September 27 - Octobe 3, 2007
Gino Cavicchioli is a modern day Renaissance man. He is
reinvigorating the ideals of a time when anatomical perfection
reigned and the divine essence of a person was captured through
art. Working as a portrait sculptor, Cavicchioli immortalizes
people and captures their legacy.
Over the past six years, Cavicchioli has been commissioned
by the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, creating over 30 busts of
famous football players. Each year he unveils five new portrait
busts. The recent unveiling included Darren Flutie, Dave Knight,
Greg Battle, Pierre Vercheval, and Rocco Romano.
Although not a football player himself, he has great respect
for the game and especially the players. â€œFootball is just one more
avenue that we may choose to excel in, it doesnâ€™t matter what we
chose as long as we love and give it our total best,â€ he says.
Each portrait bust he sculpts begins abstractly in clay, it then
builds up into a realistic vision of the person. Once he feels he
has captured an accurate likeness, the final sculpture is cast in
While working on a sculpture, Cavicchioli is most interested
in the character of the person. â€œI look for personal inspiration into
the life of the sitter, the inspiration is used as fuel to execute the
portrait,â€ he explains. Cavicchioli wants to know who the person
is, what drives them, how their passions express themselves.
The players would sit for Cavicchioli so he could study their
features and gain a sense of their anatomy, but in some cases he
worked directly from photographs without ever meeting the
person. The majority of his preparation comes from gathering life
stories about the personâ€™s life.
He says it is his â€œlove for people and the amazing potential
that they possess,â€ that drives his passion to capture them in
sculpture. He pays close attention to detail, almost obsessively,
but what he strives for most is a sense of the person. A successful
piece is one that exudes their soul. â€œI have learned that body
language does not lie,â€ and he continues to say, â€œEyes are indeed
the window to our soul.â€
Cavicchioliâ€™s art is in collections all over the world including
such well known figures as George Bush senior, Margaret
Thatcher and Mikhal Gorbachev. A recent project had him
sculpting a larger than life size portrait of Lincoln Alexander, one
of Hamiltonâ€™s very own.
Cavicchioli was born in Australia, but he spent his formative
years in Rome studying the Italian masters such as Michelangelo
and Leonardo Da Vinci. As a young boy he made arrangements
with the graveyard staff to give him old tombstones made of
marble, when families chose to replace them. He would take these
marble tombstone slabs and begin honing his craft at carving,
sculpting and shaping life out of stone.
Moving to Canada at the age of 12, Cavicchioli continued to
develop his artistic talents. He did not train under any specific
school or teacher, it was his life experience that honed his craft
and allowed his talents to excel. He worked in the steel industry
for a number of years before completely devoting himself to his
Gino Cavicchioli is one of Hamiltonâ€™s artistic treasures. He is
sculpting peopleâ€™s legacy while at the same time building his own.
From his experience he says, â€œThe best plastic surgery is a smile.â€
V [LAURA HOLLICK]
By Gino Cavicchioli
Football Hall of Fame
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