An art residency in Sicilia

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It’s been a while since my last post, I admit I’ve been a bit lazy about this blog so, time for some nice update!

I spent the month of April in Sicilia for an art residency part of the I ART project, which gave me (and about 30 more artists) the opportunity to work on some good project.

I was located in the town of Misterbianco, close to the beautiful city of Catania, where I had the chance to paint a nice wall of the local auditorium facing the marvelous mount Etna. A perfect location for my homage to this land.

‘Thauma (The Temptation of Saint Anthony)’ is a personal take on the temptations of Saint Anthony the Abbot, which has been a widely depicted theme in Arts history, from Beato Angelico to Bosch, from Max Ernst to Salvador Dalì.

Saint Anthony, commonly venerated for his protection from fire, is Misterbianco’s patron, as the town celebrates the saint every year since its destruction by a severe Etna’s eruption in 1669, then rebuilt anew closer to the coastline.

Hands casting animals in the chinese shadows play are protracted to poke St. Anthony, which is instead represent by an abstract geometrical golden figure at the center of the scene.

The central word “Thauma” is the greek for wonder, as a celebration of the land surrounding mount Etna (the painting is in fact facing the volcano). Nonetheless the greek letter T or “Tau” is a common symbol defining St. Anthony.

My signature colour palette is now contextualized to the very specific elements of the area: black as lava stone, red as fire (lava) and gold for the visually richness and folkloristic exaggerations of local religious processions and, of course, Sicilian baroque.