Description by the artist
A pair of Moor’s heads, a typical representation in Sicilian art, wrapped in scarves. . I don’t know how and when my passion and the discovery of cuttlebone chiseling was born, a bit like Michelangelo said that: “The work of art is already inside the block of marble. The work consists only in removing the excess, to make it emerge. You don’t have to add anything, you just have to know how to remove.” I started with a simple nail file, now I use diamond tip files. My subjects are faces, fish and glimpses of Sicily, the cocci d’amuri (Sicilian for glimpses of love). They can be used to embellish environments of various kinds. The calcium carbonate of which they are made of, makes them fragile and light, so their processing is particularly delicate and meticulous. Exploiting the characteristic form lanceolata, I succeed in realizing forms and different subjects, spacing from the white of the stuccoes of the Serpotta, to the bright colors of our Sicily.
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The artwork in the Sicilian culture
The Moor’s Heads are a classic representation of artistic Sicily. The Moor’s bring us back to the Arab domination in Sicily (IX-XI century). The Muslim period lasted almost two centuries but it is the one that has left the biggest imprint, probably, in the rich history of Sicily. Not so much in the monuments (very few) but in the daily life, in the etymology of many words, in the dialect, in the uses and customs. Moor’s are typical figures which come into play very often in Sicilian culture as for example in the Opera the Puppets or in the legend of the Moor’s head. They tell of a legend in which a beautiful Sicilian fell in love with an Arab at the time that they reigned in Sicily (IX-XI century), being betrayed by the Moor, she beheaded him in his sleep and hung his head, as if it were a vase, on the balcony, also adorning it with a fragrant basil plant that aroused the admiration of unsuspecting bystanders. In a certain sense, the Arabs have never left Sicily.
Giacomo Serpotta was a talented Sicilian plasterer of the 17th century whose stupendous works can be admired in several churches and museums in Sicily.
(photo) Sicilian woman in a typicaldress, early XX century
Tuff and Sepia Bones
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