The masonry works by Scalisi Palminteri from Palermo arrive in Balisicata

The Palermitan artist Igor Scalisi Palminteri arrives in Basilicata to create three pictorial interventions that recover the Lucanian religious tradition by combining it with the artistic innovation of muralism. These are three interventions that are part of the Synthesis project, created with the Integrated Plan of Culture 2022, financed by the Basilicata Region and implemented by the Porta Cœli Foundation, chaired by Aniello Ertico. The curatorship of the project is instead by Donato Faruolo.

The action involves the municipalities of the province of Potenza of San Chirico Raparo and Armento. The two municipalities have been included in a project for the recovery of the Italo-Greek matrix of monasticism, which also incorporates the figures of two saints, San Luca and San Vitale. In particular, San Vitale was the founder of the Abbey of Sant’Angelo al monte Raparo, an important national monument which is being reopened to the public in recent days, with a series of events following decades of restoration. Furthermore, both saints are buried in Armento.

The intervention carried out by Igor Scalisi Palminteri develops in three pictorial actions: the first, the Diptych of Friendship, has a specific vocation for muralism and was carried out on the side elevation of the Mother Church of Armento. The second sees the creation of two icons on two old doors that will be installed inside the municipal museum. Finally, the third pictorial action involves the creation of a municipal coat of arms on a wooden panel:

«I tried to give the triple intervention a stylistic coherence entirely inspired by Byzantine art – explains the artist, who already when he wore the tunic of a Capuchin friar created works attributable to this style – since in this town there is a of the Greek Orthodox tradition. The work is compelling but very delicate because I am confronted with a deeply rooted iconographic tradition. Despite this, I have tried to give a new image to the figures of the two saints and have tried to link history with the contemporary, combining tradition and innovation».

Precisely this combination of tradition and innovation guided Scalisi Palminteri’s artistic inspiration: «I came into contact with very welcoming people, the more I painted – he says referring to the Diptych of Friendship – the more I realized I had made a painting about friendship , the friendship that exists in a community. And this is precisely the meaning that binds the two saints and the two horses looking at each other: the atmosphere of these territories, which exudes cordiality and friendship. The two saints and the two horses exchanging friendly glances tell the affection of this community, the peace of these places».

Finally, a detail on the figures of the two saints represented in the painting: «San Vitale and San Luca, wandering monks, are two Sicilian saints, one from Castronovo, a town twinned with Armento, and one from Enna. It’s very nice as a Sicilian to have had the opportunity in Basilicata to tell these two lives to communities that, probably, are seeing an intervention of this type carried out for the first time. I am therefore happy to have given muralism a different perspective of interpretation, combining tradition with innovation».

«The intervention of Igor Scalisi Palminteri in Armento – say Donato Faruolo, curator of the project and Aniello Ertico, president of the Porta Cœli Foundation – is nourished by a specificity and a significance that we rarely see in the generalized recourse to the arts in the public dimension: the his work is considered and expected, surprising but not unnecessarily spectacular, and moves in the contemporary without complexes, but with an authenticity that does not necessarily pass through the fracture. A Sicilian artist who brings to the center of the shared imagination of (and by) a small community the civic, and not just religious, story of the two Sicilian saints Vitale and Luca, of Italian-Greek origin, buried here, in an operation, that of the Synthesis project, which tries to mend the threads of history on different scales».

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Category Palermo