The Double Helix-Mutation of Increased Compassion


The Double Helix
Mutation of Increased Compassion

Franco Castelluccio’s work has all the earmarks of monumental sculpture while still maintaining the intimacy and close attention to detail usually attributed to beloved smaller pieces.

For his newest work “The Double Helix XX-XY” Castelluccio, taking cues from the Renaissance sculptors of old, addresses the realm of Science confronting Art within the numinous yet potent physicality of large-scale figurative sculpture. His inspiration: “Certainly one of the most amazing aspects of DNA is its ability to adapt; whether by intelligent design or by chance. Without this characteristic of mutation we would still only be a simple congress of microorganisms... and there would be no Art as we know it.”



 His sculpture “The Double Helix XX-XY” imagines an animated strand of DNA; each of its gene segments able to produce a representation of a human male or female. The bodies grasp each other forming the two polymers that spiral upwards, attracting and polarizing each other, calling to mind the ancients’ representations of Metamorphoses.

Castelluccio defines this metamorphoses or mutation taking place as one of increased compassion between beings, which ultimately produces stronger, happier, individuals. “Perhaps survival of the fittest can evolve into endurance of the compassionate. When a genuine concern for one another will supersede the compulsion for competition and thereby ensure the survival of humankind.”


 Contemplating the piece, a viewer is drawn into the sense of balance between the two bands of the enormous Helix. The bodies seem to lift effortlessly upwards, defying their medium. Each genetic “segment” maintains the individuality of its’ person yet rather than being isolated by their differences, contribute to shaping a greater whole.

Franco Castelluccio’s piece “The Double Helix XX-XY” not only adroitly merges a classical style with postmodernism, it also brings into question what will be the significant issues of this millennium, such as what is humankind evolving towards? How do we promote the healing that will be necessary to assist this evolution?