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HoT - History of Things

Matteo Cibic

When we love something, we want to know the story behind it… as told by the designer himself: MATTEO CIBIC and collection HOMAGE

To understand the story behind the Homage series, I need to tell you about one of the funniest and most daring pranks ever pulled in Italy by a group of young people. It happened in Livorno, a Tuscan city by the sea, where Amedeo Modigliani was born. This great artist was never loved nor understood by his fellow citizens, his work criticized and mocked until the day he left for Paris where he died in 1920. As the legend goes, before leaving he dumped his sculptures – beautiful elongated heads inspired by African Art – into one of the city’s canals. In 1984, Livorno’s Museum of Contemporary Art, decided to organize an exhibition of Modigliani’s sculptures, with a celebratory twist: in order to revive the legend of « Modigliani’s lost heads » they launched a proper search in the city’s canals with the financial help of the local administration. The dragging of the canals went on for quite sometime, until –eureka! –  one sculpture is retrieved from the waters’ muddy bottom…


Then, a couple of days later, two more heads! The art world was on fire: TV crews from all over the world flocking in, to report the miracle, and every renowned art critic confirming that, indeed, it’s Modigliani’s lost work…


However, after a month of bliss, three local students turn up claiming to have sculpted one of the three heads in their backyard, and they can prove it with some video footage, recorded when sculpting the head with some basic tools.  As if this weren’t enough, not long after, another person, a local sculptor, comes forward claiming he is the author of the other two heads… My guess is that Modigliani would have loved this story, and the fact that art critics can definitely be wrong…



This anecdote is a perfect reminder of the Tuscan people’s unparalleled sense of humor, always so ironic and truly witty! The other thing I love about Tuscany is the quarries, the famous Carrara marble. So, when I started this collection and called it Homage, I really had in mind three things : to pay homage to the Tuscan sense of humor, to highlight the importance of the beautiful Carrara marble in art history, to pay tribute to the few artisans who still master the difficult art of marble carving. As for the names I gave to each piece of work, I used the names of some of the region’s famous marble carvers… my personal salute to their outstanding skills.



Now you know why I called it the Homage collection: it’s a true homage to all that inspires me.



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