Buxomy black female figurines
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    Emilio Casarotto – artist behind buxomy female figurines

    Friday is normally the day I answer reader’s questions. But today I have an answer to a question I asked in a blog post a couple years ago. I wanted to know the name of the artist who had created some heavy-set figurines featuring black women.

    I wrote a blog post about the figurines after seeing a grouping of 13 of them at auction. I found the images unflattering at a time when obesity is a plague in many communities. The figurines showed the women – including a nurse, Flamingo dancer, a woman bathing in a tub, a basketball player and a cocktail waitress – with thick thighs, and posed in much-too-tight and revealing clothes.

    Emilio Casarotto's figurines

    A grouping of Emilio Casarotto’s figurines that were sold at auction a few years ago.

    They were made in Italy, but there was no maker’s name on them. I was obviously curious about the artist who made them. Recently, I got two emails from readers with the answer:

    “I have one of these figurines. A friend purchased it while overseas. I had also seen them in an art gallery in West Bloomfield, MI. Originally I didn’t know how to take them, insult or flattery. Every day I passed this gallery (and) fell in love with them. I wanted them all but could not afford them because they sold for around 300.00 and more. The artist’s name on mine looks like Emilio Caromolte. I was trying to find more when I came across your article. I’ve given up on searching the web and called the gallery, so I’m waiting on a call back. They think the figures may still be there. Hopefully, your article will help me bargain a better price. Thanks and don’t feel insulted. I’m full figured and love that someone created a statue in my likeness. I think they are beautiful.”

    A week later, from another reader:

    “The name of the artist is Emilo Casarotto of Italy. He also has white models in this line ‘Chubby Models.’ I too think they are beautiful and have previously purchased several pieces, as they are no longer readily available. You can still find a few pieces on eBay.”

    artist Emilio Casarotto

    Artist Emilio Casarotto with one of his sculptures. Photo from emiliocasarotto.blogspot.com.

    So I Googled the artist Emilio Casarotto (this is the precise spelling of his name) and indeed, I did find both black and white figurines – clothed, partially clothed and nude. On his blog, he says that he is a sculptor, born in Fimon in Vicenza, Italy, in the Valley of the Mills, named for a mill that was once used to grind wheat centuries ago. He trained at the School of Art and Crafts in Vicenza and the Milan School of Art. He works in ceramics and terracotta, and lives in the town of Castegnero, with its famous Basilica Palladiana.

    Another site noted that Casarotto, born in 1942, is a top designer for companies in the Italian cities of Bassano del Grappa and Noce.

    Casarotto’s female figurines are made of pulverized Italian Carrara marble. Many of those I found on the web were signed and came with certificates of authenticity. His pieces were presumably limited editions, signed and numbered (unlike the ones at the auction). In several cases, the series was referred to as “Proud Ladies.”

    artist Emilio Casarotto figurines

    A trio of white women musicians by artist Emilio Casarotto. Photo from artodyssey1.blogspot.com.

    After reading the emails and finding some figures fully clothed, I could see a certain determination in them, and a sense of style and boldness and whimsy. One site noted that his works showed “self-consciousness, passion and eroticism.”

    The figurines are apparently no longer being made, and are only available on the secondary market, such as eBay, auctions, galleries or privately. The pieces I found on eBay were sold for $100 or less (same as the auction prices). Some were from the 1980s and 1990s.

    What I found more intriguing than the female figurines were his beautiful sculptures – many oversized, and more lithe and elongated than his women. They had simple lines and a very modern look and feel.

    artist Emilio Casarotto

    A modern sculpture by artist Emilio Casarotto of Italy. Photo from emiliocasarotto.blogspot.com.

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    1. Thanks, mystery solved. I love the white figurines also. Interesting article, I’m a fan and look forward to reading your articles.

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