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This interview was originally posted on May 31 2011

Meet Artist & Sculptress Anna Chromy

Her credentials as an artist are impressive. Anna Chromy’s paintings and artwork have been recognized by Prince Albert II of Monaco, Nobel Peace Prize Winner Eli Weisel, President Sarkozy of France, Tony Blair, Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.

Now considered Europe’s most exhibited sculptor, Anna Chromy enjoyed a renowned career as an accomplished painter. An accident in 1992 brought about a life change that resulted in the inspiration for the Cloak…a sculpture that is extraordinary, riveting and peculiarly inspirational for those who come in contact with it. Chromy gave us some insight into how she got to this amazing place at this time in her life, and relates with grace and humility what The Cloak of Conscience truly represents.

Q: You talk about how fate – in the form of an accident – brought you to the place where sculpture became your passion. Did that completely change your view of life?

A: I had many sufferings in my life, but this accident was the worst. It did not completely change my view of life, but it taught me how fragile we human beings are, in every respect.

With this sense of fragility comes the understanding of how precious life is and that we should live it in a more conscious way, not just for us, but for all our loved ones and beyond.

Q: Do you have a message you want to share with people about The Cloak?

A: I spent four years of my life to create the Cloak in a way that it radiates beauty and love. I chose the noblest material of all, the white marble of the Apuan Mountains in Tuscany, from the same quarry as Michelangelo and Bernini, I reworked the folds in the way of the old masters several times, and I created for the first time an interior space in a sculpture carved from a single block.

All this to create a unique, unrepeatable experience which makes you stop and think. A message of peace and harmony, and a new found conscience.

Sculptress Anna ChromyQ: The Cloak provides almost a spiritual experience for those who encounter it…does this surprise you? Did you feel this power in the midst of creating this piece?

This reaction of people in front of the Cloak does not surprise me at all. We started 10 years ago to install smaller versions of the Cloak in bronze in outstanding locations throughout Europe (there are by now 10 of them), and we had, therefore, plenty of time to study the reactions in front of them.

But this large meditation space in marble is still another story altogether and the reactions of the many people from all countries, who come to visit it in its present location in Studio Michelangelo in Carrara, provide me with strong emotional experiences.

Q: Have The Cloak’s reported meditative qualities and energy created a “compulsion to unify” for you?

A: You can call it a compulsion to unify, but first and foremost it provides a space to meditate and discover your inner self. This should lead to a reevaluation, or at least rediscovery, of one’s conscience, something not so much in vogue in our dissolute times.

The compulsion to unify comes mostly from the understanding that we human beings can only prosper and survive if we deal in a responsible way with our brothers and sisters, with the fauna and flora, and all the wonderful things the Almighty has entrusted to us for the short period we are allowed on this planet. We are all interdependent on each other, and nobody, not even the richest and most powerful, can make it for an infinite period alone. Recent history has told us this again.

Q: You are an artist and sculptress of extraordinary talent with many exquisite works and accomplishments. What has been your most satisfying moment?

A: My most satisfying moment is always when I have accomplished a work. Once it’s done my mind turns to new creations. I feel no pride about what I’m doing, I thank God for this gift. And like any other human being I’m trying to use my talents to the best of my conscience.

Q: Where will The Cloak of Conscience ultimately call home?

A: Right now I’m still not sure where the Cloak will find it’s home. There are many prerequisites…

  • It should be an important location, full of energy
  • It should allow easy access for a great number of visitors with all the required facilities, like a museum, or a sacred site
  • The country is not really important, but Rome would be my first choice.

Q: And what comes next for you?

A: First I’m going to China for a short time, where I have a growing following, then I’m going to inaugurate on July 1 an exhibition of my large sculptures on the port of Saint-Tropez (open until Oct. 10) to which I would like to invite all your friends.

See some of Anna Chromy’s other sculpture work at the Anny Chromy open air museum at Pisa and Cascina, a world heritage site.

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