All posts for the day March 11th, 2013


Published March 11, 2013 by Tony

‘Paschal struscio’
A sort of stroll


All over the world, the Holy Week for Catholics is the period before Easter, from Palm Sunday to Holy Saturday.
In Italy, the Holy Week’s representations are numerous and often very charming, popular in almost every region, in which strictly religious elements mix with folk components.
In Naples, one of these is the “lo struscio“.
From Good Friday the Sacrifice of the Mass is no longer officiated, and therefore the Eucharist is not consecrated. In addition, the repose of the  Eucharist is a way to invite the faithful to worship, in the night between Thursday and Friday (that we called Holy Sepulchers time), the establishment of a so big mystery and meditating on the sufferings of the Passion of Christ.
It was customary to decorate every altar with buds. In the days of Lent (which lasts forty-four days, starting from Ash Wednesday), many people placed in small flowerpots or bowls, containing wet soil or cotton wool, seeds of wheat or pulses, and then placing them in the dark. After a few weeks, they germinated in the form of greenish-yellow long and thick filaments, and on Holy Thursday each person brought the vase in church. (The seed, place in the ground -sepulcher- is transformed into a new plant that will look something different in appearance from the seed, but it is essentially the same thing, and maturing generates new seeds allowing the renewal of the life cycle).

In the past, during ‘Holy Sepulchers days’ many believers went in mass in the different parishes, generally seven (like the days of the week) to pray and visit the churches (the number of visited churches had to be odd and never less than three or more than seven, otherwise it was ominous).
Keep in mind that in Naples there are a lot of churches, often not very far from each other. In the eighteenth century in Naples there were a hundred convents and monasteries and about 500 churches, so that Naples earned the nickname of “the city with 500 domes”. Naples still has a large number of churches and convents, a value that is around thousand units, which places it among the cities with the highest number of worship’s place in the world. If we consider only the historical churches, the number is very high, in fact, they even surpass the 200 units in the old town and 450 in the entire city center.

“Ce qui nous to the paru plus extraordinaire à Naples, c’est le nombre et de ses the magnificence églises; puis je vous sans exagérer say this hides surpasse the immagination”  – Maximilien Misson –

Although in many parts of Italy and in general “lo struscio” (rub) is strusciodefined the evening Sunday stroll in provincial towns, once in Naples it referred to the visit of the Sepulchers made during Holy Week, (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) in the churches. The name comes from the Neapolitan verb “strusci-are” (to rub) and stems from the fact that, in the past, so much was the persons who moved into the street for this occasion, that crowding led people to touch and “strusciate” (rubbing) each other, or it can also refer to the sound of their shoes “rubbing” on the pavement.
Over time, this custom has lost its religious significance and although many people still leave their homes for a walk on Friday or Saturday evening, the ‘Paschal struscio’ has become an opportunity to go shopping, to show off new clothes or meet friends and people.
Even today, for young people it is a good opportunity to get “panni nuovi” (new clothes) from parents. This custom originated in the postwar years, when people bought some new clothing only on special occasions such as Christmas and Easter.

Easter in Naples


Ron Mueck

Published March 11, 2013 by Tony


"Mask II" Self-portrait
“Mask II” Self-portrait

Ron Mueck (born 1958), an Australian sculptor who works in England, is one of the most important contemporary artists of hyperrealism.
Its huge and incredible sculptures, between the grotesque and the unsettling, have been for a long time on show to the ex-Millennium Dome in London and at Charles Saatchi gallery.
His career started as models and puppets creator for film and television (he worked for the movie “Labyrinth”). His company is established then to London to deal with photorealistic and animated objects to the advertising industry. This activity led him to assert that “the photograph virtually destroys the physical presence of the original object,” and that’s why his interest then turned to sculpture.
In 1996 Mueck devoted himself to the “fine arts” in collaboration with the mother-in-law, Paula Rego, to produce small figures as part of a tableau on display at the Hayward Gallery. The work entitled “Pinocchio“, amazed so much Rego who introduced him to Charles Saatchi, who, immediately impressed, started to commission him some works. In 1997 Mueck created “Dead Dad”, which bears his name in the limelight as a participant in the exhibition “Sensation” at the Royal Academy.

Dead Dad” was nothing but the scaling of his father’s body after his death. This is the only Mueck’s work in which he used his own hair.
Mueck’s works reproduce faithfully every minute detail of the real human body, and playing with scale reproduction transmit disconcerting sensations.

Dead Dad
Boy 1999” five meters high, has characterized the Millennium Dome, then exposed to the Venice Biennale.

'Boy' - ARoS Aarhus Kunst Museum, Århus, Jutland, Denmark (new)

In 2002, the sculpture, “Pregnant Woman” was acquired by the National Gallery in Australia, for $ 800,000 Australians.

Most of his sculpts show naked and dressed people, while some others, such as the woman “In Bed” of 2005, are covered by fabric.
To create his work, Ron Mueck uses resin, fiberglass and silicone. Hair are real (for the uninitiated, human hair can be purchased).

In Bed
In 2002 he held a solo exhibition (titled ‘Big Man’) at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington. Subsequently, other exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney and National Gallery in London.

'Big Man'

The works explore the contradictions between reality and artifice, creating a tension between reality and fantasy. Just a game between ambiguity, illusion and imitation. Veins, wrinkles, hair, complexion, skin, spots, no detail is overlooked in order to obtain a perfect resemblance to the “real life.”

A girl

Each work is the beginning of a story, a world introspective expressing an inner state.
Needless to say, his works, seen up close, produce a unique emotional and psychological impact!

Wild man two women

The artist at work


Antonio Castelló Avilleira

Published March 11, 2013 by Tony

Extreme Hyperrealism
Paintings that look like Photos

Antonio Castelló Avilleira

Antonio Castelló Avilleira‘s works are noted for their incredible perfection of form and apparent simplicity of his motives.  His provocative and extremist hyperrealist style exhibits a unique technical perfection. In 2012 his works were exhibited at the European Museum of Modern Art in Barcelona and at Galería Espacio Abierto in Madrid, while recently at the Winter Show Plus One Gallery in London.

Hyperrealism is a genre of painting and sculpture resembling a high-resolution photograph and is considered an advancement of Photorealism by the methods used to create the resulting paintings or sculptures. The term is primarily applied to an independent art movement and art style in the United States and Europe that has developed since the early 2000s.
Hyperrealist painters and sculptors make allowances for some mechanical means of transferring images to the canvas or mold, including preliminary drawings or grisaille underpaintings and molds. Photographic slide projections or multimedia projectors are used to project images onto canvases and rudimentary techniques such as gridding may also be used to ensure accuracy.

Sin título - Óleo sobre tabla

Enzo - Acrílico y óleo sobre tabla

Sin título - Óleo sobre lienzo

Grapes  - Óleo sobre lienzo

 Sin título - Óleo sobre lienzo

Neumático - Óleo sobre lienzo