The man bringing an artisanal touch to contemporary art
Most of Italy's wood masters, called falegname, are aged over 90. So it's a pleasant brow-raiser to glimpse Francesco Bottai's sprightly muscles as he bends over his carpenter's table at his atelier on via dei Cappellari. Not only is Bottai bringing youth to one of Italy's oldest crafts, but he's also bringing coolness. When not chiselling out chairs, he is creating stage-themed art installations that reflect his former life as an actor. 'The idea is to bring the artisan quality to art,' says Bottai. 'Contemporary art has become so conceptual. The manual aspect is disappearing.'
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Photography by Elisabetta Claudio