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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Phantasmagorical Art of Lucio Bubacco

Devils and Angels

Angels and devils compete, mythological figures abound, and all are frozen in vibrant and shiny colors.  These are the art glass creations of Venetian artist Lucio Bubacco.

Image courtesy Sarah Hornik/flickr.

He was born in Venice on the island of Murano, internationally famous since the 14th century for glassmaking, the son of a glassmaker.  Traveling with his father, he became aware of the different ways that glass was being used all over the world.


He began by doing lampwork, and a lot of self-study.  An important part of the preparation for his art was drawing.  He wanted to translate what he was able to draw on paper into glass.  He was always attracted to the human figure, and began to explore interpretations of it in painting, then clay, before taking it to glass.  Sculpting in clay would seem a necessary step to the difficulties of sculpting with glass.

Gold Grape Bacchanal

Over time he studied at various international schools.  Part of the formal education he sought, in order to bring to life his glass dreams, was attending WheatonArts (then Wheaton Village) in New Jersey, home of the Museum of American Glass.  This site is where some of the greatest international glass artists have worked, and he claims his time there was fundamental in his development as an artist.


At WheatonArts he availed himself of their program that was established to provide contemporary glass artists with the facilities and equipment to develop their art - The Creative Glass Center of America.

Grape harvest with Bacchus

In Murano he had bravely set up shop among traditional glassmakers.  Undaunted, he pushed what he had learned, pursuing his own course of education about creating with glass to the limits, incorporating lampwork with blown and cast glass.

Sun Dance

He has had numerous shows all over the globe, and his work can be found in many museums.  He has taught at the Pilchuck Glass School, Sydney College of the Arts, the Corning Museum of Glass, and at the International Glass Workshop in Venice, among other places.

Moon woman

Two stamps for the 2005 Venice Regatta, held every year on the first Sunday of September, featured art pieces by Bubacco.  The first is a contest between an angel and a devil; the second features a gondolier dressed in traditional 18th century clothing.

His work makes many references to the pre-Christian, Mediterranean culture and its mythological figures, and that may be reflective of his Mediterranean upbringing. Wonderful, inventive, inspiring, and fantastic, his pieces are not only greatly imaginative, but beautifully executed and crafted.

Unless otherwise noted all images courtesy of the artist's website.

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