In the heart of one of Livorno’s most traditional districts - Il Borgo - lies the workshop where Stefano Pilato creates his unique sculpture-designs, most with a marine flavour. In fact his shop is called Pesce Fresco (‘fresh fish’). All his sculptures are made from reclaimed materials, from driftwood, to nuts and bolts, and even abandoned computer mouses which he made into squid!
Stefano was born in Livorno in 1965 and grew up in the Borgo Cappuccini district. He began drawing when he was a child, and cultivated a love of design and architecture through his studies at the Istituto d’Arte in Pisa.
He began to create his fish designs in the early ‘90s and enjoyed immediate success following an exhibition in a Livorno restaurant in 1993.
Stefano has worked as a graphic designer, and has always had an interest in architecture and sculpture. He admires Mirò, Kandinsky, Picasso, as well as the modernist architect Corbusier.
Recently he has become involved in a project to revitalise the Borgo district which has been declared a Centro Commerciale Naturale (natural shopping centre) for which he has designed the logo. Stefano also patented a logo to promote Livorno's trademark dish, Cacciucco, as displayed on the t-shirt he is wearing in the photo.
When he’s not working, he enjoys cycling and spending time by the sea with his family.
Stefano, how do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
I think I’ll still be working with the same intensity, but I hope that I will be able to be more selective in the kind of work I do, and that my work will have greater credibility and greater worth.
What’s your favourite place outside Italy?
I love cities – especially Lisbon, Barcelona, Paris and San Francisco.
And in Italy?
Venice, Naples – cities by the sea
And your favourite spot in Livorno?
The seafront, from the port to Quercianella. I get inspiration from the port.
Choose: Cacciucco or Triglie alla Livornese
Choose: Ponce or Corretto al Sassolino
Choose: Bagno or Scoglio
What do you miss about Livorno when you go away?
The light and the skyline
Would you like to live anywhere else?
No, I am happy here, I’m at home and I know my way around.
Livorno’s best point?
The cruel Livornese irony, and the people’s ability to adapt
Livorno’s worst point?
Indolence. The inability to make the most of the city’s resources.
Where would you take a friend on a one day visit to Livorno?
Along the seafront. And around Livorno’s architectural points of interest: the buildings in the Venezia district, the Casini di Ardenza, the old Fonte del Corallo building. I’d also show them the city’s architectural disasters.
To see more of Stefano's work, visit his website