Sunday, April 27, 2014

LANDSCAPE

Level upon level of wash and stone
Cab drivers yelling that each one, each one's alone
A forced-up smile when casting your eyes
Insanity reigns on streets of no size
High crumbling walls of stones that have seen
The rigors of war and have never been cleaned
A modern pay turnpike in midst of it all
While an old woman works in a garden with trowel
Trees are just blooming, I've come just in time
Purple spring flowers in rebirth pantomime
A miniature red castle in black craggy pass
Jig-saw puzzle houses the resultants of mass
The top of a mountain cut off by the mist
And a white serene temple in space does exist
The lemon trees, oranges, and cactus alike
The growth of a vineyard with grapes not yet ripe
A truck is forced off as big as a house
While dawdling along like a little green mouse
A long sweeping view expounds my belief
And clear restless water with an absence of reef
Evolutions and cycles we come face to face
While foliage drifts in green filmy lace
Now rough and then coarse soon velvet to touch
Octagonal mosaic on a church that is such
And columns of clouds go boiling across
The mountains that stop them and suffer no loss
Head reeling cliffs that fall down to sea
While people are sleeping they hang peacefully
But the trucks rolling blindly are waking them up
To talk quietly murmuring over the morning's first cup
Arches and steps are seen everywhere
Manmade and Godmade and one made of air
The essence of time is virtually gone
Day goes and night comes, I breathe up my lawn
Buona sera, buona sera is a faithful reply
From any stranger you pass who catches your eye
And pinpoints of brilliance, some moving, some still
Are caught in the glass of my window sill
The pinpoints I mentioned I don't speak of stars
But then, think again, it's funny they are
Stars made by man who himself is a star
If only he'd realize the powers that are
And all he's got to do is lay down and play dead
And now looky here Vesuvius looms overhead

Sunday, April 13, 2014

NEW VESUVIAN LANDSCAPES

"Suspended in time, bridled in circular forms, the landscapes images bear a paradoxical resemblance to the uncontaminated beauty of 19th Century paintings belonged to the Neapolitan School of Posillipo".
This series represents a chronicle of abused nature. We are at the foot of Vesuvius; a volcano dormant since 1944, a national park since 1995, and home to several archaeological UNESCO sites. This is a notorious volcano, not only for its unique landscape, but also for the human tragedies it has dispensed in the past.  For some time, Vesuvius has been the sole guardian of itself as well as the surrounding nature, which has been allowed to grow undisturbed. It is a site enjoyed for centuries by international tourists for its historical sites that are without comparison, and for the Grand Tour, popular among artists and the public. 

The result is a sprawling settlement, against all logic and rules: the security, the preservation of the environment and the identity of the place. Palazzos and villas, hotels and restaurants all lay their foundations on the shaky ground of Vesuvius. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

THE SALERNO IVORIES

During the second half of the twentieth century the field of medieval art-history was mainly dominated by the concept that Byzantium had been the leading production-center in the Mediterranean, offering "superior exempla", understood largely in terms of strong ties to the classical past.
A detailed, multifaceted, interdisciplinary analysis of the extraordinary eleventh-twelfth century, the 'Salerno ivories', the largest ivory ensemble preserved from the Middle Ages, (mostly Salerno, Museo Diocesano), still needs to be accomplished.
Combining Islamic, Byzantine, Egyptian, and Latin features, the ivories were outstanding within the most precious furnishings of the late-eleventh-century cathedral in Salerno, the mainland capital of the Norman kingdom of Southern Italy, which sheltered the body of the evangelist Matthew, and which sported Byzantine bronze doors, mosaics, magnificent 'opus sectile' floors and pulpits in line with those of royal Norman churches of Sicily.