Saturday, 12 April 2014

Starting the season...

Working on wooden boards. It's not the same as a walk on the beach, but as a decorator I am the last one using the scaffolding, so if you love what your doing, it is a bit like being on holiday. A home away from home. You begin to learn the ins and outs: where to duck to avoid the iron bars, how to organize your work so you can stay in the sun longer, or avoid it, if it's August....and where to eat your lunch in peace. Down below people try to sneak a peek at what you are doing, but must wait! Fingers crossed it is a good surprise...but for collegues here is a preview. Shame that they couldn't hide the tubes.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Illusions and a reality check.

They say that if you can't explain it easily, then you don't know it well enough. This thought has weighed on me since around the time of writing my thesis back in 2007. I am now pretty sure that the requisites for illustrating something also depend on relative receptiveness. It is impossible to get institutional audience here in Italy unless you know the right people or are affluent. Anything I have been trying to do feels like explaining colour to the colour blind or encourage skiing on rocks.
How can a country promote its wares, if it doesn't recognize its abilities? It is not sufficient for one, or even a few people to point at something.
Again and again and again the underlying suggestion that is given to artistic artisans here in Italy is that we will come out of the recession thanks to the promotion of traditional skills and methods....but it is the class of skilled workers, struggling to survive that are unable to dialogue with the political system and find the strategies needed to market those strengths...or, damn it, even eliminate the darn "skill" if that is the outcome of a dialogue between professionals and institutions. At least one would have an answer. 
I was finally contacted by a functionary of my region who spoke on behalf of the representative of development, promotion and discipline of artisan skills and to whom I specifically wrote.
The lady confessed to not knowing about the subject of traditional Italian decoration (?) and thought that I should: 
A) contact/exchange with Art schools ( me on my lonesome trying to widen the audience by teaching wall decoration from a chalkboard to a handful of students who are unlikely to find work?  William Morris would smile at my presumptuousness ) or 
B) try participating at Turin's "Restruttura" fair, involved in promoting restoration. Here in Italy restoration is a highly elite market in itself, with interests that go beyond that of conserving historical Artwork. In theory, rightly, they are not involved in promoting painted decoration, however classical, but rightly in conservation. It is a generally accepted practice to integrate contemporary design within those areas that simply cannot be recuperated.  Participating at that event might be a bit like trying to peddle sausages at a vegetarian foods fair. 
The request for audience with the very institution that is supposed to be sourcing for marketable skills and protecting its territorial identity in this difficult moment, was excluded.
Norms state that Italy is bound to protect both it's Art AND the significant artistic skills that go to create is a farce that there is no specific institutional body that represents and intimately understands artistic craft or any other creative field here in Italy.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

La Bella Addormentata

....é mentre l'Italia ignora l'importanza storica e potenziale della decorazione pittorica di architettura sparsa in miglia di edifici, molti della quale senza autore sono autori di blog in ogni angolo della terra, che usano loro raccolta fotografica di viaggi in Italia per arricchire il loro servizio comunicativa con il proprio publico. Un fonte gratuito di materia prima che si trasforma in utile.....e devo dire, per come stanno le cose: FANNO BENE.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Quello che ha reso l'Italiani grandi...

Ho trovato commuovente il monologo di Crozza. Aprire parlando di un soffitto decorato :)) 

Ridendo e scherzando é parlare e parlare e parlare di queste tematiche (l'opportunità di sfruttare/valorizzare quello che è un esclusiva  Italiano sul mercato...cultura, prodotti e servizi) che serve ora. 

Se il suolo Italiano si trovasse in America ci sarebbe un infinita di branding su ogni ben di Dio, con soluzione per ogni esigenza immaginabile. Certo questo sarebbe un pericoloso strada da percorrere, ma c'è molto su cui riflettere....

Monday, 10 February 2014

Da vedere a Milano a partire dal 14 di Febbraio
Una passione per trasmettere il sentimento spirituale tramitte la fotografia. Un itinerario intimo.

Friday, 31 January 2014

Villa Giovannina

One of the most frustrating things I have found while trying to "spread the word" regards Italian painted decoration, is just how damned difficult it is to actually get my hands on any photos of examples. It's like a conspiracy to hinder. There is very little on the web, you are not allowed to take photos ( with amazing exception, I found, of the Vatican museums) and any publications your can find at the end of your visit seem to go to great lengths to explain; past owners, history and every nook and cranny of the building...minus the decoration. A hugely absurd missed goal, as far as I am concerned. I mean can you imagine not noticing that you have a masterpiece on your wall or ceiling?
Anyway, I came across this lousy low-resolution picture of a ceiling in Villa Giovannina near San Matteo della Decima and thought to share anyway...along with this a very short description that came with it.

"The "Little Angels and fruit festoons" room:     A monocromatic central space frames a rosette, volutes and floral motives. The outer frieze divided into architectural frames, contain a series of delicate and delightful depictions of little angels occupied in various playful activities"

........yep, that's your lot I'm afraid!

In themselves "Little Angels"  or Putti as they are known here, do not have a specific iconological interpretation, they are primarily used for decorative purposes. However they can lend a specific iconological significance according to the surrounding elements used. I think it is important to note that this decoration was executed during the late 1800's and is not as one might believe, from an earlier period. In this case, it was likely painted in lime, a material which is fit to purpose on many levels. These architecturally developed painted ceilings were commonly commissioned until quite recently. Their purpose was not to necessarily trick the eye into seeing something else but to give greater detail to the underlining architecture and interior decor. Working with the ambiance and not against it.

Should you want to visit the site and find more information ( in Italian!) on the building and it's history here the link: