A CUT ABOVE THE REST

18.09.18

Art is hard to be defined, but that doesn’t mean the work produced is without definition. Stephen Penn speak to sculptor Rocco Turino to find out more about his working process, his creative inspiration and what makes him tick

Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but it takes the keen eye and adept skill of a ‘maker’ to create such items that inspire awe and wonder. One man putting his talents to use is Rocco Turino, who is making a name for himself for his unique style, boundless technical ability and effervescent charm in both his personal life and his work.

Originally hailing from Ontario, Canada, Rocco has been a keen craftsman since he was a child – long before he knew anything about the art world – drawing inspiration from his parents who both worked in creative industries.

“Both my parents are makers, my mother was a seamstress who made bespoke wedding dresses and my father was builder who also did amateur stone/wood carving,” Rocco says. “They definitely had an influence in opening my eyes to the possibility of making a career out of crafting beautiful things.”
Now living in East London with his wife Nicola and their daughters Alba and Ursula, Rocco has created a name for himself in the art world for his sculpture work, working with a variety of materials and perfecting a number of disciplines, including NC prototyping, 3D printing, engineering and fabrication.

Inspired by Swiss sculptor and painter Alberto Giacometti, Rocco finds fulfillment in making objects through improvisation and could not work any other say. He says: “Working this way can really surprise you and challenge how you execute the finished work.”


Never wanting to be put in a box, Rocco has developed less of a signature style, but a diverse set of skills that allows him to work with any material he can get his hands on – as long as he is wearing gloves.

“I don’t think I have a signature style,” he explains. “I work with a variety of materials and processes whose properties have influence on any given work.

“In other words, I don’t necessarily start with a clear cut idea, but having said that, if I follow a given material and process with a consistent treatment, continuity will be evident.”

Drawing his inspiration from movement and spontaneous action, he works with materials such as clay, wax and plaster, and subjects them to a string of actions to help them ‘find form’. But one of the key factors in his work is emotion, and his life and practice was shaped by an emotive piece of work by his father.

“My father carved a bust of his father, shortly after my grandfather deceased,” Rocco says. “I was just a child at the time, but it was an incredibly powerful gesture and certainly shaped me into who I am today as both a man and an artist.”

Rocco recently set up his own micro-foundry in East London for fabrication, dubbed London Sculpture, which allows for a dynamic, flexible workshop, able to scale up or down with the demands of different projects. Working on commissions from across the globe, Rocco is a name to watch, and you won’t miss it, as his remarkable work is unmistakably his.

To find out more visit his website www.londonsculpture.co.uk, or pop over to his Instagram here

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