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Art is a shortcut to reach our senses and engage

intense emotions.

                                                        - Sandra Defanti -

Sandra Defanti was born in 1964 in Giornico (Ticino, Switzerland) and cultivated her talent and passion for art from an early age. Sandra has always had a very strong artistic flair and approached painting as a self-taught artist. She finished her academic studies and graduated as a teacher of plastic-arts to pass on her passion to young students. After marrying Cesare Defanti, she left teaching to run the Defanti restaurant and hotel with him, which has been family-run for four generations. Her passion for painting led her to fill all the rooms, corridors and halls of the hotel with paintings. Having no more space in which to exhibit, she left this activity for the benefit of her other passion: cooking.

Driven to learn, Sandra becomes a certified cook and apprentices trainer. In the kitchen, she expresses her creativity in the search for tastes, colours and flavours that she incorporates into each of her creations. Combining her artistic talent with her passion for good food, she finds a unique way to deliver art in every dish. Defanti’s restaurant therefore abandons traditional cuisine in favour of a modern and artistic style where the pleasure of dining becomes an interactive and sensory experience.

In 2016, following wrists surgery that forced her away from the kitchen, Sandra began modelling wax for rehabilitation purposes. She thus creates the first model to be cast in bronze using the lost-wax method. Thereafter, she attended numerous courses to sharpen her technique at the International Sculpture Centre (Peccia, Switzerland) and at Perseo’s Art Foundry (Mendrisio, Switzerland). The spark was ignited and from the very beginning, as it does in the furnace, the fire for the extraordinary world of bronze sculpture burns within her.

Sandra finds artistic inspiration in the fertile soil of her intense life as an all-round woman. The artist is in fact at once a career woman who runs the successful Defanti’s restaurant with her husband, a daughter of elderly parents in need of constant care, a caring mother, and last but not least a present grandmother of two lovely granddaughters who bring her daily back to the present moment. In fact, Sandra's artistic production is closely linked to significant life experiences that were worth being fixed and represented in an extraordinary bronze.

Sandra's works stem from her desire to personalise gifts for her family on special occasions. The Cat is a gift to her husband Cesare who has never been able to own one; Embrace to Life is a gift to her daughter Camilla to celebrate the birth of their daughters hence granddaughters; The Reader for her son Riccardo, a literature lover and dreamer. As time goes by, more beautiful statues come to light. As happened with the paintings, the bronzes begin to fill all Sandra's surroundings. The pretty bronze figures end up being exhibited at the family restaurant as decorations on tables.

The response from customers was as unexpected as it was immediate. The innovative idea makes the experience of dining together unique, and purchase requests increase day by day. As if they were her own children, Sandra is not able to part with her artworks created for her family. Only on a later stage, following encounters with special people, the artists realises that her artworks are ready to leave the nest and fly to other homes, to enlarge the family of friends and bring joy to the people who value them.

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