Melbourne artist, Andre Sardone, with his distinctive self portrait in the background

Melbourne artist, Andre Sardone, with his distinctive self portrait in the background

Artist Bases Success on Knowing his Materials

10 August 2005

Melbourne artist Andre Sardone attributes his burgeoning popularity to having worked on innumerable roofing projects throughout his city. As a qualified roofer with about 16 years' experience, Andre says there's not much he didn't know about handling his chosen art material, COLORBOND® steel sheeting, from BlueScope Steel, before taking to his studio in Mt Waverley.

As the only artist he's aware of in the world working exclusively with COLORBOND® steel, he can point to that knowledge translating into a successful debut exhibition (with another in the planning stages), a string of commissions for steel companies throughout Victoria and a growing number of private commissions. Not bad, considering he's only been committed to his art for slightly more than a year.

Andre, who alternatively describes his pieces as three dimensional COLORBOND® steel relief artworks and 'contemporary steel art', says he sold 11 works in his first 20 piece Melbourne exhibition last October, within the first two hours.

He has gone on to complete commissions for a number of steel companies, including Stoddart Metal, the Cruise Pro Group, Apex Steel, Advanced Sheetmetal and Atlas Steel.

"COLORBOND® steel is an ideal art medium for steel company offices and boardrooms," Andre says. "It's a creative use of what's ostensibly an excellent building and roofing material. I cut the material by hand and secure it using any number of proven methods. I also like the fact that my artwork can be shown outdoors, as well as indoors."

"However, I must say that while I thought I knew a lot about working with COLORBOND® steel on roofs, I have learnt so much more as an artist, how to work with the material, how to 'mix' the COLORBOND® steel colour range and how to fix the materials to form finished pieces."

Andre says he was initially inspired by another famous Melbourne born artist, Albert Tucker. Having seen Tucker's picture, Futile City, Andre says he was struck by the sombre, flat tones of the oils used by the now world famous artist.

"I was amazed at how close Tucker's colours were to the COLORBOND® range," Andre says. "Now, after producing a reasonably large body of work in the past year, I am convinced that using this material artistically is limited only by your imagination."

This work ranges from portraits (including self portraits) somewhat reminiscent of Howard Arkley's compelling images of Australian suburbia, through to contemporary views of Melbourne, including his Gateway Bridge interpretations, Gateway I and Gateway II.

Another work, Her, is surreal in a Miro-esque manner in the way Andre uses fluid shapes. Andre is such a fan of COLORBOND® steel that he leapt at the chance to join the Steel By Brand Partnership Program, publicly aligning his art with his favoured material.

"I still work as a roofing contractor one day a week, and this keeps me in touch with COLORBOND® steel's original purpose," he says. "But I now like the choice in my life, to work on top of buildings when I feel like it, and to work in my studio when the passion bites."

For more information please view Andre's website

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