VIAVAI, An Unconventional Public Art Project In Salento

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I’ve recently been invited to throw some paint on the walls of Racale, a town in the Salento region, south of Italy, for Viavai, a fresh public art project that has already featured the works of incredibly talented artists such as Tellas, Ozmo and the argentinian Ever.

During my stay I managed to make a couple of paintings on some decommissioned buildings.

I made the first piece on the wall of an old mill. It’s called Omnia Mutantur (everything changes) and features the same handskull that someone might have seen on one of the pieces shown at my recent solo exhibit Tabula Aut Mortem at Avantgarden Gallery, Milan.


The second piece, Eraclia, takes its inspiration from the history of the town of Racale as well as the elements of its seal.

Two black hands casting the shadow of a wolf serve as reminders for the famous Rome’s she-wolf featured in Racale’s seal, probably due to Eraclio, a roman freedman who founded the town.

XII and VI numbers symbolize the twin brothers Romulus and Remus, who, according to Rome’s foundation myth, asked the Gods for a sign to claim the right of foundation of the city. Romulus saw twelve auspicious vultures, while Remus just six.

As a second theory about the genesis of Racale suggests that a Heracles’ worship site was once built in the very same area of the town during greek occupation, the olive club at the bottom of the painting refers to the legend of the divine hero’s slay of the Nemean Lion, in which an eradicated olive tree was used by Heracles as a weapon against the monster. The region surrounding Racale is in fact filled with olive trees.


Basik at VIAVAI Project | Racale | Salento | Italy from Viavai Project on Vimeo.

Keep an eye on the Viavai project for more goodness.
All the pics ©Matteo Bandiello