Many pairs of eyes stare back at anyone who enters the studio of artist Aron Demetz: life-size, human-like sculptures made of wood, bronze, plaster. Figures coated with resin, charred or wildly frayed. They are distributed throughout the spacious hall between piles of logs and huge rootstocks. In the middle of it all, Aron Demetz prepares a new sculpture. With short, precise strokes of spatula, he models white plaster mass around coal-black wood. It almost seems as if the white figure is intended to protect the fragile, charred wooden bust.
Aron Demetz is at the leading edge of the international sculpture scene. But he prefers to work in his homeland, the Val Gardena valley in South Tyrol. Do these mighty Dolomite massifs, which are so close at hand, inspire him? Hesitantly, Aron Demetz shakes his head: "Subconsciously, the landscape definitely plays a role. The mountains here in Val Gardena are themselves figures and stand-alone sculptures." How can he compete with the artistry of nature?
“When I go out into nature, sometimes that which I do simply pales in comparison. The enormity of the mountains are sculptures beyond compare.” I prefer to remain in my own space and in my own little world, and then somehow my art takes on meaning and function," says Aron. And then, according to the modest artist, there is the woodcarving tradition of Val Gardena to live up to. “There used to be a carving workshop in every second house, and you learn all about that from an early age."