Of Lego and Priapus: The Contemporary Mythology of Ivan Lardschneider

Ivan Lardschneider is a brilliant and irreverent sculptor who goes beyond every intellectual barrier regardless of any purely instinctive relationship with matter. 

A life dedicated to contemporary art, Ivan continues to stimulate his audience with ideas and meanings that often bring to light conflicting opinions.

Emphasizing only some parts of the body, covering others with gold, the artist’s work is always in flux, notwithstanding the ability to combine the modernity of his creations with a classic style that is always impeccable.

Since 2008, his works have been exhibited in many cities around the world.

Works by Ivan Lardschneider, Courtesy the Artist and Benjamin Eck

D/railed Magazine: How would you introduce yourself to a new audience unfamiliar with your work?

Ivan Lardschneider: I tend to remain interconnected to the works that best represent me, such as Heavy Head. I usually try to introduce some of my new creations, which always relate to wood carving.

 DM: How did you approach art as a child? What motivated you to start creating? For some it is a desire for alienation.

IL: In my family the art of sculpting wood has been practiced for decades. It’s as though it is part of my DNA. Basically, I was born in an environment in which chisels and pieces of wood were my only toys. I have always experienced creating something with my own hands as a natural thing.

DM: Have you always portrayed the subjects we know today, or did you initially explore art as a different medium?

IL: At the beginning of my time at sculpture school in Selva Val Gardena, I learned to represent the physical anatomy and later the sacred art. We started with statuettes for churches eventually leading to  experimentation producing the style that everyone can now admire in my works.

Work by Ivan Lardschneider, Courtesy the Artist

DM: What is the function of the psychological self-portrait in your work?

IL: When I create a sculpture I put myself in the shoes of a child. I try to think about the scenes from everyday life as seen by children.  An adult obviously perceives reality in a completely different way.

DM: Does the artist always project his or her personal life in works of art, or is this tendency sometimes overcome?

IL: I guess it depends on the person. I have to admit that some of my works have something to do with my life, with my memories such as Heavy Head.

 DM: What innovative things are your fellow sculptors doing in the world, and what distinguishes you from the competition?

IL: Honestly speaking, I do not follow the work of others. It’s not that I am afraid of competition; I prefer simply to concentrate on my work for maximum creativity and innovation.

 DM: Are you here to amaze by focusing on sensationalism or to play with your imaginary interlocutor almost as if you were communicating with yourself?

IL: Many people are certainly amazed by my works, but I do not want to say that I’m playing with them. From this point of view, I can say that I am succeeding by letting the imagination and the free interpretation be understood as a direct relationship with the self but also in its capacity as a communicative medium with the outside world.

 DM: What do they say, your characters, which is not immediately evident to the human eye and mind?

IL: When I do a solo show, for some reason, visitors always understand immediately what I want to communicate. I never have to explain what I mean. They only ask me about the materials that I use, if the pieces are unique. A work of art in my opinion is almost never used as an explanation. Basically it must be experienced as a feeling, the emotion that the work evokes in the spectator that assimilates it and deploys it in every direction as a fragment of experience lived in that moment.

Work by Ivan Lardschneider, Courtesy the Artist

Work by Ivan Lardschneider, Courtesy the Artist

DT: How are your recent works received in Italy, such as Ce l’ho d’oro? What are the positive and negative reactions?

IL: A work like “Ce l’ho d’oro ” in Italy, unfortunately, is rare, and although for me this approach to sexuality is normal, I understand that it can raise disparate reactions. In fact, after a few days at the Benjamin Eck Gallery in Munich, the sculpture was already sold, and there were other requests made for similar works.

Work by Ivan Lardschneider, Courtesy the Artist

DT: How was your new work born in which a female character has some parts of the body highlighted in solid gold?

IL: This work was also requested by the Benjamin Eck Gallery of Munich: they asked me to create the figure opposite to “Ce l’ho d’oro”, so I made the female version of the sculpture highlighting the breasts with “golden tits” that lend title to the work.

 DT: What are you preparing for 2018? Can you reveal some clues and send us some sneak previews of your next events?

IL: In 2018, I will exhibit my works in the galleries I work with in Italy (Sculpture, Armanda Gori, and Italian Art, and abroad Benjamin Eck), and there will certainly be some events in which I will participate. Honestly, I try to seize each opportunity that comes. I do not mean that I leave everything to chance, but this year will bring some surprises.

Work by Ivan Lardschneider, Courtesy the Artist

Work by Ivan Lardschneider, Courtesy the Artist


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