Opera of the Puppets

Opera of the Puppets

Whether its work or leisure time, coffee is break-time, a time for sharing, a choice.

I look at Eugenio Vanfiori’s work with attention and curiosity.

The young artist imagines a fun-fair where, month after month, we pass from one sideshow to another, throughout the coming year.

I can clearly see “life”, movement, storytelling, music (I can nearly hear it), in joyous confusion.

Maskers hiding faces, every day putting on shows which are never the same as the day before, everyone enjoying the magic of the fun-fair, the fun-fair of bygone days, now lost and replaced by mechanical monsters, where men and artists have abandoned the field to ever more sophisticated special effects.

But the world of merry-go-round operators, of circuses, jugglers, street artists, all come back to life in Vanfiori’s work.  He is an artist who grew up in that world, whose traditions and passions we can relive with him, and which today are compellingly revived in street artists’ performances in public squares, attracting passers-by.

The strokes are decisive, even erudite quoting Picasso, aimed at a child’s world, at the adult who looks for his child-self in the illusive moment illuminated by the fun-fair’s spotlights.

I can relive those moments as a little girl, when also my brother and I, coming back from the sea, begged my father to stop at Baby Park, one of the great historic venues in Messina, owned by the Vanfiori family.

The allusion to coffee is truly coherent in that lively place – it matches perfectly with the life we lead day after day.

The espresso coffee-maker and the coffee-cup are not forced into the narrative but are there naturally, as parts of a whole made up of both leisure time and work.  Whether it’s leisure time or work, coffee is break-time, a time for sharing, a choice.

The characters are timeless, in memories peopled by puppets, and the artist draws a sequel of places underlining our identities, roots and local traditions.

The pale, diluted, often ethereal colours run through all the drawings, joining them together in an unhurried journey which is not a fairy tale, but rather a dream.

Giovanna Famà

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