Renowned painter and sculptor Franco Cilia dies in Ragusa; several of his works are displayed in the city.

The world of culture has lost one of Sicily’s painters who has been addressing the theme of the fragmentation of the self since the 1960s: Franco Cilia has passed away at the age of 83. He was born in Ragusa and was a painter and sculptor. Many years ago, he tragically lost his son prematurely, which marked his life. He dedicated an exhibition at Donnafugata Castle to him, titled “Colors for my Gianluca”. He was one of the most renowned artistic figures not only in the Ibleo region but also nationally.

In the 1960s, he explored the relationship between man and his double, seeking what moves behind the visible and, at the same time, he became interested in sculpture, revealing the anthropomorphic mystery of the stones of the Iblean land as a deep and underground expression of the Sicilian soul. In the 1980s, he gained acclaim in Europe and around the world, from Madrid to Paris, Lisbon to Copenhagen, touching Istanbul, Sao Paulo, and Mexico City.

Since ’92, he has highlighted the chromatic and dynamic elements of social, cosmic and psychic becoming, and has written articles for various magazines and newspapers, addressing philosophical-existential themes, such as “Via San Vito 44” or the dialogue with Fortunato Pasqualino in “The Lost Earrings of Plato during the Philosopher’s Dance”.

Over the years, he produced increasingly different and innovative works, in stark contrast with a conception of art as decoration or mere experimentation, and wrote some drama works: Is it still Christmas?, Overseas, The Earrings of Plato.

Cilia also dedicated himself to acting, with his famous monologue taken from “Post-Mortem Portrait” at the Ennio Calabria workshop, and the “Trial of Cilia”.

Following the news of his death, many messages have been shared on social media, including one from the honorable Nello Dipasquale: “The passing of maestro Franco Cilia saddens me deeply. Unfortunately, for some time, his health had been deteriorating rapidly. I had the pleasure of seeing him last December at an event organized by the family. Since then, the deterioration… This is not just a loss for loved ones, but for the artistic community and the whole city. Not just an artist with a special cult for beauty, but also a man who often made himself available to his city during my term as mayor, contributing with his suggestions and works donated to Ragusa. His works include ‘The man without a face’ in Trivio Cucinello, the sculpture in the traffic island of Piazza Vann’Antò, the monument to the fallen workers in front of the Provincial Palace commissioned by Anmil. His was a constant presence of advice and closeness. His death will not be enough to make him forgotten, because he has left an indelible mark on the city, with grace, education, respect, and elegance. His artistic production can be found in the homes of Ragusans, in offices, on the city streets, and scattered around the world. This is why Franco Cilia is immortal. A hug to Franco and a hug to all his family.”

Ragusa, è morto il pittore e scultore Franco Cilia: diverse sue opere sono installate in città

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