All posts in Conceptual Art


The secret heart of the empire

Le città invisibili, 2021

The fascination of a book lies not only in what it says openly but also in what it whispers.

Specific concepts that are only hinted at or deliberately withheld are like pauses in music:
have the same value as the notes.

In Italo Calvino’s ‘Invisible Cities’ there’s an empire made up of tangible things but also of things perceived, felt, and imagined.

That is to say, a complex organism comes to life in the white space that separates one word from another.

These elements present in the cities’ descriptions Marco Polo makes to the Kublai Khan constitute the reality that the Tartar emperor will never know directly.

The empire is too large and boundless, and Kublai is too old and tired to go and visit it.

Anyway, for a few days, through the foreigner’s words, the emperor will be able to reach the secret heart of his kingdom and hear it beat.

He’ll feel he owns it more than ever.


Semiotics should be every artist’s field of study: symbols and images are daily bread for artists.

Calvino knew this well.

For instance, the city is a potent symbol, and what Marco Polo describes to the Khan are living signs of the human spirit.

When Polo talks of feelings and emotions, he’s also talking about towers, walls, houses, shops and streets.


In the book, the various locations of the empire are grouped into different categories: cities ​​of memory, desire, signs, exchanges, dead, hidden, continuous, etc …

The categories are precise characteristics of those places, which can be found in every city’s aspect or minor detail.

All cities have female names.


So imagine, for a moment, that you have to describe the city where you were born or live.

To the description of the monuments or places of significant civic or artistic interest, you would add the life you see in the streets and squares, desires, expectations and fears of the men who live there and who animate it.

Cities are not built with concrete, brick, wood or marble.
Cities are the embodiment of human ideals, large and small.

Indeed, it’s no coincidence that Rome is universally known as the ‘ Urbe ‘, which means the city par excellence.

Precisely as the Bible is the book par excellence.

And moreover, as the saying goes, ‘ Rome was not built in a day ‘: it takes the conditions, patience and dedication to realise a great ideal.

And perhaps eternity will not be enough since we also know Rome as the ‘ Eternal City ‘.


At the end of Marco Polo’s account, Kublai Khan feels himself, for the first time, lord and master of his empire.
He visualises it within himself and loves it as if it were one of his sons.

In conclusion, the chaos generated the cosmos of which our world is a part.
Disorder symbolises sublime creativity.

Until next

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A million memories

Il Milione, 2021

Let’s play a game.

Close your eyes and imagine you perceiving a pungent smell of spices, of fish mixed with the scents of precious essences.
Imagine hearing the quiet lapping of the sea, living in the hypnotic city of Venice and being young.

Your name is Marco Polo.

You certainly know that you live in the centre of an incredible and magical world, but you feel annoyed, restless and unsatisfied.

You have millions of expectations and desires.

So, sooner or later, you will leave home, as far away as possible and no matter where.


Your journey towards unknown destinations fascinates you like the ‘song of the Sirens’, even when it could become dangerous and uncertain.

But, after all, you haven’t much to lose and much to gain.

Perhaps you’ll return home rich in goods and money, but in the end, your mind and heart will be full of incomparable visions and memories.

You’ll come back with a different light in your eyes.


And after thousands of kilometres through lands and sea, deserts and glaciers, of encounters with emperors, kings, tempting girls and murderous marauders, you will feel the unstoppable need to return to your country, to your world.

That world that we always carry with us, always inside us.

Even the ‘different one’, we bring it inside us.

Therefore you will discover that you have walked not a path in a straight line but on a circle.

So you realise that you are the traveller, the journey and the destination.


What the human story of the man Marco Polo and his fantastic memories show us it’s the supreme value of human curiosity.

The curiosity to know what is different from us to better know and understand ourselves.

And in that journey towards this knowledge, real or metaphorical, we will create a million priceless memories for ourselves and those who meet us.

This is the experience of true travelling for every human being.

Until next

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Write it on the walls and shout it out loud

Sotto le mura di Gerico, 2021

In the Bible, the stories about the massacres of peoples or the destruction of cities and prodigious events are innumerable.

In the Bible, never say never.
Everything is possible.

The story I want to tell you today is about walls that delimit, that separate, that defend, that relegate, that collapse.
This is the story of the city of Jericho and its destruction.

In my opinion, every single city represents a metaphor:
every man is a city with his own walls; every man is a microcosm connected to other infinite microcosms.

Men are not islands.


At least once in our life, each of us has felt helpless, without a way out, cornered.

The fate of the inhabitants of Jericho is sealed: they will leave the city but like corpses.

But there’s another possibility: they can resurrect.


What feeling do you get when everything has definitively collapsed, destroyed?

The fall of a wall can also be the end of a boundary, the end of a limit.

You choose which one.

Often the defences’ collapse can represent a victory rather than a defeat.

It marks the beginning of a new history, a radical renewal and the birth of new possibilities.


Human interiority is the essence of creativity itself in its most authentic expression.

The main feature of creativity is unpredictability.

It’s in the difficulties that our creative capacity is stimulated and measured.

Imagine that your world of certainties is as pulverised as Jericho’s walls.
Would you consider it the worst or the best day of your life?

Do you think you are like all the inhabitants of the city or do you want to play the game like the beautiful prostitute Raab
who was the only one to survive because she was a spy?

I’m sure you want to survive, right?


Perhaps not everyone knows the value that numbers hold in the Old Testament. The Jewish cabal scholars know it better than anyone else.

But even without being cabalists, the symbolic and magical use of numbers in these stories is evident.

I don’t want to bore you with complicated explanations, so I propose the easiest one:
7 days of siege + 7 priests + 7 trumpets = 777; that is the three times repetition of the seventh letter
of the Hebrew alphabet whose full name is ZAYIN AYIN NUN, which means food, but which also represents the battle
that we have to face to get it.

ZAYIN is an instrument of war.

In life, always be ready for battle.


The most spectacular part of this story of destruction is the method used to pulverise the walls.

It may sound bizarre, but it was enough to scream.

Do you know the number of cabarets in which the talented soprano, emitting an acute, shatters the crystal goblet?

Jericho was the same operation but on a large scale.

In the beginning, it was the creator sound, the Word, and similarly, a sound will be the destroyer.

I, therefore, suggest that you make good use of your voice, the most powerful weapon in the universe.

Until next

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Dreams are desires

Giuseppe interprete di sogni, 2021

The world is wonderful after a night spent in the company of a beautiful dream.

You would never want to wake up.

Something ethereal stays inside you or cloaks you with its shining.

On the contrary, dreaming appears like a complicated enigma when you have a nightmare.

You need to consult your trusted interpreter, and, you know, prophecy is an uncomfortable art.

An art that perhaps is more of a condemnation than a blessing.


The imagination is common to all.

We all use it, often without being aware of it, to forge our lives in every moment, every detail.

Staying tuned to the images that arise in us during sleep and interpreting them is an art handed down and jealously preserved through the centuries.

This is also the secret and the heart of every artistic creation.


So let’s imagine that there is a red thread linking Hamlet and Freud to each other.

In your opinion, which one of the two feared their dreams the most?

Dreams are an integral part of our lifestyle and everyday actions in the waking state, and they affect us much more than we think.

You also must know that dreams never lie.


Another underestimated aspect of our dream activity is dreams’ unerring ability to provide us with the right solution to any problem.

Always and unfailingly.

You just have to ask for it before falling asleep.

So get into the habit of describing the dream you had as soon as you wake up, even with a few words or phrases, and you will be surprised.

Learn your own symbolic alphabet, and, voila, the magic is done.

You will no longer need anything else to take your decisions for the rest of your life.

And you’ll be happy.


The dreaming state and the waking state are parallel realities.

Indeed, among the infinite existing realities, they are the closest to each other if we consider the ease we transit from one to the other.

When we die, the dream is the train that will take us smoothly and safely to the place we have chosen to have new experiences.

Dreams are more than just desires.

Have a good trip, guys.

Until next


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Like the rain in the desert

La manna, 2021

Biblical stories are often as surprising as fairy tales.

We all had the pleasure and privilege of being dragged into their magical reality during childhood.

The story of the manna that fell in the desert to feed the people of Israel fleeing Egypt is something that comforts, reminding us of abundance after famine and hunger.

The desert is no longer scary.

More value for everyone

Manna is almost synonymous with life, of well-being.

Its nature, however, is so ambiguous that it’s still not known precisely what it is.

Many believe that manna is a kind of resin or ‘honeydew’ of the Tamarisk tree,
and some intellectuals and artists think it’s a hallucinogenic mushroom instead.

But the issue doesn’t change: manna is a fantastic thing.

For me, manna is everything a person desires with all his soul.

It’s a precious diamond.

The kingdom of ‘It’s never enough’

In desperate situations, one thought always emerges clearly in our minds: ‘there is something wrong, something is missing …’.

We often end up ‘spreading’ this scarcity feeling over our entire existence.
There is never enough of everything.

We live in a society conditioned by many false needs, which create useless and unattainable

Why poison life like this, waiting for the manna to fall from heaven?

We all need something special

The things that genuinely make us happy have no market and rarely fall out of the sky.

The things that make us happy are those that are perfectly in tune with our nature.

Something that comforts us

The ‘manna’ is, therefore, everything that can give us a valid comfort in the difficulties of everyday life,
everything that ‘saves’ us from inner balance loss.

We are all tightrope walkers on a tightrope over the abyss …

Until next

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We always do the right thing at the right time

Surge – Wake up, 2017

I tell you honestly: none of us has ever made a mistake or done the wrong thing.

And there is more: chance does not exist.

In this regard, I would recommend you the brief but illuminating reading of C.G. Jung’s essay on ‘Synchronicity’.

Even dying on the cross is not a fact that happens by chance.

It is notable in the 9th scene of the ‘Via Crucis’ the clear awareness of Christ: he falls for the third time under the cross’ weight knowing his death will only be a very short-lived event.

He is sure of it.


The best system among the best strategies:

willing to resurrect is always inside us, and it’s not an exclusive prerogative of God’s son.

This is the realm of the infinite power system.



Three days is enough to revolutionise one life, but the action of resurrection seems a more complex issue.

So I advise you to take the time you need, follow your instinct, and try because it’s worth it.


We are pushed to accomplish extreme actions in difficult times: the century’s coup, a trip to Mars, and some miracles here and there.

That is, the impossible.

An old advertising campaign for a well-known sportswear brand said: impossible is nothing.

I definitely agree.

Now I suggest a new slogan, ‘The phoenix in power’.

Until next


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Veronica, the ‘True Icon’

Tange me manibus – Lay your hands on me, 2017

Those who deal with anthroponomy (the science that studies personal names) have a very effective tool to better understand the nature of the one who bears that given name.

Who among you knows the meaning of his own name? And do you recognise yourself in it?

The person and the name I want to tell you about is Veronica, the woman who dried Christ’s face with a cloth in the 6th station of the ‘Via Crucis’.

Veronica means ‘the true icon’, the true image.


Pretend for a moment being able to wipe the face of a death row inmate, suffering and in pain.

This face is a challenge; it is the perfect mirror where everyone can reflect on themselves.

A unique opportunity to look into each other’s eyes and have the most memorable meeting of our life; your face is my own.


Today, some of us would have photographed this same scene, making a selfie to brag about.

Veronica does not want to miss this unique opportunity.


The most striking thing in this scene is the contrast between the sweat, the dust and the blood and that clean cloth Veronica uses to perform her love gesture for Christ.

She wants to look at that face, and she is not afraid to make her way through that angry and howling crowd.


Veronica is courageous and goes beyond: she wants to establish contact to touch the object of her desire with her own hands.

Thus finally, she and Christ will be united forever. Every situation, even the most painful, always shows a positive aspect, if we are willing to consider events with an open mind and Solomonic impartiality.

Until next


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A Sweet Lullaby

Mater et filius – Mother and son, 2017

Those born always have a mother, an inevitable fact for those who live on Earth.

The mother is a certainty. Despite being a unique story with exceptional protagonists, this story is no exception.

Jesus of Nazareth and his mother Mary pulverised the most scandalising couple made up of Oedipus and Jocasta for notoriety even among the laity.

The mother/child relationship is the most complicated because it is eternal and inevitable, which often generates very stressful situations.


So imagine this scene (the 4th of the ‘Via Crucis’): a mother meets her son, who is about to be crucified, surrounded by an angry mob of Jews who mock and insult him. I believe Maria has always thought that her weird son was the most stubborn person in the entire universe.

A moody, rowdy and rebellious son is a real tragedy.


An even greater tragedy when you have done everything to warn him about the risks of certain behaviours and ambiguous acquaintances.

How many times does your mother have to tell you not to challenge the Sanhedrin and not to irritate the Romans?

It was all in vain; he doesn’t believe you.


But what can you expect differently when you, his mother, do not even know your child’s father?

A life full of extreme situations can only end badly and in tragedy.

Everything was predictable, but everything will not be in vain.


A mother is always adorable for her child, but Maria is more so.

Everyone loves it, and this situation is millennia-old; it is lost in the mists of time.

Many call her Mary, but we have always called her the Great Mother.


However, her son never deceived her; he never promised her anything he could not keep. He only wanted to do the best he could.

And Maria, amid the crowd’s cries on that dusty road, forgives him even for that last immense pain.

She will forever be an understanding and loving mother.

Until next


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Passion – Something to make your wrists tremble

Quod scripsi, scripsi – I wrote what I wrote, 2017

2017 was a challenging year for me. As it certainly has been for millions of people.

I had to deal with my creative passion and take yet another leap in the dark into a new, disturbing present.

Via Crucis – Passion of the Christ:the great kermesse of the son of man that represents the eternal experience of death and resurrection.

The perfect metaphor for that moment.


The ‘Via Crucis’ is a fundamental rite of Holy Week, consisting of 14 scenes.

Therefore it’s an ancient ‘performative’ art and, at the same time, an ‘ante litteram’ comic strip, or at least I mean it that way.

To create the 14 images of the project that I dedicated to it, I employed a technique for role-taking and complete identification: that of the ‘Spiritual Exercises’ created by Ignatius of Loyola.

This method aims to eliminate the distance between the person who practices spiritual meditation and its subject. If practised correctly, subject and object will overlap and merge inextricably.

A real madness.


In the second scene, Jesus takes up his Cross. He has no regrets; he is ready to walk that path of pain, and nothing will stop him.

He did what he did. And he would do it again, forever. He wants to leave a trace, an indelible mark.

And the end of the story won’t be goodbye.


Words have a ‘weight’ and a sound and graphic form. They are essential traces. Someone carries that words’ weight imprinted on his skin and flesh.

I represented it with signs written on paper. I wrote what I wrote, and I have not regretted doing it ( quod scripsi, scripsi ).


The sentence taken from Psalm 129 reminded me of one of the oldest texts of the Italian language, ‘The Veronese Riddle’ by an anonymous author dating back to the eighth or ninth century.

The parallel is evident: they both speak about plowed fields and furrows but of a different nature.

And in both cases, what matters most is the seed and the crop.


I consider Stanley Kubrick one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century. I could not resist the temptation to insert a quote, even if indirect, to one of his cinematographic masterpieces.

… ‘ All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy ‘…

Until next


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