[…] A series of paths in a cruciform-shape place the spectator at the heart of the work, but nonetheless in an environmental setting that is no longer that of ordinary experience, though at the same time it does not require any overall physical modification of canons of perception. Walking over/in the work, spectators are conscious of how their basic bodily conditions, such as a vertical position, and the relationship between their verticality and the horizontal dimension of the support, are modified and perhaps even threatened by looking into these abyssal perspective views […]
Flaminio Gualdoni, september, 2000
Using the outlines of three fundamental shapes, the equilateral triangle, the square and the circle, and applying the two simplest laws of symmetry, translation and expansion, Scirpa designs three-dimensional objects and paintings in which light (for the three-dimensional objects) and colour create unusual effects.[..].In his three-dimensional objects, Scirpa organizes a series of lateral movements of outline shapes created using neon light. In these black boxes, the order of the shifts of these luminous outlines begins inside the box and is propagated to infinity. [...] They are like holes towards the unknown, like a video screen facing a mysterious direction; they are perforations of optical space […]. No-one has reached the bottom of these holes to tell us what they have seen there.
Bruno Munari, Milan, 1980
Paolo Scirpa, who creates electromechanical ludoscopes that generate an effect of virtual depth, utilizes multi-coloured neon lights to form intermittent paths in the imaginary space into which he invites the spectator.
Scirpa's metaspatial structures take on the light of pulsating auroras of transparency, suggesting the endless path to the unknown.
Carlo Belloli, Milan 1987
[…] The canvases evoke the overlapping motifs created by moving neon. The colours expand as if in a luminescent dazzle. The lines of light intersect, eliminating their reciprocal boundaries. The planes acquire weight in relation to the spectator's capability of moving beyond the geometrical intersection. Structures are propagated to infinity, with the sensation of a spatial suggestion of depth. […]
Claudio Cerritelli, Milan, 2003
Paolo Scirpa features in a highly unusual adventure: the combination of a light-emitting structure that was designed and built to be a mental construction, while also becoming part of the natural and monumental environment, a frame for our everyday life. Scirpa's language is the language of geometrical design projected onto light, neon light, a phenomenon based on linearity of structure and of the effect of the corresponding perspective […] At the famous location of Archimedes' tomb in Sicily, Scirpa presents a highly succinct design proposal: sights for a target set into the rock, creating a sort of heart, lung, a transcendental vision of objective reality. The square-shaped perspective construction (layers of tubes, lines, holes and spaces) is set into the stone under the pediment of the monument, like a relief cut out of the rock and becoming part of it. […]. The beauty of this operation on a natural location, that had already been modified by man many centuries ago, lies in the continuity of the structural approach. The geometrical discipline of Scirpa's project becomes part of the Ancient Greek monument with perfect continuity, and likewise it shares the approach of his forefathers from Magna Grecia […]. Scirpa, a calligrapher of electric light, […] shows us beauty in even greater beauty, and he does so with all the energy of his personality, his sensitivity and culture […].
Pierre Restany, Milan, 1986
[…] The design for the Greek theatre was created with the objective of enhancing the purity of forms of a sequence of progressively-interlinked semicircles radiating from the stage, or that, in the other direction, move towards a greater "concentration." Scirpa places his circular structure at the centre of the stage, in order to perpetuate the funnel shape in a virtual sense. This work seems to provide an almost tautological confirmation of the fact that the performance remains the same, however many dramas have been enacted in the past and however many there will be in the future. In addition, the artist created a 1:10 scale model of the work based on the Greek theatre, which constitutes an independent work with its own meaning independent of the context.
Francesco Poli, Milan, 1997
In this work, the artist has expressed the effect of an accumulation of objects, and the loss of all intervening space, reflecting the condition of today's modern panorama. He has achieved this by means of a skilful effect based on the symmetry of the image.
Gillo Dorfles, Milan, 1980
Consumerist poster: beyond accumulation
[…] The artist points an accusatory finger onto mass consumer products and their exaggerated, unconsidered use. He is concerned not with highlighting the motifs and symbols of the mass market, but rather his provocative intention is to encourage a critical awareness within this dense tapestry of beguiling messages launched by professionals who were once referred to as the hidden persuaders […] In this way, Scirpa constructs his work from an enormous mass of cans. Not randomly, but cadenced, as if he were a virtuoso musician orchestrating notes on a visual stave […]
Carmelo Strano, Milan 1992
A virtual view of the world – An installation by Paolo Scirpa
[…] the entire world-universe is evoked by a globe of water and earth, which is covered, or more precisely actually constituted, by a series of explicit consumerist phrases, and product labels, packages, wrappers, brands and logos […] (imagery that appears frequently in the artist's recent work). […] The technological grid of his structures entraps and expresses a sense of constriction and the loss of any choice regarding possible lifestyle and reality, by means of an imprisoning structure that both supports and traps the world entire […]. Giorgio Seveso, Milan, 2004
[…] Paolo Scirpa has conceived a shape recalling the concave mirror. He uses mobile metal elements, with dazzling brightness that reflects light in first place, and then generates a remote feeling of perfect form/idea, so perfect as to capture the sun and utilize it for the city's necessities, as if science were a civil virtue. The circular-arc arches, mobile "segments" in his sculpture, give this work characteristics of constant change. The artist utilizes an initial, visible, complete and archetypal form - the concave circle, so similar to the disc of the sun whose "soul" he wishes to capture - and presents a physical, potentially infinite physical deterioration. Every segment is independent in its variable position. It is the archetypal form that precedes and looks ahead to the idealized, mental reconstruction of the work.[…]
Marco Meneguzzo, Milan, 2006
[…] In the Annunciation by Antonello da Messina at the Museum of Palazzo Bellomo, Syracuse, […] Scirpa adds his motifs to the "backdrop" consisting of the empty spaces created by the restorer using neutral colours (which flattens the overall image, negating its effect of depth). These motifs constitute two perceptional points of focus, which penetrate the painting and inevitably capture the spectator's attention, at the moment at which an electronic process creates a blurred image which alters the significance of the painting and produces a two-dimensional effect [...]. In other words, using electronics to shift the point of visual focus generates a new spatial arrangement, in which the new "openings" created by Scirpa's additions, his famous spiral motifs, enhance the painting's potential […]. Cesare Chirici, Milan, 1995
[…] During the earliest years of his career, he adopted a lyrical form of Expressionism, already demonstrating his desire for attaining a form of constructive synthesis. His works, vibrant with light and colour, were hallmarked by powerful motifs, and they reflect the naturalistic roots of the land of his origins. He created his first Sole (‘Suns’), symbolizing energy, in which structures of light and colour move towards an idealistic centrality within circular and square surfaces. Scirpa, “a witness of his age” (G. Mandel, 1969), was committed to providing a human and artistic contribution to the contemporary world […]