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Perino e Vele

United States Born in: 1973
Emiliano Perino was born in New York in 1973; his parents returned the family to Italy when he was nine years old. Luca Vele was born in Rotondi, a small southern Italian village about 52 kilometers inland from Naples, in 1975. They met in 1990 at art school in Benevento, an important ancient town with pre-Roman ruins, and their artistic research has developed in parallel and together ever since.

They are an unusual artistic pairing in that they do not have individual roles or specializations; instead, they share and discuss every idea at each step of their very peculiar way of making art.

Perino & Vele are sculptors, but they do not sculpt or model a material. Their work begins with making the material itself—papier-mâché, made from old newspapers of different colors that they have learned to mix in combinations that create inventive shades. Once they have decided on a new work—after discussing, planning, making drawings—they select the newspapers, mince them with water in a blender that they call “Frullatore,” dry the papier-mâché—either outside on iron cots or in a dryer—and finally mix it with resin and wallpaper glue.

They then make square tiles of different sizes and thicknesses. While the tiles are still half-wet, they are positioned on a structure—the “skeleton” of the sculpture—made of iron and fiberglass. Each work involves hundreds of tiles so precisely and carefully joined that the junctions are almost invisible.
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