When did you realise that your future was in mosaics?
I can still remember the first time I rode my bicycle to Aquileia, a town rich in mosaics, which was very close to where my family had moved to when I was a boy. I had developed a precocious vocation for art, and my mother supported it despite our family’s scarcity of means.
What fascinates you about mosaics?
I am charmed by its surface, which is not as uniform as that of a painting, and is interrupted by the spaces between each tile. Since the surface is discontinuous, the light plays with each tessera, and colour is achieved by addition and subtraction. This formal chromatic simplification has always fascinated me.
Emanuele Zamponi © Michelangelo Foundation
Your career as a mosaic artist took off early, right?
I started working with a company that later became Bisazza, a world leader in mosaics. My first task was the realisation of a 600-square-metre mosaic for a museum in Kuala Lumpur. I love challenges, and I perform at my best when I am under pressure!
Are you passing on the baton to anyone?
To my daughter. I want to leave something behind me, and she has every intention to follow this path. She studied scenography at the Academy in Rome, which has given her a solid background. Moreover, she possesses manual dexterity, which is also important in this craft.