Maria Scarpulla (°1987)

Wide open, colorful evening skies and pure geometric lines - Maria Scarpulla merges the bright blue and red of her American and Italian roots with Belgian minimalist form and functionality.

The Ghent-based designer and painter creates objects that serve both as utilities and artworks. Her quest to find an universal language of form and freedom, of color and simplicity, leads her to subtle, poetic designs that express her love of life and timeless beauty.

Her childhood spent in Italy, among the verdant hills, cypress trees and burned yellow hues of Umbria, Maria developed a strong sensitivity for refined sensorial experiences. As the daughter of an artist, the colors of landscapes and architecture influenced her as deeply as their expression in paint on a canvas. Art and life are one flow.

In her mind always on the move, Maria experienced the roughness and refinement of Texas and the minimalist purity of Belgian design. In her work, she collects all her impressions and transforms them into objects that withstand strict definitions. Her inner world bathes in colors, on large surfaces or reduced to emblematic shapes. She experiments with them, studies them, plays with the contrasts that they bring about.

Maria Scarpulla’s logo is a bird-like, linear shape, after a design of her father for a kite. The logo represents freedom and artistic expression, the eagle that dominates the infinite skies, the childhood joy of playing out in the open and her fascination for pure lines.

Yet her work is the result of a meticulous, disciplined fine-tuning of form and function. Her designs are changeable, modifiable and adaptable to the mood and tune of the day. A dinner table surface can alter its color, a coffee table can be admired as a framed painting. Maria’s designs grow stronger in the chaos of everyday life.

When designing an object, Maria questions their obvious functionality, willfully transcending its trivial use. A table, for example, is a multi-functional object, a place of work, dinner, discussion or passage. In Maria’s interpretation, the object becomes as alterable as its many uses. Following this principle, she also designs lamps.

Maria insists on having her objects made by local craftspeople. Not one object is identical; all of her works are unique. Their function as both artworks and objects is an invitation to the owner to enter into a dialogue with the objects. ‘A conversation in color and form’ -  a conversation not only between her inner fire and her desire for structure, but also with the people who love her work and invite it into their lives.


text: Joeri Smet

photo: Titus Simoens



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