Thought-provoking fragmented sculptures pop up across Venice

French artist Bruno Catalano has created an extraordinary series of eye-catching bronze fragmented sculptures in Venice, Italy, called Travelers — or Les Voyageurs. Placed in collaboration with the Ravagnan Gallery for the 58th Venice Art Biennale, thirty of Bruno’s most recent Travelers create a path through the city. Packed with luggage, the sculptures have all disembarked the canal boats and dispersed across the ancient city, through the maze-like narrow streets and into historic palaces, churches, theatres and galleries.

The fragmented sculptures resemble incomplete human forms that blend into their locations and act as voids to view the surrounding world. Dealing with themes of emptiness and loss, they are missing essential pieces of themselves. And the human forms reflect the relationship between completeness and emptiness that has distinguished the large part of the 20th century.

Fragmented sculptures across Venice
Travelers by Bruno Catalano

In this way, Bruno’s Travelers a reflection of his own life. Born in Morocco, he and his family were forced into exile in Marseilles in the mid-1970s. The move left a lasting impression and shaped his future. After years of working in different professions, he finally turned to sculpture at age 30. From there, the artist’s technical prowess has developed alongside the intense psychology behind his art.

“In my work, I’m always looking for the movement and the expression of feelings, I get out of form and wax inertia to give them life,” Bruno declares. “Coming from Morocco myself, I carried these suitcases full of memories that I represent so often. They do not only contain images but also experiences, desires: my roots in motion.”

Representing the relationship between completeness and emptiness

Either alone or in small groups, the fragmented sculptures lace together a path in a journey across Venice. The Travelers have found homes in iconic sites like the 17th-century Teatro Goldoni, where they both blend into and stand out against this background. The Van Gogh II figure welcomes visitors into the foyer of the Goldoni Theatre, and Bleu de Chine looks across the grand canal from the terrace of the Sina Centurion Palace.

Celebrating the 58th Venice Art Biennale

On display through the end of November, explore Bruno Catalano’s site-specific installations throughout Venice.