Cute steel robots

Massimo Sirelli’s fantastic world is inhabited by many anthropomorphic robots, incredible characters with a story and a soul, made from reused steel packaging.
Massimo Sirelli is a recognised and appreciated artist who creates art applied to the concept of upcycling.
This extremely original form of creative expression uses materials of all kinds – in this case, used steel packaging such as tins of coffee, tomato, oil and tuna – and transforms them into art items.
His artistic research, which has its roots in the world of street art, ended up running into his more childish side. And here his amazing Robots come to life: these creatures are assembled with objects from basement shelves, forgotten drawers, markets and streets around the world. Each of his Robots has a name, a very personal identity and a story to tell. They are even part of a project that is just as unusual, the world’s first home for pet robots waiting to be adopted.
After passing through exhibitions, shows and workshops all over the world, Sirelli’s Robots have all come together in a large solo exhibition, entitled “Teneri Bulloni” (Cute Bolts), housed in the artist’s home town, Catanzaro.
This exhibition brings together the creations made in recent years plus some new ones, to tell fantastic stories of a thousand lives inspired by the life of the artist himself. “In the last few years, I have walked the crowded streets of Khan el Khalili in Cairo, I have bargained with the sellers of Monastiraki in Athens, in the alleys of the Gothic Quarter, among the dusty stalls of the Los Encantes market in Barcelona, up to the Carreau du Temple in the Marais, in Paris,” says Sirelli. “Building these robots for me is an act of love, I try to tell the life of the people I’ve met and the friends who surround me.
The RICREA consortium has formed a successful partnership with Massimo Sirelli, exhibiting, on several occasions, the works of the artist, who has chosen steel (and used steel packaging in particular) to fashion his fantastic characters.
“Just as Massimo gives a new lease of life to steel packaging, creating works of art with his extraordinary creativity, we at the RICREA Consortium promote its collection and recycling, to ensure it continues on as new steel objects,” says Roccandrea Iascone, Head of Communication. “Steel is a resource of great value: it shouldn’t be wasted, but recycled countless times.”

Tappo'st, the new pop art made of caps

Luigi Masecchia is the promoter of Tappo’st, the upcycling project that recycles thousands of steel crown caps collected in the venues of Neapolitan night life and beyond… A new pop-art dedicated to recycling.
Crown caps, such as the caps from bottles of beer, soft drinks or mineral water, are recovered and used as the pieces of very special mosaics to give life to paintings and sculptures. This is the art of Luigi Masecchia: upcycling with a strong visual impact, following in the footsteps of pop art. And it is precisely by one of its greatest exponents, Andy Warhol, and some of his best-known works, such as the famous Campbell’s tomato can, that the Neapolitan creative artist is inspired.
“Masecchia’s art within the Tappo’st project transmits the important message that even caps can be recycled an infinite number of times and, like all steel packaging, they must be separated and sent for recycling,” comments Federico Fusari, RICREA General Manager.
The union between upcycling applied to art and RICREA was successfully achieved when the Consortium and the artist Luigi Masecchia first met. Through Masecchia’s art, the RICREA consortium was able to effectively communicate that even crown caps, the baby brothers of the vast range of steel packaging (food cans, spray cans, tins and large industrial drums), must be collected and sent for recycling. In addition to art and respect for the environment, the Tappo’st project also has an important social aspect. To create his pieces of art, Luigi Masecchia works with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Metal pictures, from vintage cans to steel art

Roberto Bravi and his works: steel sheets obtained from old packaging – cans, tins, drums – and nailed together to compose highly original collages.
“I remember that, when I was little, I was enchanted watching my shoemaker father work with glue, leather, nails and hammer,” says the artist. “And, above all, with two expert hands, with which he cut, punched, glued and nailed to make custom-made shoes. He transformed pieces of leather into small sculptures.”
After many years and many different jobs (postman, photographer, computer specialist, street artist and sommelier) by chance Roberto came across an old wooden door with nailed metal patches; he saw it as a work of art. From that moment on, he began to do his father’s job with other materials: like him, he used nails and hammers, but replaced leather with iron and wood.
Starting with the renovation of old furniture, it was a small step to creating his first sculptures and panels. He has been making his Metal Pictures – colourful and original collages made with pieces of metal nailed together – for ten years now. The starting material is a careful (and anything but random) selection of old steel boxes (which he specifically selects in various second-hand markets) and discarded bins, cans and kegs (all made of steel, of course) retrieved in the countryside or in river beds.
The RICREA Consortium has collaborated with Roberto Bravi in many successful initiatives, including RestART upcycling, an exhibition in Salerno featuring works of art made with recycled materials, and Strenne d’Artista/Creare e RICREAre, an exhibition market in Genoa in support of UNICEF.