The work of Paolo Salvagione summons a feeling that befits at least one definition of magic: “a quality that makes something seem removed from everyday life, especially in a way that gives delight.” In his piece Vessels (2012), Salvagione plays with the sense of smell, investigating the relationship of memories to the olfactory. Glass vessels reminiscent of vintage perfume bottles hang side by side; a squeeze of each atomizer emits a concentrated scent, such as that of freshly cut grass. His participatory sculpture Orbit (2012) engages all of the senses; a chair travels along a steel circular structure installed at the second story of a house, moving the sitter from the inside to the outside through a window, to dangle above and take in the landscape, and then back inside through another window.
Music helps Salvagione to conjure such works. During my recent visit with the artist, he talked about listening to songs without lyrics and the integral role that they play in helping him bring nascent ideas to fruition. For this issue of the ART21 Magazine, Salvagione shares twenty-one songs that have inspired him in the studio—from “Cloud Generator” by Tycho, with its syncopated beat and warbling drums, to Brian Eno’s Music for Airports, with its soft, meandering electronic tones—offering auditory insight into his process.
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art21 / January/February 2015 Issue // "Magic"