Thursday, September 27, 2007

Italian Graffiti

Italian Graffiti

"Se vuoi avere una minima idea di quanto ti amo . . . conta
le stelle in cielo . . . ma non basterebbe
ti adoro"

"If you want to have a minimal idea of how much I love you . . .
count the stars in the sky . . . but it would not be enough
I adore you"

Italian graffiti on the outskirts of Firenze (Florence), Italy.

ti amo = you, I love.

La Bella Luna - Full Moon Over Florence, Italy

Oh how I love the moon! I know that I am a Leo, but always, I have felt a stronger
connexion to la luna. And tonight he is full and filled with beauty. But alas, there are many clouds and a wee bit of rain over Firenze, and I cannot see him tonight. Last night, I went to meet a friend in Piazza Signoria about le ora 20:00. The moon was rising perfectly behind the Basilico of Santa Croce. I only had a 'snap and shoot' digital camera with me, which can never capture the moon as the eye sees him.

And while I waited for my friend, I entered the Loggia near the Uffizi Museo/Galleria (where the sculptures are), and snapped more fotos of the full moon caught under an archway that connects the Uffizi to the Palazzo Vecchio. I was hoping of a repeat display tonight so that I may obtain better images on my digital SLR. Hmmmmmmm. I hope you enjoy this others from last night. Buona notte!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Buying Fruits and Vegetables in Italy - Florence

I would be remiss if I continued to forget the recent death of Luciano Pavarotti. Tomo is one of the better 'madonnari' here in Firenze, Italia.
After the famous singer's death, Tomo created in the street several pastel drawings of the admired Italian. People responded
very well and he was even interviewed and photographed for a Florentine newspaper. Smart marketing!

The other image is one that I took (obviously -- mi dispiace) in a small grocery store in Florence, Italy. Many businesses in Italy,
especially Florence, have come to recognise that they sell more if they can communicate in English. Some things get lost in
translation, but I find them a bit
charming anyhow. (Probably because I hope Italians might feel the same way when they hear my broken speech of their native tongue.)

This sign explains how fruits and vegetables are weighed and priced by the customer before arriving at the
checkout counter. In case you cannot read the words in the image, they are:

"Customers are prayed to use gloves and plastic bags for fruit and vegetables.

Use the scale in order to weigh and price the chosen goods. Than digit the corresponding key (number).

Thank you."

I enjoyed how the noun 'digit' became a verb. My first time in a grocery store here was a small education. But what you find is
if you will simply take extra time to watch how the locals do things, you can pick up the system fairly easily.

Till next time . . .

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Fresco Art in Massa

When in Pietrasanta the other day, my friends and I went to visit Hafiza's maestro, Samuele Manni. He is currently working in the sculpture studio of a very well-known sculptor Marcello Tommasi. We were allowed into his studio, but no photos and no speaking. Hafiza explained that the day before some visitors made rude comments about classical art and the sculptor was not amused. We were only permitted to enter because Hafiza reminded Samuele that we are artists who work in the classical tradition.

Anyway, later that day, Samuele took off work to drive us north to Massa (still south of Carrara, the famous town for marble quarrying). We went to see six panels of frescos that Samuele did, one of which is shown in part here. The church is "Parrocchia San Sebastiano" and is very new, in Italian terms. Samuele likes to use real people from current times in his compositions. His father Franco is the old beggar man on the right. I met him a couple of times during my last stay in Italia -- quite charming. Many of the others in the frescoe are members of this congregation.

Fresco is a medium that I find interesting, but I do not want to do. It is fast work on one hand because the artist is working with color in plaster, but of course, the scope of most frescoes usually means that the project takes quite a bit of time. Samuele told me that the actual fresco work took about one and a half months per panel, but the cartoons and design work ahead of time (including the 'bozzétti', or small drawing that gets the idea fleshed out and approved; a 'maquette' is the equivalent when referring to sculpture).

If you would like to learn more about frescos, here is a good place to start:

Thank you for reading!
ciao, ciao,