By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
Italian born Bettina Werner, worldwide critically acclaimed artist, has been invited as representative artist of the United States to the prestigious international Art exhibition OPEN 16.
OPEN, the International Exhibition of Sculptures and Installations, will celebrate its sixteenth edition from 29th August to 29th September 2013 at Venice Lido and on the Island of San Servolo, in parallel to the Venice Film Festival.
Conceived and curated by Paolo De Grandis, co-curated by Carlotta Scarpa, the exhibition is organized by PDG Arte Communications and is held under the patronage of the Italian Miniamedry of the Cultural Heritage, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Veneto Region and the Province of Venice.
Bettina Werner, The Salt Queen is a perfect twin-city link between Manhattan, where she featured her 25 Year Retrospective of her unique salt crystal artworks at the World Trade Center, the international city of the arts- gateway to the great salty waters of the Atlantic and Venice, the international city of the arts- gateway to the great salty waters of the Mediterranean Adriatic Sea.
The internationally acclaimed artist continues to attract thousands of Facebook viewers, who are interested in the under the sea world of the “mysterious mermaid of the salt crystal artworks”.
Her innovative artworks are on viewing at the Barrick Museum in the famous Herbert and Dorothy Vogel Collection in Las Vegas, which opened in July, 2013. along with Lynda Benglis, Richard Tuttle and Lucio Pozzi. Bettina Werner has a long history of prestigious Art exhibitions like the Pushkin Museum in Moscow in 2008 where she exhibited along with Rothko, Pollock, de kooning, Kline, Newman, Kelly, Richter, Twombly, Stella and the Biennale of Sculpture in Monte Carlo in the 90’s where she exhibited her outdoor sculpture along with Calder, Miro’, Leger to name a few of the about 40 titans of talent whose artworks were exhibited around the deluxe landscape throughout the breathtaking magic and glamorous kingdom.
Bettina Werner, at the tender age of 25, was one of the most talented “mascot's” in the exhibitions. She was an upcoming starlet, in the 1990's, who was discovered by the Marisa del Re Gallery in America, one of the most prestigious worldwide art galleries at that the time, located in the historical luxury Fuller Building on 57th street in Manhattan. The international famous gallery immediately skyrocketed Bettina Werner into fame, exhibiting her innovative, unique and distinguished salt artworks around the globe.
Bettina Werner’s striking salt crystal artworks are vivid reflections that chronicle her incredible journey, as she harnesses the beauty of nature through the Sicilian salt to create unique visual commentaries on life, love, and spirituality.
Why Salt as a new art medium?
Homer says : “Salt belongs to the sphere of the divine and stands far above human”.Salt represents knowledge and wisdom and has a long history and intimate necessity in human life. It’s truly the “Fifth element” for it’s importance in life like the other 4 elements: fire, earth, air and water. Salt was once more valuable than treasure, and has even functioned as currency making a mainstay of trade all over the worldSalt has the essence of cleansing and healing. At the cellular level, the balances of salt are essential to life. Creating with every single salt crystal is an intimate experience of magic and mystical movement that captures my soul and strengthens me. When experiencing my art , one is able to fully appreciate the texture and shades of color at its most heightened dimension.
Which artwork are you showing in Venice?
I selected to exhibit my “Salt Crystal Red Egg” sculpture as a “love egg”. Love is in need of love today! The Love Egg sculpture is leaving its perch in Southampton on an exciting voyage ascending into the skies to cross the great Atlantic Ocean taking orbit above the royal palaces in the ancient city of Venice.
What is the meaning of the “Salt Crystal Red Egg?
The Love Egg is my symbol of nature’s creation. Every egg needs love and affection to unfold its creative destiny. human beings need love and affection to fulfill our own destinies. Creation is the primal purpose of life itself. My Salt Crystal Love Egg unites the life force in nature, the EGG, with the salt crystals forces in our own bodies. It’s essence harmonizes the beautiful, radiant, colorful expressions of two primal elements into one egg.The Love Egg is flying into the skies from the new world across the salty seas to the old world, carrying it’s message of oneness to the people globally and hopefully will emerge as a harbinger of change for peace and brotherly love.
Where and when did you create the “Salt Crystal Red Egg” sculpture?
My love egg was created in the Hamptons, close to the sea shore of the Atlantic Ocean in the year 2001 just after 9/11. The strength and serenity of the great ocean healed and inspired me to make a meaningful connection with nature and the trees where I nested my Love Egg perfectly atop the branches with the strength that survived two hurricanes. It symbolized the beginning of my new life and marriage in America where I created my Water Mill dream house as my Studio Gallery/Museum where I could safely kept my treasured salt crystal Art collection.
Will your artwork return to America after the exhibition in Italy?
The “Salt Crystal Red Egg” is evolving into a new life dimension. My beloved companion Dalmatian Tibino has passed –on and my marriage has ended, completing my nurturing cycle. I seek my own owl independence as an empowered woman and an artist, giving birth to a new life journey going back to my European roots.
Will your “Love Egg” sculpture find romance in a gondola in Venice?
(She laugh..) Of course it will! It is my heart’s wish that after Venice, the “Salt Crystal Red Egg” sculpture will span many other countries magically bringing it’s love message of hope, spirituality, prosperity, health, nutrition and beauty for everyone!
photo credit top of the page:BETTINA WERNERSalt Crystal Red Egg, 2001 29 x 18 x 18 inchesArtwork created with textured colorized salt technique invented by Bettina Werner in the early 80'sCopyright Bettina Werner 2001 All Rights ReservedCourtesy The Salt Queen Foundationwww.bettina-werner.com
Photo credit Cristiana Lopez: