By Federico Cornetto
A sculptor is making a name for himself by carving pieces of art into dead tree stumps.
Professional sculptor Andrea Gandini, 22, is bringing new colour to the city of Rome, Italy, by locating dead trees and carving faces into the wood.
Andrea started this activity, which has now become his full-time job, back in 2013 and has since completed 65 tree sculptures in the Italian capital alone.
But despite his project Troncomorto, meaning ‘dead trunk’ in Italian, bringing him national fame, it has also caused occasional issues with police
Andrea said: “Five years ago, I started sculpting on little logs in my garage.
“Then I got the idea of making a sculpture out of a tree trunk just outside my house.
“I thought I would carve some sort of sign in it, but it ended up being an actual face.
“From that moment on, I realised my art could reach a lot more people if I did it in the streets rather than in my studio.
“I have since experienced some success, although I keep having the occasional brush with the law.
“Recently, I tried to carve on a tree stump just outside the Colosseum and immediately was told to leave by the police.”
However, Andrea has become a symbol of the local residents’ rebellion against the poor upkeep of Rome’s public spaces.
Local tourist agencies even began to include some of his pieces as parts of their guided tours.
Andrea said: “Rome has many ill trees that have been neglected and have to be cut down.
“When people see me working in the streets, they are surprised.
“Seeing that someone is taking care of things like this makes them hope for a better future.
“I normally carve faces because I like the idea of giving the dead tree a new identity, so that it may live on after dying.
“My ambition is to make bigger and bigger pieces until I will eventually start making land art.”