Who I am
Born, by case, in Arezzo in 1935, I work in a quiet part of Ascoli Piceno, in a house overlooking the river Tronto, far from busy traffic. Words that describe my character are anticonformistic, often too impulsive, impatient and rigorous, pragmatic, rational and idealistic. I’m not a saint, but I think to be profoundly human with an ethical view of life believing in the sanctity of art and looking for the poetic and spiritual dimension also elsewhere. Darwin’s theory of evolution has always fascinated me, and for sure, not less after I had the good opportunity to ‘verify’ it on the Galapagos Islands. Who asks me when I started being interested in art, I answer: “while I was attending first class at primary school”. And I tell how it happened. When young, my passions were anthropology and prehistoric archeology, choreography and jazz. During my formation I privileged the knowledge of the historical avant-gardes and of the Bauhaus, red publications on contemporary art, artists and movements and exhibit catalogs more than books of history of ancient art. To operate in the art field, to experience through travelling the continents, to meet and relate with artists, art critics and other “experts” have all been useful for my personal upbuilding and Bruno Munari and Luca Maria Patella have been among the most significant persons for me in multidisciplinary sense. I have made mine the words of Walter Gropius. He said that if a student falls in love with the past, he ends up not having a distinct identity. And I have always kept in mind that memory is a limited tank to be filled carefully to avoid mental pollution and to maintain the interest for the new. I started as a journalist for the newspaper “Il Resto del Carlino” in 1966, publishing art exhibition reviews and articles of different kinds. After a short standstill, I started writing for several papers and magazines in a rather non-specific way, but useful to get a comprehension of the everyday living reality. My real debut in the art field was in 1967, when I, as a cultural worker, organized the VII Biennial of Art entitled Tendenze d’oggi (Trends today) in San Benedetto del Tronto, and I have continued to organize collective and solo exhibitions without speculative intent, since then. To read our time better, I have turned the clock backwards being imprudent enough to make adventurous travels in distant geographies not yet conquered by consumerism, to understand the way we were and where we are going (I have built up a vast archive of images). Both my wife and I have published reportages in the travel magazine “Avventure nel Mondo” (“Adventures in the World”) and other non-specialized journals to communicate, even visually, our real experiences and reflections. I was so eager to address concrete existential problems that I neglected art for fifteen years while dedicating myself mainly to applied ecology for the Province of Ascoli Piceno, where I not was a “funzionario del consenso”. But as a result of bureaucratic and political disputes around 1985, I gradually stepped down, and thanks to a car accident in the land of the Mayas and Aztecs that forced me to be immobile for some time, I found my way back to dealing with contemporary art again. From that moment and up to 2002 I published many monographs and articles on the pages of “Corriere Adriatico” Cultura Picena (Picena Culture), Cultura & Spettacoli (Culture & Entertainment), Cultura e Società (Culture & Society). Since 1993 I have been working diligently for “Juliet” art magazine interviewing artists (both Italian and foreign, known and emerging), personalities of the art system and other fields; made surveys on current and artistic situations on the territory; services of international exhibitions; articles about other exhibitions. The magazine’s editor gave me the freedom to follow an independent path, which I do hope will be a long lasting opportunity. I shall also take advantage of this site to make way for even more personal stories and investigations. From 1992 to 2002, the bi-annual art and poetry publication “Hortus”, presented my large written works on well-known artists. Occasionally my writings have also appeared in other periodicals and newspapers, catalogs and various publications and without any personal intention, I have been called to take part in commissions of public competitions several times. All in all I have interviewed 190 artists, 32 gallery runners, 90 critics and 105 people representing other fields, which makes a total of 406 people, Italians as well as foreigners (and some even more than once). Working for and with arts has given me the opportunity to establish relationships with creatives of a certain caliber, and not only visual ones: from Chagall to Magritte, Heckel, Sutherland; from Munari to Veronesi, Turcato, Vedova, Accardi, E. Castellani, Alviani, Isgrò, from Beuys to Merz, Kounellis, Kentridge, Kosuth, Pistoletto, Paolini, Mondino, Patella, Schifano, Viola, Ontani, Paladino, Pirri, Pericoli, from the “Nuova Scuola Romana” group to Steinbach, Brus, Dokoupil, Abramovic, Holzer; from Dorfles to Menna, Restany, Bonito Oliva, Fuchs, Politi, Calvesi, Settis, Hegyi, Weirmair, Hanru, Obrist, Vettese, Gioni, Scotini, Sacco, Alemani, Caliandro; from Schäffer to Gelmetti, Chiari; from Sargentini to G. Marconi, Mazzoli; from Mekas to Toscani, Leonardi; from Rodari to Fo, G. R. Manzoni; from Mendini to Cucinella; from P. Fabbri to Roncaglia to M. du Sautoy; from Fofi to Luttwak. At the same time I have always paid particular attention to the most promising artists of the upcoming generations. Since 1998 with my wife (granddauther of the musician and musicologist Giovanni Tebaldini) have also been dealing with music history for the Study and Research Centre “Giovanni Tebaldini” in Ascoli Piceno, implementing initiatives to promote his work and managing the web site www.tebaldini.it conceived as an online edition in progress. For this Centre I curated the books Per un Epicedio (D’Auria, 2001), Idealità convergenti. Giuseppe Verdi e Giovanni Tebaldini (D’Auria, 2001), Pagine inedite di un’identità musicale. Carteggio lauretano Tebaldini-Barbieri 1910-1926 (CARILO, 2006). From 1999 to 2015 I curated the Calendari d’Autore (looked upon as a home exhibition) for D’Auria Printing Group, involving major artists, and in 2009 I started a collaboration with “ALI” (magazine of art, literature and ideas ...), “Arte e Critica” as well as “Segno”. I wrote several articles for the periodicals of various culture “HAT” (1999-2015) and “Marche” (2002-2013). Occasionally I write also on “Flash Art”, “Arte e Critica” and the daily online newspaper “Artribune”. My intellectual activity goes hand in hand with manual work, even if the latter is limited due to lack of time, as I have created an organic kitchen garden where I grow vegetables and fruits of the season. Using my body day after, day and being in contact with Nature, save me from muscle atrophy, from urban pollution and supermarket products of doubtful quality.
[For further information click sections of this site and, for the most private aspects in “Travels in Art” / Unpublished Routes]