Antonino Spoto Often the hardest part of being an artist is having to explain in words something that arrives by force of nature, from an unconscious or deeper interest that receives its naming in the form of an object and not in text. First there is the need to create, then there is the skill and then something else. Spoto explains his ‘something else’ as follows: “My pieces are all born after they have been prepared well in my head and in my heart. They are simply found there but I am often surprised when they finally emerge”.
Unconscious knowledge does not exclude a thought process. Spoto’s fascination with deep, rich, velvety colours compares to Regel’s work in seeking the essence, go to the heart and find some form of truth.
The combinations of shapes and colours he applies give the work of Spoto indisputable originality and singularity. Spoto, who has emerged as one of Belgian’s finest ceramicists - he hails from Charleroi and happens to lead a double life as an anesthesiologist - works within the constriction of a potter's wheel using only hands and clay. His fascination with the material is expressed in intense, rich colours dominated by the deepest shades of blue. Sprayed onto the clay before firing gives it is warm texture, the depth of the colours draw you dangerously close, enticing you to enter another world.
Among the few exquisite pieces he produces each year the most intriguing are his closed or semi closed vessels. These objects are are like metaphorical caves: one is compelled to enter yet fearful of what might be found. This other place we can’t see but we know is there stands as a metaphor for many life philosophies: What is empty is also full. Positive space and negative space. Presence and absence. Or in the words of Spoto: “Each gap opens to another world, to infinity, to the mystery.”