the work, to savour its creation step by step, without immediately thinking about the finished sculpture or how it will look, but enjoying the fleeting moment, the intuition of the modelling of a detail. The sum of these moments then goes to make up the finished work.

This is also the beauty of my being an artist, never knowing what you are going to do today and what work will come out, if it comes out at all, ultimately never being bored, which is no small thing.