Street art that dialogues with ancient monuments. Aldo Giannotti's murals in Massa

Inaugurated in Massa the four murals by Aldo Giannotti. There is also one that establishes a bizarre dialogue with the Malaspina Castle, a symbol of the city.

What happened in this castle? That’s what Aldo Giannotti ’s mural unveiled Thursday in Massa’s historic center, and titled Things that happened in this castle, asks. “Somebody wrote here,” “kisses here and here,” “screams here,” “sex here,” “murder here,” and so on: a sort of historical summary of the events of the Malaspina Castle, the fortress that dominates the Tuscan city from the top of the hill overlooking it and that during the Renaissance was also the residence of the Cybo-Malaspina family, first marquises and then dukes of Massa.

It is one of the works Giannotti has created for Massa, all of which were unveiled to the public on Thursday: among others, the mural Mercato scoperto, which “reinterprets” the former covered market that houses it, and Massa centro, with stylized profiles of three areas of the city (the historic center, the industrial area and the Marina). This is, moreover, the first public work Giannotti has created for his hometown: in fact, the artist left Massa at a very early age to study first at the Academy of Fine Arts in Carrara, then in London and Munich, and then to pursue an international career (he has been living and working in Vienna since 2000).

The creation of Giannotti’s murals is part of a series of initiatives organized by the Gigi Guadagnucci Museum in Massa, which as of Sept. 1 has a new director, Cinzia Compalati, intent on making the institute a multidisciplinary pole, an inclusive actor, an observer of contemporary phenomena and talents, enhancing local artists capable of having international careers. These actions, in the museum’s intentions, should allow the institute to enter into a relationship with its community and thus activate a subsequent process of re-appropriation by citizens of the cultural spaces of Villa Rinchiostra.

It is therefore in this context that Giannotti’s four murals, inspired by the Massese territory, are placed, which are intended to trigger a short-circuit of meaning and lexicality that is meant to be of great impact. In his works, Giannotti reflects on the present by identifying different, unprecedented, never-imagined points of view. An interdisciplinary artist and voracious draughtsman, he captures and filters reality through notes on paper, frames that put together build a lucid yet shrewd analysis of the world and existence. His main interest lies in the interrelation of physical and symbolic space. At the core is the idea that there is an intimate connection between the way a space is organized and the tendency to behave in a particular way within it.

Giannotti is also among the latest winners of theItalian Council, and will return to Italy in January 2021 with a solo exhibition at MAMbo in Bologna: Lorenzo Balbi, director of the Bologna museum, was also in town for the presentation of Massa’s murals.

Pictured: Aldo Giannotti, Things that happened in this castle (2020). Ph. Pablo Chiereghin

Street art that dialogues with ancient monuments. Aldo Giannotti's murals in Massa
Street art that dialogues with ancient monuments. Aldo Giannotti's murals in Massa

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