Sculpture Technician Phillip Scarpone’s series of object-based works at Seraphin Gallery, Philadelphia, were revisited in an article by Associate Director Alyssa Laverda.
“Phillip Scarpone’s recent investigation through the grounds of the Allegheny Cemetery in Pittsburgh has yielded a collection of cement-lined relief sculptures that speak to the impermanence of legacy, but also the human will for the endurance of it. This series is created through the heavy constructive materials of concrete, steel, and wood, but combine together to form softened and worn crests of grace— capturing the essence of redemption and forgiveness that we all hope to achieve in the end. Inspired in his work by personal experience and memory, Scarpone now looks to how we as a society invoke remembrance. How is a lifetime memorialized? At the rudimentary core of any burial ground is an inexplicit silence, the invisible sense of awe and respect, and a sublimity that seems to emanate from the earth– reminding us of our own mortality. In attempting to engage with this fortitude, Scarpone collects imagery, places his feet in the steps of strangers, and opens up to the well of loss, death, and the celebration of life. Throughout The Allegheny Clusters, monumental association occurs in the plaque-like structures that are set (or not set) on steel bases. The cement forms intimate weathered stone, beaten by the elements until canyons of carved grooves become velvety bluffs. This illusion of heaviness, the suggestion of lasting stone, simulates the complex depth of hushed sensitivity and alludes to the profound sense of permanence of a final resting place.