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Leonardo Horse Project

Installation for Snaitech

2019

On the occasion of the 500th anniversary since the passing of Leonardo Da Vinci, the statue of Leonardo’s Horse - enshrined at the Snai San Siro hippodrome - is the lead actor of an important enhancement project. Cristina Morozzi - the curator for this event - has selected artists and talents from the design, art, fashion and technology businesses, who were called to imagine and reinterpret the Horse and produce works for a joint collective effort.
 Elena Salmistraro has responded with her project “Napayshni”, which means “strong and brave” in Native American language. 
Re-interpreting such important work is always very difficult, there is a risk of committing unforgivable mistakes. There are personalities, objects, monuments, and ideas that acquire a universal right to be untouchable through time and history, and Leonardo well deserves to be one of them.
For this very reason the design direction that was taken is apparently the simplest, not because of fear, but simply due to awareness and admiration. The mantra was to distance from the original as much as possible, even very far away, even to the other end of the world, in America, the land where perhaps horses come from, and where those marvelous creatures  definitely received a totally respectful treatment, where they were never considered only work or battle “tools”, but they were companions and part of the community. 
The literal meaning of Napayshni correctly summarizes the two necessary characteristics to act on such an important oeuvre, but it fully expresses the main features that natives used to translate into symbols to decorate the best specimen and to tell their story and their victories. The symbols are charged with magic and they were believed to lend superpowers, a sort of magic armor and divine protection. 
“I love Leonardo’s horse and I consider it the perfect mix between the artistic and engineering flair of the master. The drawing, the dream that takes life through craft, the sometimes crazed and obsessive graphical study, which is transformed into sculpture by the most modern and coherent technology, those are maybe the greatest teachings that I have received from the work of Leonardo. For this very reason, in my own way, I tried to transform the horse of Leonardo into the best specimen, the winning leader, the protector of the community, the Horse among horses”

Dimension: about h. 3,5 m x 5,5 m .