Paolo Borghi was born in Como in 1942 from a Como father and a Mantuan mother. His artistic experiences are linked to his father’s workshop, being the son of a renowned goldsmith and silversmith chiseller well known also in ecclesiastical circles for the creation of real masterpieces of goldsmith art. It is thanks to the paternal expertise that he learns all the techniques of metal treatment, and in particular the art of gold and silver working. In his early years he successfully attended painting, sculpture and architecture courses held at the Brera Academy and at the Castello Sforzesco in Milan. Starting from the 1960s, he decided to devote himself entirely to sculpture, acquiring a particular aptitude for the use of bronze and for the creation of large-scale works. In this period he is engaged in important public works such as the Christ the King , a monumental bronze sculpture for the cathedral of Esmeraldas in Ecuador, and the bronze portals for the Church of Saints Peter and Paul in Rovellasca (Como).
He holds his first solo show in 1972 at the Cadario Gallery in Milan.
The interest in drawing and wooden sculpture emerges in his research.
During the eighties he rediscovers the interest in classicism and myth, which is evident in the prevalent use of Carrara marble.
In 1984 he created the copper doors for the Basilica of the Apostles Peter and Paul in Milan. This is followed by important personal exhibitions set up in prestigious Italian galleries such as the Naviglio Gallery in Milan and the Apollodoro Gallery in Rome and his presence at major contemporary art exhibitions in Italy and abroad is intensified.
In 1986 he was invited to exhibit at the XLII edition of the Venice Biennale.
During 1987 he exhibited in Dallas five monumental marble sculptures commissioned by Bell Telephone of Atlanta, subsequently sold to the Mola Center in Los Angeles. At the same time he starts an important collaboration with the arch. Philip Johnson creating a monumental marble sculpture “Apollo and Daphne” located in The Crescent Building in Dallas.
In 1989 he was invited to the XXXI edition of the Milan Biennale at the Palazzo della Permanente. He creates a marble statuary group for the new Palazzo dei Congressi in Agrigento by arch. Crescini of Palermo.
In the meantime he starts an important collaboration with the arch. Paolo Portoghesi who continues today. For the same he has already created, among other things, four large sculptures located in the Civic Cultural Social Center in Poggioreale di Sicilia, a large marble high-relief in the new chapel “Don Rizzo” in the Mother Church of Alcamo and a marble sculpture “La Geometria ”located in the staircase of honor of Palazzo Corrodi in Rome.
At the end of the Eighties he developed a strong interest in the ductility of terracotta, thus rediscovering the gratifying immediacy of the gesture.
The nineties marked a further turning point in the sculptor’s career accompanied by the growing interest of the most qualified critics in his work: Rossana Boscaglia, Maurizio Calvesi, Carlo Fabrizio Carli, Giorgio Cortenova, Enzo Fabiani, Maurizio Fagiolo dell’Arco, Flaminio Guardoni, Italo Mussa, Elena Pontiggia, Franco Solmi, Roberto Tassi, Rolando Bellini, Paolo Portoghesi, Giorgio Severo, Alessandro Riva, the writer Giorgio Soavi, Edward Lucie-Smith, famous poet and photographer as well as art critic, and many signatures of specialized journalism.
Between 1991 and 1996 he painted marble portraits of the governors of the Bank of Italy Paolo Baffi, located in the headquarters in Via Nazionale, and Guido Carli, located in the Officine Carte e Valori of Pier Luigi Nervi in Rome.
For the new “Nereo Rocco” stadium in Trieste he created an imposing marble sculpture depicting “Nike”. Participate in the most significant art exhibitions and fairs such as Tokyo Art Expo, Art Basel, the Miart in Milan, the Art Fair in Bologna, the FIAC in Paris etc. In 1991 the Malnati family commissioned a terracotta statue of St. Paul, placed in a chapel of the parish church of San Martino in Malnate, in memory of their son Paolo.
In 1994 the Municipality of Malnate commissioned a large bronze bas-relief depicting San Martino and the poor placed on the bell tower.
In 1998 he carries out the new coinage for the Vatican City. In the following year the official medal for the 2000 jubilee and the extraordinary coinage for the Holy Year.
Also in 1999 he created in Paola the large bronze portal of the new Basilica of the Sanctuary of San Francesco di Paola, patron saint of the seafarers and of Calabria, with the large marble statue of the Saint to which a large marble high-relief was added in 2001. depicting “the Last Supper ”for the presbytery of the same new church. In the same year he created six large bronze portraits for the Ministry of Public Works, a tribute to the Italian urban planners of the 20th century.
In 2002, on commission from the Bishop, he created the new liturgical poles (altar, ambo and the seat) in marble for the presbytery of the Cathedral of Terni, for which in 2005 he also created the crucifix in silver, bronze and precious stones.
In 2005 he executed the bronze funerary monument of Archbishop Oscar Romero, symbol of the new martyrs of the Church, killed on March 24, 1980 in San Salvador. The tomb is located inside the Cathedral of San Salvador. Also in 2005 he created for the Cathedral of Terni, where in 2002 he had already made the new marble presbytery (the main altar, the ambo and the seat), also the Crucifix in silver, bronze and precious stones. Since 2000 he has also set up important personal exhibitions in the USA, Canada, Holland and Trieste. Much appreciated by Italian and foreign collectors, his sculpture is well placed in a dimension between tradition and modernity, attentive to classical roots but at the same time the bearer of new and modern values.
In 2008 he began an important work program for the Cheon Jeong Gung Museum in Korea: in 2011 he placed an important patinated bronze group made up of 18 large figures in the same museum.
In 2010, at the Royal Castle of Racconigi, he took part in the fifth edition of the biennial international sculpture exhibition promoted by the Piedmont Region and curated by Prof. Luciano Caramel entitled “International sculpture at Racconigi 2010 – Present and past experience “.
In 2011 one of his terracotta sculptures, dedicated to Galileo Galilei, was donated by Benedict XVI at the prestigious Vatican Library Sixtus V. For the new church of Calcata, designed by the architect Paolo Portoghesi, in 2013 he created an altar, ambo and two statues of the patron saints S. Cornelio and S. Cipriano.
In 2015 he began work on the creation of two impressive 350 cm high marble figures for the new Cheon Jeong Gung museum in South Korea.
In March 2018 he has the prestige of seeing his terracotta work entitled “At the end of adolescence” inaugurated at the famous and renowned Il Vittoriale degli Italiani foundation in Gardone Riviera.
On 14 September 2018, a large bronze portrait of Pietro Barilla, founder of the famous multinational, was inaugurated in Parma on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of his death.
In December 2018 the study and construction of the terracotta ambo of the new Cathedral of Lamezia Terme began, designed by the architect. Paolo Portoghesi which will be inaugurated at the end of March 2019; for the same Cathedral he made the bronze crucifix and two terracotta high-reliefs depicting the Madonna with Child and St. Benedict.
MAIN PUBLIC WORKS
For the new Cathedral of Lamezia Terme designed by the architect. Paolo Portoghesi made in terracotta ambo and two high-reliefs respectively depicting the Madonna and Child and St. Benedict; in bronze a crucifix.
On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the death of Pietro Barilla, he creates a large bronze portrait statue located in the Barilla plant in Pedrignano (PR)
Risen Christ – bronze statue representing the ” Resurrection ” located in the center of the apse of the parish church of Gurone – Malnate
Two impressive marble figures for the new Cheon Jeong Gung museum in South Korea
Blessed Father Spinelli terracotta statue, Sanctuary of Caravaggio (BG)
For the new church in Calcata designed by the architect Paolo Portoghesi he made the ambo in terracotta.
For the Cistercian abbey church of San Bernardo di Fontevivo (PR) he created an altar, ambo and baptismal font in Saltrio stone.
He places an important bronze sculptural group consisting of 18 large figures in the Cheon Jeong Gung Museum in South Korea .
For the parish church of Gorla Maggiore (VA) he made a large crucifix in silver, bronze and precious stones.
For the new church of Calcata (VT) designed by arch. P. Portoghesi realizes the altar in terracotta, a large statue of the Risen Christ and terracotta sculptures depicting Saints Cornelius and Cyprian
Blessed Luigi Monza, marble, Milan Cathedral
Large marble sculpture for the Logistic Center of Villa Spada of the Guardia di Finanza, Rome
Large cross in silver, bronze and precious stones for the Cathedral of Terni
Funerary monument, tomb of the martyr Archbishop Mons. Oscar Romero, bronze sculpture placed in the San Salvador Cathedral , El Salvado Statue of Blessed Father Spinelli, bronze, Iinstitute Adorer Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament , Cremona
New marble presbytery (altar, ambo, chair) from Cathedral of Terni
Spring wind, bronze sculpture, Piscine Monte Bianco, Verona
Six portraits in bronze. Tribute to the major Italian urban planners of the twentieth century, Ministry of Public Works, Rome
The Last Supper, large marble high-relief for the presbytery of the new one Church of the Sanctuary of S. Francesco di Paola , Paola , Cosenza
The Immaculate Conception, terracotta statue for the external chapel of the Center “Cascina San Martino “, Noceto (PR), arch. Paolo Zermani .
Official medal for the Jubilee of 2000 Extraordinary 2,000 Lire coin for the Holy Year.
Portal in bronze and marble of the new Basilica of S. Francesco Paola , Paola, Cosenza , arch. Sandro Benedetti
New coinage for the Vatican CITY
Guido Carli, portrait in marble , Officine Carte Valori, della Bank of Italy, Rome;
Portrait of Paolo Baffi , at the headquarters of the Bank of Italy;
The Builder , bronze, Malnate , Varese;
The great cliff , bronze sculpture, municipality of Gorla Maggiore , Varese;
Martino , bronze panel placed on the bell tower of the parish church of Malnate , Varese;
Nike , monumental marble sculpture, Piazzale Valmaura facing the new “Nereo Rocco ” stadium – design by Celli Rognoni studio – Trieste;
La Geometria , sculpture in statuary marble, placed in the staircase of honor of Corrodi Palace a Rome
Paolo Baffi, marble portrait of the former governor of the Bank of Italy, via Nazionale, Rome;
High relief in statuary marble, Mother Church, Don Rizzo Chapel, Alcamo, Trapani;
San Paolo, life-size terracotta, new chapel of San Paolo, San Martino – Malnate parish church
Four large marbles in the square designed by the architect. P. Portoghesi , Social Cultural Civic Center, Poggioreale di Sicilia, Trapani
Apollo and Daphne, statuary marble, new Palazzo dei Congressi by the architect. Crescini, Agrigento
Five monumental marble sculptures commissioned by the Bell Telephone of Atlanta, then sold and placed at Mola Center, Los Angeles, California;
Apollo and Daphne, monumental sculpture in statuary marble, The Crescent Building, arch. Philip Johnson, Dallas, Texas
Embossed copper doors for the Basilica of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul , Milan
Monument to the emigrant. Ulysses, bronze, steel and granite sculpture, Parco Primo Maggio, Malnate , Varese
Bronze portals dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul, Parish of Rovellasca , Como
War Memorial, Fino Mornasco , Como
Cristo Re, monumental bronze (H. 6 mt.) That heads on the facade of the Cathedral of Esmeralda , Ecuador