Mercury Marine engines fuse style and function attached to a boat’s transom, but Mercury has been incorporated into another type of modern art.
Painter and sculptor Maurizio Baccili injects his passion and creativity into works of art that use an unlikely media: cartons from marine engines. The Viareggio, Italy-based artist will be at the Genova Boat Show, exhibiting many of the pieces in the collection.
Who Is Maurizio Baccili?
From an early age, Maurizio was immersed in art. His grandfather, a painter, cared for him at his studio when his parents were both at work. It isn’t a surprise Maurizio followed in his footsteps in an art incubator that every child dreams of. He says, “My family had a small hotel, a tourist place. In summertime when we were very, very busy and I was small, they would send me to my grandfather. With canvases and brushes and paint, and that’s how I started painting.” While his artistic journey has since taken him into the world of sculpting in wax, it’s his passion for painting that he’s returned to. He loves working in vinyl and acrylic, but specifically a matte finish.
The inspiration for the “Riciclartisticamente” collection
It’s a course of convenience and environmental conscience that led Maurizio to begin creating his stunning works of art in the Riciclartisticamente, or Recycled Art, collection. From his art studio in Viareggio, Maurizio overlooks the shipyards where vessels are outfitted with gear, and Mercury engines are a common sight. The cartons are large and, although they’re made of recyclable carboard and wood, the panels are large and cumbersome.
Maurizio recalls, “My art studio is right in the middle of shipyards, Right in front of my study there are lots of suppliers for the shipyards including the local Mercury dealer. Often I saw them discarding carton sides from engines and pieces of cardboard. They recycled them, but I always heard the people picking them up complaining that they were very big pieces, so I said, ‘I’ll take them!”
Then, inspiration struck. Rather than coat the panels white and use them as a blank ‘canvas’, Maurizio decided to work with elements of the packaging that were already there: shipping labels, images, and the Mercury logo, for example.
“Instead of just cancelling everything that is on there, I should try to incorporate it into a painting. The shipping tag and anything else from Mercury, I chose to incorporate it and use it. This way, it’s as if the painting was done ‘quattromani’, or with four hands; two from me, and two from Mercury.” The results are unique and intriguing with an organic connection between the original materials and the oil or vinyl it’s on.
Where Mercury connects
Growing up near the shipyards and watching Mercury Marine engines created an early connection. It was the simplistic beauty of Mercury’s packaging that first caught Maurizio’s discerning eye for art, though. The sustainable wood and cardboard cartons strike a chord that fits perfectly with him.
Mercury has long been committed to energy efficiency and environmental responsibility, even achieving a “Zero Waste to Landfill” designation in distribution, and Maurizio’s art is another new and even more creative way of showcasing that commitment.
After conceptualizing the Riciclartisticamente collection, Maurizio connected with Mercury to put his art on display.
“I thought that Mercury would appreciate my ideas as they seem to be very aware or dedicated to sustainability.” Maurizio recalls with a laugh, “I first talked to the local dealer, then the central Italian office, then sending messages and pictures to everyone on LinkedIn with Mercury Marine in their profile, and it sort of exploded.”
After four months, the head of marketing contacted him and the idea to set up some of the works in a Mercury ‘collage’ at the Genova Boat Show booth was born.
Maurizio Baccili at the Genova Boat Show
One of the world’s most popular and influential boat shows, the Genova Boat Show, runs from September 16 to 21, 2021, and Maurizio’s art will be prominent at the Mercury display. The bold colors and patterns on cardboard, plywood, and collages proudly reflect Mercury’s motto for the show, “At top speed without forgetting eco-sustainability”. Not only can show attendees view and purchase works of art, but Maurizio Baccili will be at the Genova Boat Show to interact with viewers and explain the works in detail.