10 December 2018

Palermo, the art of Fabrizio Da Prato steals the scene from advertising

PALERMO. They appeared one morning in September all of a sudden and for fifteen days they have officially taken the place of advertising. These are the pictorial works of Fabrizio Da Prato, a Tuscan artist who has bought two large advertising spaces in Piazza Tarzanà in Palermo and has turned them into platforms for his art, creating a perfect balance between painting, street art, performance and site specific installation.

Made under the “Palermo Italian Capital of Culture” under the patronage of the City of Palermo and thanks to the contribution of Viero Paints and Oxo Collection – The Gallery, the artistic operation “Richiami-Palermo 2018” is the ideal continuation of installation that Da Prato realized last year in Pistoia, the “Capital of Italian Culture 2017”, within “Viero Per l’Arte”, a project promoted by Viero that wants to create a synergy between artists and company, providing products with pictorial works to create works of art.

The inspiration for the work of Palermo was, in particular, the gaze of Christ Pantocrator, symbol of Byzantine art in Sicily, declined in a pop way through a chromatic but also stylistic reinterpretation, with the inscription “eye” tattooed in Arabic and Chinese on skin.

We meet Fabrizio Da Prato to discover the backstory of the Palermo installation.

Fabrizio, what is the fil rouge that characterizes your artistic path and how the operation “Richiami” be grafted into it?

«I would say that the key word is “civilization”. I usually paint using both public and private spaces, using many pictorial techniques mixed with mechanical, electronic and digital processes. I am attracted by territories and their landscape nature, which I like to interact with. In this sense, Richiami is very coherent with my journey: it is a site-specific installation of pictorial works painted in the studio on paper and posted instead of advertising. A project that comes from my meeting with a city, which involves “temporary works”, realized through the bureaucratic use of social mechanisms “.

What are the aspects that most fascinate you with the artistic work “Richiami“?

“I am fascinated by the idea that every space is marketable, but not the work placed on it which can become a gift to the community. I am also interested in the effectiveness of the “message”, the context, the concrete contact with the user that is most of the time unconscious, the possibility that the work has to interact with humanity despite its ephemeral nature and, above all, the role played by time ».

Making a work like yours on a billboard is also a technical challenge. Viero sponsored the installation and provided you with the pictorial material for the realization of the works. How did you use the products?

‘The pictorial products supplied by Viero are usually used in the building sector. I enjoyed experimenting them by ferrying them into the art world, distorting in some ways the characteristics and techniques for which they were born and subjecting them to stress and performance for which they were not designed … Just think, for example, the folding of the cards, to the glue baths, to the repeated rubbing due to the posting techniques, to the direct exposure to external atmospheric agents, to the considerable expansions of the metal supports … I must say that I am very satisfied: I have obtained excellent results and original aesthetics. In particular, I was fascinated by the transparency and brightness of some materials like Era Metal that I used – and here, again, is the novelty – on paper and not on walls. ”

Lines of continuity and discontinuity between “Richiami Pistoia 2017” and “Richiami Palermo 2018”?

“Discontinuity is defined by the identity and the “flavor” of the city; from the Landscape, understood not only on a physical level but also “spiritual”, abstract, linked to the imaginary ‘.

How did you relate to Palermo to bring your works to life?
“All the work on Palermo was conducted through a digital journey: the web took me on the road, in the squares, between history and popular culture, all at hand, or rather,” clicks “. city ​​in his ways, seen videos, documentaries of many years ago, I listened to natives who told of their city, from food to stories, to legends, and then I observed the puppets, which testify the history of the various conquerors of the island and together with the legendary carts they represent a strong Sicilian aesthetic, all of which are obviously framed in the architecture that, as always, tells the story of the past and the present, the excellences and the abandonments that in Palermo are a strongly identifying scar. marked in a decisive way, however, was the stratification, very often integrated, of the different dominations of the past. In short, telling Palermo in two billboards meant condensing an innumerable quantity of things. This is why I chose to narrate everything through a symbolic image “.
In short, the whole of Palermo in one look.
“It is a review of Christ the omnipotent pantocrator, from which I have extrapolated the masterful drawing of the eyes.The eye is a distinctive and often significant face of different values. The eye in my work has a Byzantine design, but it evokes Arab qualities, often painted on the faces of the Sicilian puppets.The church, intended as an ancient place of communication, sees the Christ Pantocrator dominate from above with his gaze that penetrates the body and the soul of its user. the omnipotent gaze comes out of the sacred place and its eye looks stern and sweet, it becomes a warning and sentinel on the road colonized by the ruling word: street. This is where the omnipotent eye pauses for a brief but intense look on humanity. It deals with great works by “immense” artists, where ephemeral pictorial acts steal the scene from publicity “.