Is Mario “Greek”? Is he “Christian”?… who knows, he doesn’t know that either. He carries characters from both cultures though. Son of “Magna Grecia”, of course, but still adopted by the Catholic thinking.
In the Christian view, the Past is “sin”, the Present is “expiation, redemption”, and the Future is “salvation”.
But Mario’s action holds the “tragedy”, that feeling belonging and beloved by the Greeks. For those, the main timeframe is in the past, the “Golden Age”, when the human race was the healthiest , the strongest… owning youthful glory; future instead, means withering.
“Tragedy” though, is not banal desperation or anxiety for the unknown future. It’s knowledgement of limits. No fake illusions, no invulnerability, no supremacy upon all the creatures, but contrarily it follows and absorbs the path of the Nature.
Mario won’t deny his “Christianity”(Western mentality is radicated into this structure: atheists, agnostics or believers). “The past is a marble block, the present is chiseling and future is the accomplished sculpture”. According the catholic rule, the finished sculpture should be translated into “salvation of soul”, but ain’t no salvation. Here is the Greek character: a clear consciousness of his own limits and failures whenever he faces the perfection of Mother Nature. Doesn’t matter his techniques or concepts… She will always be matchless.
This fundamental vision of the limits, makes “the present” as the most significant moment in the whole creative process: the act of carving, the True Moment… when the sculpture is still alive, changing in time, just like any other living creature. Never surrendering to the finished piece, when it’s already dead… he understands the violent act that will change the stone irreparably.
Reconsidering the surface, accepting unforeseens, just like in the changing stages of any natural element. Blossoming, growing up, and slowly wither till the death.
His sculpture is nothing more than any other process. It doesn’t fight against “ticking Time”(which doesn’t even make sense), but embraces it, gets lost in it, with unconscious harmony and humility; there is no reason for anxiety trying to overpower the time, and never preaching of an unreasonable immortalit