Fabrizio Villa. A shot towards the soul

The KōArt Gallery in Catania hosts People, personal exhibition of the photographer Fabrizio Villa, curated by Aurelia Nicolosi and Marilina Giaquinta, with five large photographic works presented. Fabrizio Villa, professional journalist and specialist in aerial photography, as a photojournalist for more than thirty years testifies themes ranging from social unease and immigration to the portraiture of protagonists of today through shots that contain hope and despair.

To grasp the essence of the chosen theme, Villa observes and analyzes what he will subsequently have to capture through the shot, keeping the right distance he needs to grasp it in its entirety; Villa is committed to tell the facts through his photographic images, adding his personal sensations and emotions and this is what gives him the opportunity to experiment with a new approach aimed at improving social inclusion.

The People exhibition tells the story of life by presenting collective portraits and human landscapes in which colors and details become keys to the observer’s analysis of the shot, shots in which Villa makes nature as protagonist as architecture, but primarily the human element counts, the latter so reduced by perspective, so small as to become a distant dot, where the shadows seem to become invisible: a human element that captured from the right distance and from above describes the turbulent relationship between the Earthly world and the Natural one.

In the five works presented in the exhibition, Villa tells about himself and his spirit and at the same time tells about the grandeur and the freshness of contemporary society; to do this the photographer in the same moment in which he presses the click of his travel companion, the camera, must necessarily activate eye and heart: telling people and facts becomes a way of life, in which one have to get down and identify oneself to grasp anecdotes that at first glance is unable to understand.

We find then: abandoned and anonymous bodies that oppose bodies lying along the crowded and warm beaches, faithful with the votive white sack along the streets of Catania that follow the fercolo of Santa Patrona Agata that oppose the white coat of the star chefs who emerge from the stalls of the Massimo Bellini Theater.

Over the years his images have been published in international newspapers and magazines: often they are bloody and painful shots, among which we can remember the death and destruction of Bosnia, the Intifada in the West Bank, the earthquakes in Turkey, the eruptions of Etna , the work of the last Calabrian charcoal burners, the new poor, the inmates of Islamic religion in Italian prison institutions and even the cloistered convents; many of these experiences resulted in reports that later became exhibitions.

”The shots of Villa – says the curator Aurelia Nicolosi – are visions that tell other visions, literacy of emotions, augmentative communication of actions, because, citing the author Ansel Adams, he puts in the photograph all the images he has seen, the books he read, the music he heard, and the people he loved. In other words, it simply puts itself and an extra glow. “


Fabrizio Villa. People
1 – 27 February 2020
KōArt – unconventional place
via San Michele 28, Catania

Fabrizio VillaFabrizio Villa, Tutti al mare. 20 luglio 2019 Polignano a mare Bari (da elicottero)

Fabrizio Villa, Chef all’Opera. 1 aprile 2019 Teatro Bellini Catania

Fabrizio Villa. People Installation view at KōArt – unconventional place

In conversation with Alice Valenti about the Street Art Bus Tour #Catania

Every first Sunday of the month the #Catania Street Art Bus Tour returns to Catania, which starts its “race” between public art and memories of the past. The project aims to introduce Catania citizens and tourists to some of the most relevant public art interventions in Catania, offers moments of sharing among citizens of different neighborhoods and sensitizes them towards use of public transport and the recognition and protection of the cultural and artistic heritage of the city.

The first appointment will be on Sunday 2 February at 10.00. For this occasion, the participants will be accompanied by Grazia Previtera, an Authorized Tourist Guide and the artist Alice Valenti. We have interviewed her to find out more.

How did the #Catania Street Art Bus Tour project come about? Tell us about the initiative and the new proposal.
The Street Art Bus Tour was born in the most beautiful way possible, that is, exchanging thoughts and intuitions with people close to me. At a certain point you realize that a project has just been born that has to do with the world you would like. To use the bus, the public transport par excellence, to reach neighborhoods outside the usual routes and to see the city and its urban art from a new perspective. Thanks to AMT and the Municipality of Catania, the Street Art Bus Tour becomes monthly for an entire year (every first Sunday of the month). At my side Sarah and Bice of CityMap, Valentina Barbagallo and Grazia Previtera are the wonderful professionals who have ferried this vision into reality.

How do you think the Street Art Bus Tour #Catania can contribute to introduce the city of Catania to the contemporary?
Contemporary art does not wait, it is already everywhere around us, both in places dedicated to culture and elsewhere. The point is to enjoy it. The Street Art Bus Tour is a fun way to approach urban art by explaining its many facets and motivations. It is also an immense honor and pleasure for me to tell my travel companions about the works of artists that I love and that make me live my city better.

Public art and memories of the past of the city of Catania. How do you think these two realities can meet and compare?
Tradition and modernity are the poles along which my artistic path has always unfolded. I think it is a great privilege for an artist from Catania to feed on such a rich cultural heritage. Knowing the past is a tool for understanding the present and opening gashes on the future. Even the artists who come from outside cannot ignore the layered reality in which they find themselves, and the results are incredible.
Regarding the coexistence between cultural heritage and urban art, I think that, excluding vandalism, the combination is wonderful and stimulating. The rest is controversy.

How do you think the citizens of Catania responded to the initiative of “physically bringing each other to home”? And how can their contribution be essential for the success of the Street Art Bus Tour #Catania?
Tourists and people from Catania are the ones we want to involve, even if I think the experience is deeper for them.
During the October “pilot” tour I was able to see and rejoice in the enthusiasm of the participants in living an apparently simple experience. I saw the emotion that I felt years ago in reaching Librino by bus or going into the San Berillo neighborhood and listening to the stories that gave birth to the murals. This little adventure has an “other” value: it means entering the dynamics of the city, seeing usual things with a new eye, and finally knowing more closely the artists who have left a “mark”. Finally we must recognize that only the bus can save Catania.

Info and booking:


Street Art Bus Tour

For all the images: Street Art Bus Tour #Catania Ph Salvo Puccio

Silvia Camporesi in Atlas Italiae. Memory of abandonment

More and more in recent decades, photography, considered to all intents and purposes a visual language, finds space with the aim of capturing a moment, an instant, which can block reality over time with the aim of telling a story that will never be forgotten. A visual language, therefore, that freezes reality, but at the same time gives reality to the most hidden and deepest dreams.

The editor Jim Casper said: “The language of photography continues to be increasingly interesting and complex, as it becomes the most universal means of communication in the world”. In Catania, Plenum – Contemporary Photography, a contemporary photography gallery in the city center, promotes and disseminates art photography in Sicily and southern Italy.

Until February 9th the gallery will host the solo show of Silvia Camporesi, entitled Atlas Italiae and curated by the artistic director Massimo Siragusa. The artist, born in Forlì in 1973, with a degree in philosophy, lives and works between Forlì and Bologna, over the years through the wise use of photography and video tells the Italian landscape by putting together shooting ideas from myth, literature, from religions and from real life.

The exhibition is the result of a devotional journey of about two years, in which the artist explores and looks at Italy through new eyes and which allows her to bring home images that become memories of a peninsula to be discovered, cherished, loved and never forgotten. The photos taken by the artist tell of ghost villages, architectures engulfed by vegetation, industrial spaces and former seaside colonies in ruins and never before existed.

What then comes out, through the shots, is an Italy that resists and survives itself, despite the hand of man who with his actions is capable of modeling the beauty of the past with temporary and destructive interventions: a country that does not end within the confines of the usual tourist routes, but lives on single and isolated works, hidden and almost secret, on the edge of the usual beauty or in places that are not very valued.

Silvia Camporesi – explains the curator Massimo Siragusa – with her work guides us through an Italy in decay, like a metaphor for the present time. Thanks to her powerful, but at the same time sweet and poetic gaze, every place visited on her long journey loses any negative meaning, to become a symbol that we feel the need to keep in our heart and in our memory’’.


curated by Massimo Siragusa
Plenum – Fotografia Contemporanea
via Vecchia Ognina 142/b, Catania
14 December 2019 – 09 February 2020

SILVIA CAMPORESI_ Curon Venosta 2014, inkjet print cm 100x150Silvia Camporesi, Curon Venosta, 2014, inkjet print cm 100×150

Silvia Camporesi, Fabbrica Caproni, Predappio, 2013, inkjet print cm 40×60

Silvia Camporesi, Pianosa, il carcere, 2013, inkjet print cm 70×100

From research to poetry: Pierdonato Taccogna, a tale of science and art

In Catania, Via San Michele behind the main street of the town of the city, Via Etnea, looks like a pleasant area where creativity pulsates and comes to life; moving your eyes from one side to the other you notice how each window or wall gives the passerby a breath of fresh air followed by curiosity. A small street, where art and craftsmanship in their most original flair, offers the public welcome, relax and beauty.

In the aforementioned way, the KōArt Gallery was born in 2014, thanks to the will of the art historian Aurelia Nicolosi, which welcomes the new generations and feeds the scenario of today’s contemporary art, proposing figurative and conceptual art and paying attention to trends related to design and photography.

The last event hosted by the KōArt Gallery is a solo exhibition of Pierdonato Taccogna, In the beginning was the sky, born from an idea by the curator Giuseppe Carli and curated in this version, after that of Palermo, by Aurelia Nicolosi and realized in collaboration with the Raffaello art center in Palermo.

Pierdonato Taccogna was born in Triggiano in 1990, he obtained his high school diploma at the state art school “G.De Nittis”, and he continued his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bari, a path he suspends to devote himself entirely to art, deepening, thanks to historical research, the study of pictorial techniques.

His poetics makes use of two fundamental elements: light, as an obsession (the artist’s experience lived in 2005, which leads the artist to investigate the world outside reality) and the material, which goes from the preparation of the frame to the drawing up of the last layer of paint.

The light of Taccogna is to be found in those flashes and those typical evanescences of the subconscious sphere: the experience must be lived in first and third person and makes use of sounds and perfumes, almost as if they were flashes that exceed reality.

It is interesting to underline the fact that the artist does not make use of industrial materials, everything is prepared directly by him in his atelier following the recipes of the old masters, a peculiarity that allows him to experiment with new and varied painting techniques.

In the beginning was the sky tells of the bond that exists between man, the terrestrial world and the universe, through science and contemporary art, which can only give us beauty and harmony proper to the most absolute force, Nature. For these reasons and for the following researches, Taccogna undertakes to observe not only himself but also the world around him with careful eyes, because only through this analysis he can arrive at the alchemy that transforms research into poetry.

In the work of Pierdonato Taccogna – explains the curator Aurelia Nicolosi – we see Turner, Monet, Seurat, Signac, Van Gogh, that is all those painters in which light and color have become fundamental parts of their life and their experimentation. Suspended between past and present, his frames are expertly built by hand and his colors are the result of an ancient artisan preparation that recovers the principles of chemistry and the properties of the elements. His are visions dense with matter, dust and wonder in the face of incommensurable phenomena that man tries in vain to decipher. Together with him we just have to contemplate the wonder and be astonished in front of the explosion of the Universe, told with that passion that only a true artist manages to convey.

And if Galileo for the first time aimed a telescope at the sky, so Pierdonato, like the famous scientist, challenges common stereotypes and false truths, enchanting the public with his visual story in which the sky takes on a sacred aspect, worthy of eternity. His curiosity pushes him far away and no black hole on the horizon will threaten its route and decline “.


Pierdonato Taccogna. In principio era il cielo
curated by Aurelia Nicolosi
KōArt – Unconventional Place
via San Michele, 28 – Catania

Pierdonato Taccogna,-COMPOSITIO-STELLA,-olio-e-vernice-su-tela-jutaPierdonato Taccogna, Compositio Stella, olio e vernice su tela-juta, 140 x 140 cm, 77 x 140 cm, 2017

Pierdonato Taccogna, Supernova Green, olio e vernice su tela juta, 50×50 cm, 2017

Pierdonato Taccogna, Hypernova Blue, olio su tela juta, 80×80 cm, 2017

Images and words for a Sicily to be discovered within the walls of the Prampolini cultural lounge

In the historical center of Catania in 1894 the major of the Bersaglieri and professor of physical education, Giuseppe Prampolini, founded the Tirelli Bookshop-Bookbinding (hat was the surname of his first wife). The name was subsequently replaced with the surname of the inventor, Prampolini, to whom was succeeded by his son Romeo who soon became the spokesman of the intellectual life of Catania, thanks to the literary flowering of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, hosting within the important historic building names such as Verga or Capuana, to name a few.

Unfortunately due to the Second World War several publishing houses closed their doors, but Prampolini managed to cushion the blow by continuing his activity in step with contemporary society. After the death of Romeo Prampolini in 1974, the library was closed for about twenty years, which was succeeded by his pupil and publisher Angelo Santo Boemi, until 2005, but at this time various managements and vicissitudes followed.

Finally the historic Bookshop had reopened its doors on Sunday, September 15, 2019, with the same enthusiasm of the past thanks to the sisters Angelica and Maria Carmela Sciacca, already owners of the Libreria Vicolo Stretto, whose purpose will be to give back to the city a piece of history and a large cultural living room.

On 17 November the second stage of the ACINQUE project was inaugurated at the Library – an archive of images and words for Sicily (started a year ago at the Oratory of San Mercurio, PA), a project conceived in 2018 by Giuseppe Mendolia Calella, curator and co-founder of the visual arts platform Balloon Project.

This is a collection of artist books in A5 format (210 x 148 mm), made using different techniques, with a common theme: the tangible and intangible heritage of Sicily. For the occasion, at Legatoria Prampolini, a folio was presented in collaboration with the Moondi publishing house containing critical texts by Cornelia Lauf, Aurelia Nicolosi and Giuseppe Mendolia Calella, with translations by Gesualdo Busacca.

But what is an artist book? Established mainly in the 20th century, we can understand it as an artistic work realized as a real book, often published as a limited edition numbered edition, although it is sometimes produced as a single object and is called unique: a book that is not limited to its simple and classic idea but which has seen a wide range of shapes swirl, such as rolls, leaflets, concertinas, bound or free sheets contained in boxes.

The authors on display at the Legatoria Prampolini for ACINQUE – An archive of images and words for Sicily: Roberta Abeni, Fabrizio Ajello, Vanessa Alessi, Daniela Ardiri, Calogero Enzo Barba, Ludovica Antonella Barba, Vincenzo Barba, Marcella Barone, Davide Basile, Gaetano Blaiotta, Giovanna Brogna Sonnino, Luca Hugo Brucculeri, Gesualdo Busacca, Laura Cantale, Gianluca Capozzi, Carmen Cardillo, Federico Caruso, Claudia Castello, Mario Chiavetta, Maria Grazia Cipolla e Giacomo Simonetta, Alessandro Costanzo, Paolo Cremona, Eleonora Cumer, Mariella Cusumano, Gabriele D’Angelo, M. Elena Danelli, Melania De Luca e Gianluca Monaco, Pasquale De Sensi, Stefania Di Filippo, Francesco Di Giovanni, Demetrio Di Grado, Giuseppe Anthony Di Martino, Giorgio Distefano, Zoltan Fazekas, Alessandro Federico, Manuel Fois, Rosa Franceschino, Rosolino Ganci, Loly Ghirardi, Lillo Giuliana, Alessio Guano, Olga Gurgone e Valentina Scalzo, Vincenzo Ingrascì, Angelo Licciardello e Sebastiano Sicurezza, Sara Lovari, Mario Margani e Andrea Nicolò, Laura Maugeri, Susy Manzo, Giuseppe Mendolia Calella, Gaetana Milazzo, Pietro Milici, Rosa Lucia Motta, Claudio Parentela, Francesco Pietrella, Ettore Pinelli, Maurizio Pometti, Salvo Rivolo, Francesco Rinzivillo, Flavia Rossi, Gabriella Sapienza, Stefania Scamardi, Caterina Scandurra, Giuseppe Scandurra e Lucilla Scalia, Federico Severino, Demetrio Scopelliti, Samantha Torrisi, Ilenia Vecchio, Marilena Vita, Vincenzo Zancana.


Legatoria Prampolini
Via Vittorio Emanuele II, 333 Catania
Free Entry
Partner: Balloon Project | Attraverso Collettivo Curatoriale | Moondi Edizioni | KōArt Unconventional Place
Wine partner: La Valigia di Bacco

Legatoria Prampolini

Maria Carmela e Angelica Sciacca

Zoltan Fazekas, R'mailartZoltan Fazekas, R’mailart

Giuseppe Mendolia Calella, Blank

Street Art Bus Tour #CATANIA: a new way of experiencing contemporary art

Catania ancient port city on the eastern coast of Sicily, situated at the foot of Etna, the Sicilian volcano originated in the Quaternary and the highest active terrestrial volcano of the Eurasian plate, always thanks to its history and the will to walk in step with the new trends have made it possible to consider it one of the most artistically active Sicilian cities; it seems that from every pore of the city one breathes art, walking along the main street, for example via Etnea, looking up we are struck by that characteristic baroque style, an unmistakable style that offers the tourist an entrancing vision along his walk. A city with museums and art exhibitions entirely new to the area, museums that host national and international exhibitions, but also spaces that tell the story of Catania not to miss even one of those pieces that has made Catania today a popular destination for every tourist, where art is mixed with everyday life. But in addition to so much history, to so many hands of artists who have signed the past of the city, today Catania seems perfectly to respond to what is the undisputed appeal of contemporary art and in addition to the new exhibition realities that give the opportunity to peek at the inside the complex and variegated world of the contemporary and that also allow those who are more to the south to keep up with the news, the city does not miss an opportunity to amaze through unique moments and artistic episodes.

Let’s talk about the Street Art Bus #Catania, an initiative welcomed by the AMT – Azienda Metropolitana Trasporti S.P.A. and the Municipality of Catania, recognizing in this event cultural depth as well as union. The event has been designed for the 15th edition of the 2019 Contemporary Day, promoted by AMACI, CityMap Sicilia (map of the city of Catania, active for more than ten years in the area with on and off line projects aimed at raising awareness and promoting the territory) and Alice Valenti, a warrior artist for the subjects and themes addressed in her works inspired by the work of Sicilian puppets and for the numerous social campaigns she carries out.

But what is the Street Art Bus Tour #Catania? A city tour to discover some of the most important public art interventions in the city, which aims to introduce the most significant public art interventions through a bus and partially pedestrian path and to bring together the inhabitants of different districts of the same city with the aim of ” exchanging and hosting ” in neighborhoods other than their own and then allowing citizens to meet with the City.

The tour started with the Ex R1 (via plebiscito 747 – Catania) where it is possible to admire the Alice Valenti mural of 2018 for the Emergenze Festival project created by internationally renowned artists and that made that public space an open-air museum. Among the other artists; CORN79 (Italy), Etnik (Italy), Gomez (Venezuela), Gue (Italy), Salvo Ligama (Italy), Pao (Italy), Fabio Petani (Italy), Ruce (Italy), Rasta (Iran), Seikon (Poland) and StenLex (Italy). The art bus, which follows a journey to discover the city’s public art, starts with the liveries designed by the artist Alice Valenti who travels through the various neighborhoods that, over the last few years, have been the subject of public projects and private, collective and individual, aimed at requalifying monuments and city streets through street art interventions carried out by local, national and international artists.

The stages / stops:

00_ Former Storeroom R1: an open-air museum where contemporary art finds its place between cement and warehouses and that gives new life to the places that have marked the history of AMT.

01_ Fortino: The shadow of Porta Garibaldi – intervention, in which adults and children get their hands dirty, created by the artist Alice Valenti together with the members of Acquedotte and the residents of the neighborhood; the work that comes out of it is the overturning of the same door on the pavement through the use and assembly of geometric shapes.

02_ San Berillo: The neighborhood of the Houses of Tolerance, closed in 1958, for many years continued to be the preferred refuge for delinquency and prostitution. But today, thanks to the intervention of various associations, it promotes its redevelopment and enhancement, embellishing the area with street art interventions along the walls and the doors of the houses (for example the Sicilian collective Res Publica Temporanea).

03_ San Michele: in the way of art, Demetrio Di Grado from Palermo with his collages, with hashtags and subjects in which eyes and mouth are covered, gave the city an intervention that is between mural and advertising poster.

04_ Lungomare: Salvo Ligama with the half-length and torsion portrait of the god Neptune seems to welcome the small seaside village of San Giovanni Li Cuti, characteristic for the presence of black sand and rocks of volcanic origin.

05_ Piazzale Sanzio: a completely new restyling for the AMT ticket offices, where the artist Alice Valenti wants to pay homage to Sicily through the choice of decorative elements taken from the typical Sicilian carts, bringing them back to the facades of the two structures in a macro version, as if using a magnifying glass.

06_ Nuova Dogana: again Demetrio Di Grado with his contemporary language and made of ‘’#” gives us half-length women, taken from vintage magazines, and with a covered look, non-sense with high ethical aesthetics.

07_ Porto (Silos) – from 2015 the most magnificent monument of Street Art is in Catania, with 8 murals on old silos of the artists Okuda, Rosh333, Microbo, Bo130, Vlady Art, Danilo Bucchi, Interesni Kazki, Vhils (behind a single mural overlooking the sea, the largest in the world created by the artist Vhils) signed by internationally renowned artists who take inspiration from Sicilian traditions for their stories.

08_ Porta della Bellezza and 6th District, viale Moncada, block 6, building A – project by Antonio Presti includes 12 works by Italian sculptors united by the theme of ‘’The Great Mother’’. Porta della Bellezza, the largest terracotta work, is located in the Librino district and provided for the realization of the involvement of the children of the schools in the related neighborhood, with the aim of sharing, respecting the territory and promoting it.

09_ Occhio di Blu (Librino) – Blu, the Italian Banksy, denounces through the use of the Etna volcano and its supreme strength and devastating the state in which the neighborhood is, hoping however in the same revival of the neighborhood.

Contemporary art and public art with a single purpose: that of redevelopment thanks to the involvement of the residents themselves who become protagonists of a long-term action. An intervention that demonstrates how creativity can dialogue with the place and its history and draw attention to a part of the city to which no one had ever looked or simply thought.

Street Art Bus Tour #CATANIA

Nuova Dogana: Demetrio Di Grado

Lungomare: Salvo Ligama

STREET ART BUS TOUR #CATANIASan Michele: Demetrio Di Grado

Piazzale Sanzio: Alice Valenti

Porto: Okuda, Rosh333, Microbo, Bo130, Vlady Art, Danilo Bucchi, Interesni Kazki, Vhils

For all the images: ph credits Salvo Puccio

Horror Vacui et Amor Pleni. Horror Vacui and Amor Pleni. A labyrinth in which to get lost and then find oneself

In today’s scenario the artist tries to create amazement and ecstasy, often also shock, disgust and even annoyance. The artist in every time represents the mirror of ‘our age’, the one we live in, thus becoming a witness of a process of evolution full of positivity or not. The fundamental points of contemporary art are then the vision, the watching, the observing; a contemporary that puts the viewer in front of something that he fails to understand because it is not immediate, because it seems to speak a coded and indecipherable language.

Horror vacui, the fear of emptiness – Amor Pleni, the Full Full, by Barbara Giummo, was born following a research that the artist finds in the ambivalence of opposites to which every meaning is a relative opposite and this allows not to remain on the same idea / position. The artist’s artistic research lays on informal abstraction and develops over the last year in the Horror vacui – Labyrinth series.

The fluidity of the acrylic allows a fast and automatic gesture, which allows her to make more pieces in a short time, thanks to the fast and not very precise drawing of the color. Colors never too far from each other. Full-bodied shades, with a contained color and minimalist design. Clear, fast and marked signs that trace a labyrinth within which the spectator can enter and then get lost or find himself.

“Non forms” that give life to signs that seem to repeat themselves infinitely and in a similar way. The signs of Barbara Giummo appear next to each other, repeated to infinity, a grid that seems to become a molecular structure, a cryptography of primordial signs that refers to a secret code: can we find the combination to access it? Will this order and disorder ever give us the opportunity to grasp the interiority of the artist or even find our own?

A labyrinth, made of lines and empty spaces, which in the case of the artist shows signs and colors, full and empty, that intertwine in the artist’s emotions and the spectator’s sensations. In ancient times the labyrinth symbolized the primordial chaos and the effort to impose order. Its spiral design resembles a coiled snake, the bowels, but also the meanders of the brain, a geometric design, more or less complex, consisting of various lines and lanes arranged in a spiral or a square that trace a path towards the center, in which the entrance coincides with the exit. A labyrinth, that of the artist, which can be read as a symbol of the journey within and beyond the limit of sign and color.

The exhibition Horror vacui – Amor Pleni, by Barbara Giummo and curated by Mery Scalisi, is designed to be staged at Gammazita – Cultural Association for the re-appropriation of common goods and self-organization from below, in Catania. An area of ​​exception that choice: a square with a local annex, which sees the Gammazita Association at the center of a social and cultural enterprise aimed at improving and redeveloping urban space. Gammazita does not present itself as a simple place for meeting or having a chat and a drink, but rather a place that lives with the heart, with the soul and with the brain. A square that from the afternoon until late evening is experienced by young people and not only, from Catania and not, and that gives an area of ​​freshness, novelty and change, few ingredients but that well dosed and mixed begin to produce succulent meals for the future Catania.

Horror vacui – Amor Pleni is then thought as a social experiment: an en plein air installation, around and within the square, which will be experienced by the passer-by or by those who want to stop at the bar for a drink and who will see the works of the artist to dialogue with the square and with the cultural context, a square full of people in the afternoon, empty in the evening hours when everyone returns home.

Barbara Giummo, born in 1990, lives in Augusta. She graduated and specialized at the Academy of Fine Arts in Catania in Painting, where she devoted herself to an expressive research where abstraction plays an essential role. The tool of color is undoubtedly the leitmotiv in her poetics, with references to geometries and a persistent use of overlapping layers of color or other materials. The use of figuration is absolutely random. In 2016 she participated in the exhibition “Moti Atemporali” at the Teatro Coppola-Teatro dei Cittadini in Catania, in the exhibition “Waiting for Wind” at the Bellini theater in Acireale and in the cultural event Gioeni art action, at the Gioeni park in Catania with the site-specific installation “Trame di Lana”.

Meeting with the artist

Mery Scalisi: Through what means and influence does your artistic research arrive today to formulate abstract works?
Barbara Giummo: Abstract works arise from a need to go beyond reality, to explore a dream dimension, to dig beyond what can be seen. I have never appreciated realistic painting and what it expresses.

S. Yours is an informal abstract art, typical of the art of Giuseppe Capogrossi. What other artist were your ideal masters?
G. I love Capogrossi very much but in addition to him of great inspiration to me is Willem de Kooning, with his shapes and ‘dirty’ painting. No doubt I add Emilio Vedova.

S. During the drawing up of the color (mostly acrylic), spread in a fast and almost imprecise manner, and the juxtaposition of signs, what does your will consist of towards the spectator?
G. I have no intention of arousing anything on the viewer. Mostly I work for myself, but I am happy when someone, and often happens, appreciates what I was going to give, that is, contrast speed.

S. The series of works Horror Vacui and Amor Pleni sees the labyrinth as the protagonist. A labyrinth that Kubrick himself in Shining identifies as a labyrinth of human minds, made up of anxieties and joys, which mix together in a vortex of emotions that lead the protagonist to go crazy. How do you think that contemporary (and above all abstract) art can help the viewers to recover and find themselves again?
G. In today’s world I think that abstract art is the only useful tool that can allow us to find ourselves again. In a certain sense the seamless shapes are capable of opening doors that are not impactful, but which remain in the visual memory. My work is inspired by the spots of Rorschach, and as such them wants to be the incipit of new thoughts that naturalistic painting could not give, given that what is seen is what it is. What is not understood, on the other hand, leads to know something other than itself.


Barbara Giummo. Horror Vacui et Amor Pleni
6 – 15 settembre 2019
Piazza Federico di Svevia, 92 – Catania

Barbara Giummo, No title, 100×100, acrylic, 2019

Barbara Giummo, No title, 120×100, acrylic, 2019

Barbara Giummo, No title, acrylic, 2019

Barbara Giummo, No title, acrylic, 2019

Cover image: Horror Vacui et Amor Pleni Opening Ph: Rossana Platania

From Turin to Catania: the Sandretto Collection meets the Catania Baroque.

In the historic center of Catania, a few steps from Piazza del Duomo, where once the shape of the city looked decidedly different, with the sea much closer and touching the city and its center, Palazzo Biscari was one of the first sites that any traveler who had just arrived in Catania noticed and admired.

The building, whose work was entrusted to the architect Alonzo di Benedetto, looks like a real jewel of the Catania baroque. Strongly desired by Prince Ignazio Paternò Castello, the ‘Great’, a scientist, an inventor and collector at the same time, descendant of the Biscari family, shortly after the disastrous earthquake that struck the city of Catania in January 1693 and which was built in agreement to the sixteenth-century walls built under Charles V, it was conceived as an immense residence that honored the city of Catania with its breadth and beauty.

Large entrance courtyard with a double ramp staircase; party room with majolica floor and frescoed vault, in rococo style; “cloud flake” shaped staircase from which one ascends to the area reserved for musicians; terrace overlooking the city with portals and cherubs in limestone. All elements that still today make the Palazzo undisputed jewel of the early eighteenth century.

And it is precisely in this sumptuous setting that for some years contemporary art has come to life, giving life to a perfect union that has no equal between the art of the past and the art of the present, in which nothing is contaminated but rather converses with history.

The history of Palazzo Biscari as an exhibition venue dates back to the Eighteenth Century, when the Palace became a museum, with objects recovered directly by Prince Ignazio during his travels and that transformed this almost into a Wunderkammer.For this new occasion the doors of the Palace open for a selection of works of art from the Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Collection, in a project curated by Ludovico Pratesi and Pietro Scammacca, in collaboration with the Turin Foundation chaired by Patrizia Sandretto and Unfold.

The Collection branches off into two different exhibitions: the first, which includes an environmental installation, WeltenLinie, by the artist Alicja Kwade, in the Salone delle Feste, on display until August 24; the second, a collective of 20 artists, The analogous room, in the apartments of the Levante wing, on display until 7 September.WeltenLinie (from the German “world line”), produced for the 57th Venice Biennale, looks like a huge set of mirrors and steel structures that give life to an environment inhabited by mirrors in which objects multiply and everything seems to be moving.

The installation, with a steel structure, presents four immense mirrors that are reflected on both sides and next to which we find stones of different shapes and colors; it fits perfectly with the Salone delle Feste creating a direct link with the ornamental interiors of the Palazzo, thus also entering into the illuminist and esoteric vision of its own client, Ignazio.

The gigantic work dialogues not only with the environment and its mirrors, but also with the viewer himself, as it leads him to take a walk inside the work itself which, thanks to its composition, evokes the idea of ​​a garden-maze and leads him to be curious about being mirrored to find almost confirmation of his presence within the path; the real that meets the dream, the call to the Baroque and the contemporary expression, the game of mirrors as a search for oneself, allow the visitor to get lost or find himself within the monumental work, becoming an active part and performing an almost performative act.

The Ala di Levante (open to the public for the first time), as already mentioned, hosts the collective entitled The analogous room and wants to pay homage to the room itself called ” of Don Quixote ” because it is decorated with paintings that depict the character of the Spanish novel by Cervantes. 20 artists of different generations and nationalities take part in the exhibition and, like Don Quixote, work on that very thin line that separates reality from fiction through different artistic expressions.

The artists: Ludovica Carbotta, James Casebere, Roberto Cuoghi, Flavio Favelli, Katharina Fritsch, Anna Gaskell, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Douglas Gordon, Louise Lawler, Renato Leotta, Sherrie Levine, Katja Novitskova, Tony Oursler, Philippe Parreno, Nicolas Party, Paul Pfeiffer, Laure Prouvost, Magali Reus, David Shrigley.

A sumptuous and majestic noble residence in the heart of the city, that of Palazzo Biscari, which opens its doors to artistic research, to novelty, to new art languages ​​and which makes the history of the Palazzo itself become a key to understanding how much of alchemy can hide behind the message dictated to us by contemporary works, whose contents, sometimes not clearly decodable, manage to come to life in this setting almost as if it were a game in which each card is discovered.



Palazzo Biscari CataniaWeltenLinie, Alicja Kwade. Photo Luca Guarneri

WeltenLinie, Alicja Kwade. Photo Luca Guarneri

La stanza analoga Photo Luca GuarneriLa stanza analoga. Photo Luca Guarneri

La stanza analoga. Photo Luca Guarneri

La stanza analoga. Photo Luca Guarneri

Paludi by Giuseppe Agnello at La Verde la Malfa Foundation. When matter penetrates artistic thought with a message of metamorphosis

In San Giovanni la Punta, a small town near Catania, the La Verde La Malfa Foundation- Parco dell’Arte was established in 2008 by the will of Elena La Verde, born in 1933. Versatile and passionate artist, she expresses herself in various forms from poetry to painting, sculpture, graphics, photography and installations. The latter, 19 in total, are today protagonists in the Art Park of the La Verde La Malfa Foundation, works that take it out of the traditional canons and soon include it in the schedule of women Sicilian revolutionary artists.

Elena La Verde passed away in May 2012, leaving a space for contemporary art and above all an experimental place of promotion, continuous research and protection of the local cultural and artistic heritage, making the Foundation one of the most visible Sicilian contemporary realities at national and international level.

And it is precisely in this space, that the “Paludi” exhibition by the Sicilian sculptor Giuseppe Agnello was inaugurated to the public on June 22nd in the exhibition hall of the La Verde Foundation La Malfa – Parco dell’Arte. He studies and investigates nature, a source from which to draw to extract thoughts, concepts and forms to give life to his art, using natural elements above all (”Paludi” exhibition curated by Daniela Fileccia, promoted and conceived by the president of the Alfredo la Malfa Foundation and by Dario Cunsolo, with the patronage of the municipality of San Giovanni la Punta (CT) and the Academy of Fine Arts of Palermo).

Giuseppe Agnello was born in Racalmuto, near Agrigento, in 1962 and attended the sculpture school of the Academy of Fine Arts of Palermo, graduating in 1985. He is currently Professor of Sculpture and Sculpture Techniques at the Academy of Fine Arts in Palermo. He has made several public works both in Italy and abroad; he is the author of the famous bronze portrait of the writer Leonardo Sciascia, located in his hometown, and of the bronze sculpture dedicated to the famous Commissary Salvo Montalbano, a character created by the writer Andrea Camilleri, in Porto Empedocle.

For the exhibition at La Verde Foundation La Malfa Agnello presented works belonging to the most recent production, some of these works-installations, united by the matter and specifically the ‘calcareous-cementitious’ material with the aim of referring to the process of fossilization.

The “Paludi” exhibition thus marks the fossilization of humanity that finds itself in a continuous state of immobility and material and psychological fragility.

In the past the artist has worked on a very precise process of ”metamorphosis”, a process that inevitably marks the movement, but now with Paludi Agnello wants to tell us about a humanity that has fossilized in a condition of fragility and emotional weakness that prevents the reaction.

Bodies, in which matter and color become the protagonists of a message, which become cocoons, in a state of fossilization that is perhaps the greatest wish for better times, for a humanity that can respond-react and return to its origin; bodies of stone, heavy bodies, already starting from the head, from which ideas start, heavy for the discomfort of a humanity that does not act and permanently loses the human form: reality clashes with surreality.

M.S Let’s start with ‘Paludi’ in which nature is the absolute protagonist of a process that sees this as the basis of inspiration for every form of art. How did the chosen subject succeed in penetrating your thought so that every single sculpture came to life?
G.A. Now I think I have acquired some experiences, even on a technical level which, following all I think, I can find an implementation solution. Usually I start from a vision that is the driving force of a project, then I begin to experiment with materials that help me to achieve the goal, and as I develop the practical work of the choices more suited to the original idea that is in my mind, I just try to materialize it. But in this passage I am never rigid, I often change in the various aesthetic checks. Sometimes the idea is ripped off in different forms or compositions, as in the case of “Paludi”.

How has the concept of metamorphosis helped you develop the path of ‘Marshes’?
Nothing arises by chance, every project springs from a previous vision, and it is all linked. In 2013, in one of my exhibitions at the Carlo V tower entitled memories / side and oblique views, the metamorphosis characterized the works on display. Some have identified references to Ovid and Bernini, for me metamorphoses are an almost surreal plastic choice to tell the introspection of today’s humanity. So charcoal, grafted carbonized trunks that came out of the head or lush vegetation are symbolic elements. In the exhibition projects “Dalle Dure Pietre” at the Archaeological Park of the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, however, I told of human introspection, although the sculptures were made of casts of acanthus buds and sunflower seeds, without the use of the body and metamorphoses. “Terra in Moto” at the Taormina-Naxos archaeological park was a journey into the energy of the movements of men and nature. From these assumptions comes “Paludi”, where time stands still as in a pond, the beginning of a state of fossilization.

On what other artistic occasions did you succeed in creating the union between man and nature and how?
As I said before, mentioning my previous exhibitions, the combination of man and nature is always there even when the body is absent. I am not very interested in telling about the union between man and nature, even man is nature, I am more interested in telling about a tired humanity with the use of natural symbolic elements (acanthus buds, ferla flowers, etc.). The reasons for the choice stem from my relationship with it, because as I have already said in other situations, I have a rural background and my language is contaminated by my experience.

From the static nature of man to the mobility of nature. Do you believe that the two actions today can also dialogue outside of art?
It is everyone’s hope, and hope in art is always present even when the problem is cruelly told, a more environmentalist conscience is needed, beyond economic interests.

When can aesthetic beauty give way to the message to be told?
In my opinion, I don’t always like to tell messages, and whenever I am invited to do so, it embarrasses me a lot. It’s always very simplistic, it’s like telling a movie or a book. I prefer long silences in front of a visual work.


Giuseppe Agnello. Paludi
a cura di Daniela Fileccia
22 giugno – 10 novembre 2019
Fondazione La Verde La Malfa – Parco dell’Arte
S.G. La Punta – Catania

Ritratto di Giuseppe Agnello 2019. Photo Credit Angelo Pitrone

Giuseppe Agnello, Palude / Composizione 2 2019 resina poliestere più legno cm 180 x cm 280 x cm 100 Photo Credit Angelo Pitrone

Giuseppe Agnello, Palude / Composizione 3 2019 resina poliestere più legno_
cm 170 x cm 270 x cm 100 Photo Credit Angelo Pitrone

Art as a condition of life. Meeting with contemporary art: Michelangelo Pistoletto!

We are at the end of the Sixties and in the United States and Europe a new approach to art begins to take shape that tends to investigate the very nature of artistic language, its instruments and its meanings even before the production of the work-object itself, in which reflection and concept prevail over manual work and matter.

Already with the historical Avant-gardes Marcel Duchamp, with his Dadaism and his ready-made chooses already existing products to which he adds a mental process that will allow the object taken into consideration to acquire the work of art status.

Now, with the sixties, artists like Yves Klein and Piero Manzoni affirm themselves with their conceptualization together with the movements established in this period with the Body art, Arte Povera or Land art.

The conceptual art then tends to indicate the activity of those artists who have made thought and reflection the center of all their artistic research; in fact, they question the object in flesh and blood, which foresees an art market that treats it as any commodity and to this they prefer the idea that exists behind their work, their own figure and with respect to the social and cultural role in which they operate.

In Italy, meanwhile, Arte Povera was born at the end of the 1960s, at the hands of the critic Germano Celant who, with his article on “Flash Art” promoted thirteen artists united by a common language: the use of “poor” materials like earth, wood, iron, rags, plastic and industrial waste for the realization of their works.

The aim of Arte Povera will then be to bring together a certain number of artists whose study and work will revolve around the physical, energetic and metamorphic qualities of primary materials, vegetables and animals or even industrial products; their interventions, which often turn out to be real provocations, include materials taken from natural and / or artificial reality.

Within this context I discover an artist, Michelangelo Pistoletto, born in Biella in 1933, Italian painter and sculptor, animator and protagonist of this current, one of the most important Italian living artists.Two formative experiences will form what will then be the poetics of his art; since childhood, we are in 1947, he took his first steps in the art world attending his father’s restoration studio where he learned the basics of drawing and painting and the most recent restoration techniques and attention to detail. Subsequently he will attend the advertising school of Armando Testa, from whom he takes the ability to transmit a profound thought with a single image and immediately.Reflective surfaces (especially polished stainless steel plates) or “mirror paintings” made between 1961 and 1962 begin to mark Pistoletto as “the man of the mirrors”; works that are born as real-size photographic images on tissue paper on a reflective surface and brushed over, so as to give the viewer the moment he observes them and the possibility of being an active part of artistic creation is reflected.

“The works I do are […] objects through which I get rid of something – they are not constructions but liberations – I do not consider them objects in more but objects in less, in the sense that they carry with them a perceptive experience definitively externalized ” (Carlos Basualdo, Texts by Michelangelo Pistoletto, in Michelangelo Pistoletto. Da uno a molti. 1956-1974, Electa, 2011, p. 344.)

In 1967, however, Pistoletto gave life to a desecrating work in which the artist placed an immortal icon of classical art in front of a heap of worn clothing, the Venus of rags, at the Tate Modern in London, of which there are three later versions: Di Bernardo collection, Giuliana and Tommaso Setari collection, former Galerie Tanit collection of Monaco and the first, owned by the artist, kept in the Pistoletto Foundation in Biella.

In 1998 Pistoletto created “Cittadellarte” in Biella, an immense creative laboratory, a factory of ideas and projects designed to achieve the goal of connecting contemporary art, more specifically public art, relational art and the artist himself with all the areas that make up society, to positively influence the social and intercultural evolutions and transformations in progress, which involves young artists in every field of creativity (music, fashion, design, theater, etc.).

In 2003 a new phase of Pistoletto’s artistic research was born, entitled Terzo Paradiso, a collective work, of which he wrote the manifesto and designed the symbol consisting of two contiguous circles at the ends of another central circle, a reworking of the mathematical sign of Infinity. “The Third Paradise project consists in leading the artifice, ie science, technology, art, culture and politics, to restore life to the Earth. Third Paradise means the passage to a new level of planetary civilization, indispensable for ensuring the survival of mankind. The Third Paradise is the new myth that leads everyone to take on a personal responsibility in this epochal situation. With the New Infinity Sign three circles are drawn: the central one represents the generative womb of the Third Paradise. [1] » (Michelangelo Pistoletto)

After this brief painting in which we know Pistoletto, I cannot fail to comment on Pistoletto’s arrival in Catania; as soon as I become aware of the fact that at the Academy of Fine Arts in Catania (where I play the role of culminator for the subject History of contemporary art) the “master” will arrive. Michelangelo Pistoletto remains perplexed and amazed, not because the Academy of Catania has never given birth to other events of relevance and caliber, but because as I wrote we are talking about the greatest contemporary living Italian artis. We talk about contemporary art that will come in small steps along a lecture hall, invaded by students, and that as soon as they start talking I’m already sure will leave everyone speechless.

On 7 June, in fact, a lectio magistralis was held in an interview mode on the Terzo Paradiso project in which the master intervened and the day also included the conferral of the Honoris Causa Academic Diploma in Visual Arts. The great hall is full and celebrating with the enthusiasm of the students intent on dialoguing with the teacher, answering every question with enthusiasm.

The following day, June 8, instead, at the Molo Levante of the Port of Catania the installation event, ‘La Plastica e il Mare’, is opened to the public, 30 meters by 12 set up on a floating pontoon and built by the citizens who collected the plastic from the sea to face the pollution of the Mediterranean, an initiative of the ancient Mediterranean Oelle Foundation, chaired by Ornella Laneri (moreover Michelangelo Pistoletto and the values ​​of environmental protection will be honored with an exhibition in progress until 15 July at fON Art Gallery of the ancient Mediterranean Oelle Foundation, at the Four Points by Sheraton Catania, Aci Castello); a collective work, which will be illuminated at night with lights powered by solar energy, which combines the commitment to the environment with contemporary art for a Mediterranean to be valued and defended: 2,000 kg of plastic and over 500 hours of work carried out from citizens, operators of the territory, and teaching students of the School of Scenography of the Academy of Fine Arts in Catania.An artistic intervention at the base of which is the awareness and protection of nature and the sea and which has communicated the importance of how much it is necessary to take care today of that precious resource that is the environment thanks to a collective artistic intervention.

Catania thanks the master!

The Third Paradise will be exposed to the public in the port of Catania until 15 July 2019; at the end of the event disposal and recycling will be started by the competent operators for waste disposal in the port.

Joseph Kosuth, Una e tre sedie, 1965Joseph Kosuth, One and three chairs, 1965

Michelangelo Pistoletto specchiWorks by Michelangelo Pistoletto realized with mirror-polished stainless steel plates in which the static nature of the characters or objects in the foreground contrasts with the dynamism of the real world which, reflecting itself, becomes part of it.

Michelangelo Pistoletto, Venere degli stracci, 1967Michelangelo Pistoletto, Venere degli stracci, 1967

Michelangelo Pistoletto receives the Honoris Causa Academic Diploma in Visual Arts at the Catania Academy of Fine Arts. Photo by Tiziana Blanco

Michelangelo Pistoletto receives the Honoris Causa Academic Diploma in Visual Arts at the Catania Academy of Fine Arts. Photo by Tiziana Blanco

Michelangelo Pistoletto, La Plastica e il Mare, view of the installation at the Molo Levante in the Port of Catania. Photo by Tiziana Blanco

Michelangelo Pistoletto, La Plastica e il Mare, view of the installation at the Molo Levante in the Port of Catania. Photo by Tiziana Blanco