THE MAN WITH THE WOODEN FERRARI
“Everything you can imagine is real.” ― Pablo Picasso
The legends of Midas are legion, but in Greek and Roman lore he was a king who came across a wandering companion of Dionysus, god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness and ecstasy. For his kind treatment of this companion he was granted the power to turn everything he touched into gold. His lesser-known cousin, Prince Timber, had a similar but more eco-friendly gift; his touch turned everything to wood… sometimes with artistically intriguing results.
Well, actually, the man in the picture – seen driving a wooden Ferrari F40 down the canals of Venice -- is Italian artist Livio De Marchi.
A student at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice, he displayed a precocious proclivity in turning marble, bronze and particularly wood, into everyday objects… if your imagination is big enough to categorize full-sized wooden cars that drive like a boat 'everyday.'
Not surprisingly, these have proved popular with customers and De Marchi has sold life-size versions of a Jaguar, Volkswagen Beetle, the afore-mentioned Ferrari F50… even a Cinderella pumpkin coach.
The sculptor, now more than 70 years old, has spent his life creating unique pieces of work using just a 100 different chisels and a 50 year-old wooden hammer.
‘I have had so many ideas and dreams in my head and it's great that I've been able to create everything that I've always imagined," says De Marchi. "My favourite piece is the one which I will make tomorrow - I'm not interested in the work that I have already made - the best piece is always yet to come."