GEORGE NEWS - A young, promising metal sculptor, Roberto Vaccaro from George has made a breakthrough in the world of art.
His works are being snapped up as fast as he can produce them, and this week, during an interview with the George Herald, he was extremely happy to have sold two lifesized works. One of his first works - a leopard made from gin traps (a steel spring trap used to catch animals) - was bought by the Landmark Foundation.
Last week his metalwork hyena was taken from its temporary entrance area position at Glenwood House, and sent off to Johannesburg to the ABSA corporate gallery, who now own the hyena.
There are few sculptors who can, at the age of 24, say they are emerging in the South African art world. Over the past year, he participated in several successful art exhibitions and one of his works was bought by a renowned Cape Town art collector.
Vaccaro is an inspired artist with a strong belief in nature conservation - the leopard made of gin traps brings home a strong visual message about the vulnerability of these magnificent animals that fall prey to traps that leads to their lingering death. His strongly held beliefs are influenced by his mother, Monica, a crusader for many causes including environmental conservation and sustainable food-security gardens (Kos en Fynbos) who is an environmental activist and works for the Landmark Foundation.
Asked about his weightloss, he explained that he is totally absorbed in his work. "I often skip a meal. I have to set my alarm clock for 18:00 to remind me to stop working."
There are few sculptors who can, at the age of 24, boast that they are established in the South African art world. Georgian Roberto Vaccaro is such a person and all the work that he now produces is commissioned by Candice Berman of Berman Gallery, who has taken a liking to his work.
While Roberto does a great deal of planning, including detailed drawings before he starts sculpting, he says the shapes evolve rather organically, but at the same time he consciously strives for geometrical and symmetrical balance. "I am not too rigid in copying real life. I rather like to create a fleeting image which leaves something to the imagination."
He shares a home with his mom, who takes care of the day-to-day practicalities, leaving him enough time to work on commissions for top Johannesburg art emporium, the Berman Gallery.
ARTICLE AND PHOTOS: PAULINE LOURENS, GEORGE HERALD JOURNALIST