Guido Dettoni della Grazia

Guido Dettoni 1946, Italy. Visual & tactile artist.

In 1961 he practised painting and sculpture in Germany where in 1969 his 1st exhibition took place.
1992/1993 Catalonia: two anthological exhibitions on Visual and Tactile handheld sculptures which are then enlarged so that we are contained by what we are containing.
1998 Barcelona: first Exhibition, as Guido Dettoni della Grazia -his full family name of the artwork MARIA, an Icon shaped to be contained within hands which see it. It represents, the mother of Jesus, the Mary of the Sura 19 of the Koran, the Shakti of Hinduism, the Kwan Yin of China, evoking the imagery of many cultures of the world. It has been installed in 30 venues among Cathedrals, Churches, Universities and Art Centres throughout Europe and Asia. It has been a permanent exhibition since 2002 in Assisi, since 2015 in Prague and Singapore and since 2017 in Lampedusa and Florence. Work | Exhibits | Installations.
From this ‘98 MARIA’s exhibition onwards Guido Dettoni named some of his works of art “Iconic” because having the character of an Icon, i.e., an important and enduring symbol, an object of great attention and devotion, according to the MoMa’s Glossary of Art Terms.
Since 1969 his sculptural works are mostly given by the encounter of hands and malleable matter he shapes, almost always in blindness. The hands see, the eyes touch. In the 70s he saw that his way of working could become collective thus he initiated the proposal of the HANDMATTER creative process.

Humans learn with their hands and their own intelligence has evolved learning to use the tools that the hands had created. (Frank R. Wilson - The Hand: How It Is Used to Shape the Brain, Language, and Human Culture / Henri Focillon - Éloge de la main) Hands, one mirror of the other. Two halves forming the unity, the brain, source of the word. Hands-brain-word. With our hands we manifest our feelings and emotions and can shape within us the surrounding reality, also because we are touching it and, at the same time we are touched by it.

"How do we look at handheld shapes which are the outcome of a personal manifestation?
Being blind or blindfolded we do it with hands while sighted we do it also with the eyes and furthermore from different angles. By unfolding the shapes in a plane spherical projection they generate a 2D sequence of images so we jump from what is tangible to what is virtual. Such sequence can become an aesthetic narration of the shape and may be shared in the computer environment and on the Internet. The initial hypothesis -repeatedly confirmed by numerous experiences- it is that all shapes created by the hands contain information about what has stimulated their creation. This applies obviously to artworks reproducing what is outside, what it is seen, but it also applies to works which express and manifest what is inside: i.e. shapes blindly created without any intention to make something specific.

The interpretation of a shape is reached going from the 3D shape to the 2D images which, once composed and assembled between them, might depict what has stimulated the creation of the shape itself. To accomplish this compositional experience, the creative process HANDMATTER, so called in 2000 by Guido Dettoni, incorporates a specifically programmed interactive digital application. HANDMATTER has found various applications in the field of the visual arts (experiences in West Africa, Singapore, the Americas and in some European countries), in the field of disability (Interventions with deafblind people in Catalonia, in the USA and Canada), in the field of therapy and learning, in Catalonia and Balearic Islands.