The city of Gubbio preserves intact its splendid medieval appearance, with churches and stone palaces that stand out against the green of the Apennines. It is still the city of the time of Dante and of Oderisi da Gubbio, the miniaturist whom the great poet meets among the proud in Purgatory and to whom he dedicates important verses, which sanction the beginning of a modern age that manifests itself precisely with poetry of Dante and the art of Giotto.
The exhibition “Gubbio at the time of Giotto, art treasures in the land of Oderisi” – open until November 7, 2018 – wants to give back the image of a medium-sized city of political and cultural importance in the Italian panorama between the end of the thirteenth century and the first decades of the Three hundred, exposing the figurative heritage both civil and religious. For the occasion he restored paintings hidden by the dust of the centuries, returning to Gubbio works scattered throughout history, bringing together paintings of the same painters eugubini destined to other cities of Umbria, calling important loans from abroad.

Panel paintings, sculptures, goldsmiths and illuminated manuscripts outline, also with new attributions, the physiognomies of great artists like Guido di Oderisi, aka Maestro delle Croci Francescane, The Master of the Cross of Gubbio, the Expressionist Master of Santa Chiara or Palmerino di Guido , “Guiduccio Palmerucci”, Mello da Gubbio and the Maestro of Figline.
The father of Oderisi, Guido di Pietro from Gubbio, is today identified as one of the protagonists of the so-called “Greek Manner”, from Giunta Pisano to Cimabue. Palmerino was Giotto’s companion in Assisi in 1309, and with him he painted the walls of two chapels of San Francesco, then return to Gubbio and fresco the church of the Friars Minor and other buildings of the city.

“Guiduccio Palmerucci”, today a convention name, is still attributed to rapacious polyptychs. Mello da Gubbio wrote his name at the feet of a Madonna with a full and joyful face like the Madonnas of Ambrogio Lorenzetti in the city of Siena. The Master of Figline, who painted the stained glass windows for Saint Francis in Assisi, then the great Crucifix in the church of Santa Croce in Florence, is likely to have left an extraordinary polyptych in the church of San Francesco in Gubbio, which we can admire again this exhibition thanks to today’s owners who have granted the loan for the first time.

From the archival documents and the appearance of the Madonnas and Crucifixes hanging on the walls of the museums, it appears that the painters who joined Giunta Pisano originated in Gubbio, then worked alongside Giotto and finally Pietro Lorenzetti, to decorate the colorful images the masterpiece that opened the doors of modern art in the church erected above the tomb of the saint of Assisi.
Back home, those painters, who had been involved in the new language of Giotto and Pietro Lorenzetti for an audience of popes and cardinals, challenged with a refined style and popular in the illustrative aspect, to be understood by an audience of blacksmiths and stone masters. The language of lauda was then spoken at Gubbio together with the language of the Commedia.

The exhibition “Gubbio at the time of Giotto. Art treasures in the land of Oderisi “is set up in three different locations, because there are irremovable works, but also because there are places full of meaning and imbued with beauty: the Palazzo dei Consoli which rises above a fabulous terrace that makes it look like to those cities that the saints carry in the sky in the altar polyptychs, the Diocesan Museum that stands next to the cathedral church and finally the Palazzo Ducale, which was born as the seat of the City and ended up being the residence of Federico da Montefeltro, lord of Urbino.
Along this path you can trace the footprints of the men and women of that ancient time, to see from the same perspective and understand with the same taste a civic and religious art together.

Curated by Giordana Benazzi, Elvio Lunghi and Enrica Neri Lusanna, the exhibition is promoted by the Municipality of Gubbio, the Polo Museale dell’Umbria, the Superintendence of Archeology, Fine Arts and Landscape of Umbria, the Eugubian Church and the Umbria Region.

The organization is entrusted to Civita Exhibitions in collaboration with Gubbio Cultura and Multiservizi and La Medusa Cultural Association. The initiative’s partner is the Festival of the Middle Ages, with the support of the Cassa di Risparmio Foundation of Perugia and with the important contribution of the BCC Umbria.

An audio guide for the exhibition is available for hire at the Ducal Palace. The catalog is published by Fabrizio Fabbri Editore-Perugia. The exhibition is accessible with a single ticket that allows you to visit the three exhibition sections but also the three museum sites as a whole, the Palazzo dei Consoli, the Diocesan Museum and the Palazzo Ducale, thus creating an extraordinary city circuit that collects the works in the territory and those that have long been dispersed, reconstructing the historical events and the artistic heritage of Gubbio in the municipal age.



Sofiya Uryvayeva is a talented pianist. I was struck by her music and by her power to do magics with the piano. And she was fascinated by my Lacer/actions artworks (images from details of torn publicity posters, urban signs and cracks). This clip mixes Sofiya music and my works. From her YouTube channel I choose an extraordinary track that Sofiya recorded live in June 11, 2011: “Chopin Revolutionary Etude”.

As someone said, Sofiya “projects her true love and passion for music with such intensity that the listener is swept into another world. Her tones and melodies are alive and vibrant; they appear from nowhere and seem to have a beating heart.”

I selected ten images that recall me in some ways the Chopin’s powerful melody. The clip has a lenght of only 30 seconds. Sofiya music transports us as well as “to places never before experienced: a whirlwind journey of emotion and excitement.”

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Sofiya Uryvayeva was born in Siberia with music in her soul. She was just a little girl when a seasoned and learned man proclaimed, “This girl has something  very profound to say in music!” Since she was 13 years old, the young pianist has been actively concertizing throughout the world. At the age of eighteen Sofiya was awarded the President’s Scholarship of Ukraine a rare and distinguished honor in her home country. Subsequently she studied at the Odessa State Musical Academy and at the age of twenty was invited to Germany  for post-graduate study as recipient of a full scholarship from Landesstiftung Baden-Württemberg. While in Germany, she earned a Master’s  Degree and Doctorate Degree in Music                  Performance, and performed in many concerts, including solo and chamber music programs, receiving the highest accolades and the most rave reviews from both the German public and press. Modern German composer P.M. Braun stated that Sofiya was “one of the best in her generation”.

In 2009 Sofiya moved to the USA – she was approved for US residency as an “alien of extraordinary ability” – where she has continued her burgeoning performing career. Her most recently performance took place at the Steinway Piano Gallery  in Miami which was filmed and broadcast on television, in addition to live performances on the South Florida Radio, at the Boca Raton Steinway Piano Gallery and at the Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach. Her concerts have been described by critics as “A Festival for All the Senses, for the Soul and for Life;” “Magic Ride on the Witch’s Broom;” and “Brilliant Technique with Soul”.


A surprise public exhibition dedicated to my works… It will happen on Sunday, July 14, during an evening event with food excellences, good Irish music and a special performance with my “Lacer/actions” artworks. The venue is an ancient and fascinating place: a beautiful square in the historic heart of Ambivere, “The Countess Palace”, Bergamo country, not so far from Milan; this place is  documented and quoted in scripts dating back to year 923!

In this picturesque setting between ancient walls and medieval towers, three Historical Places will present some delicious menus: this is “GustAmbivere”. Master chefs and barmen will represent Antica Osteria dei Cameli (founded in 1856), Trattoria Visconti (founded in 1932) and Caffè del Fiola (founded in 1887). These Historical Places has been highlighted and  recognized in national and international publications, as Michelin Guide (Antica Osteria dei Cameli). A special selection of wines will be served by Azienda Agricola S.Egidio from  Fontanella-Sotto il Monte. 

I was invited to have a “solo show” focusing on some of my works from “Lacer/actions” Project about torn and decomposed publicity posters and urban tokens. I think these historic square and places, evoking the passage of times, are an ideal space to enhance the contrasting language of colors and shapes of my compositions. My art comes from the streets and now it goes back to the streets, along these ancient streets… This special event – which has a charity purpose for “Ponte di Stelle”Association – is promoted by Ambivere Council and the three Historical Places.


Some interesting and beautiful winning drawings created by Italian students of “Luini-Falcone Institute, a Secondary school in Rozzano, in the Greater Milan (Italy). The drawings participated to the 5th  edition of “Friend Water Contest” a social campaign promoted in Italy by Consorzio di Bonifica della Media Pianura Bergamasca through Okay! Monthly magazine.  



In 1983, the Mayor of Paris, Jacques Chirac, gave Pontus Hulten the task of creating a graduate school for research in contemporary art. Its antecendents were to be the Weimer Bauhaus School and Black Mountain College in the U.S., and it was meant to function as an alternative to Paris’s École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts. The Institut des hautes études en arts plastiques (Iheap) offers participants a course of study where they can free themselves from the inherited art history of the 20th century, by investigating crucial issues of art in the 21st Century, an ongoing history in which the participants will eventually take part.

IHEAP is the Education section of the Biennale de Paris. The programme presupposes an intellectual orientation to which it is desirable, but not indispensable, to adhere. The Institute is open to all those who have an interest in singular and extreme practices which currently and sporadically appear in the art world and elsewhere. Iheap is for those who want to change their artistic practice or professional activity, for those who after several years of art school want to break free of alienated learning, who expect more from a school than a framework for artistic production, for those who reject art as it is commonly practiced, and finally for those who wish to work on essential issues in intimate and experimental conditions.

Only twenty students a year are chosen to study at Iheap. The course of study is completed in two years (or sessions). The first year is composed of two ten-week cycles, three half-days each week, dedicated to a single theme. The second year is dedicated to the creation of an investigative text of thirty pages, without illustrations. Its purpose is to demonstrate the development of the participant’s research. The development of this document will be carefully followed by Iheap’s staff. Study at Iheap is equivalent to a post-graduate degree. The application fee is 65 euros. Tuition is 2000 euros for the first year, 500 euros for the second, payable in one or two installments. Financial assistance is available.

More informations:

Institut des hautes études en arts plastiques (Iheap), Biennale de Paris, Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild, 11 rue Berryer,  75008 Paris, Tél. : +33 (0)1 4534 3004, http://iheap.fr


 The most glamorous icon of the 20th Century died 50 years ago, August 5, 1962


A Las Vegas art collector and owner of the original, one-of-a-kind color separations used to produce the iconic “Golden Dreams” calendars from the famous 1949 Marilyn Monroe “Red Velvet” photo shoot, is offering them for sale. These color separations were originally created and owned by the John Baumgarth Company and were discovered as part of a corporate art collection in 2010. The collection is in pristine condition and archivally preserved and presented.

The most glamorous icon of the 20th Century was captured for all time in a moment of youthful, exuberant sensuality – an unforgettable image that, more than 60 years later, communicates freshness. To reproduce the refined features, supple texture and luxurious tones that were so totally Marilyn, print artisans painstakingly created and corrected the many layers of film needed for the full color printing process to make the original Chromalin color proof – a masterpiece of printer’s art.

The Kodachrome photograph and twenty-one large format color separations (16” x 33”) offered for sale were used by Baumgarth to create the iconic image of Marilyn Monroe – she died 50 years ago, August 5, 1962 – featured in the first “Golden Dreams” calendar produced in 1951, before the identity of the blonde bombshell posing for the photos was known (the model wasn’t identified as Marilyn until 1952), and which went on to sell over eight million copies worldwide, making Marilyn the best-selling calendar girl of all time.

The collection also includes the “Lure of Lace” and “Entrancing” images that featured Marilyn wearing negligees in order to comply with U.S. postal regulations banning the transport of nude images.

The Kodachrome photograph is framed and the color separations are mounted and protected in OP3 museum-quality acrylic frames so that they may be appreciated, when artfully suspended, from both sides. These are the original separations used to produce the large format calendars and the only known surviving examples, which are documented to have changed hands through a series of corporate acquisitions spanning several decades.

When Marilyn showed up to do the calendar shoot at Tom Kelley‘s studio on Friday, May 27, 1949, her need was dire and immediate; her contracts with 20th Century Fox and Columbia had not been renewed and she was out of work.  The photo shoot was commissioned by Baumgarth, who paid Kelley $500 for the publication rights.

It has been reported that Marilyn received $50, which was exactly what she needed to get back her car that had been impounded. Marilyn only agreed to do the shoot if Kelley’s wife Natalie was present.

Only two of the 24 images taken during the shoot, entitled by Baumgarth “A New Wrinkle” and “Golden Dreams,” survived and made it to print, with the others mysteriously stolen from Kelley’s studio. “A New Wrinkle” graced one Baumgarth calendar, but the picture that captured a nation’s imagination was “Golden Dreams.”

Neither the photographer nor the 22-year-old blonde actress and model could have realized what an historic moment they were creating. In her contract with Kelley, the starlet signed under the pseudonym Mona Monroe (right). When her movie studio, 20th Century-Fox, first learned that the nude pinup hanging in gas stations from coast to coast was none other than its rising star, it was something of a scandal. The press assailed her with questions. Was it true she had posed with “nothing on”?



The studio’s initial reaction was to deny everything.  Studios such as 20th Century-Fox had stringent moral clauses in their contracts that were designed to intimidate actors and actresses. No celebrity had ever posed nude and then had the pictures distributed to a startled nation. Biographers agree that Marilyn was instrumental in persuading the studio that their natural inclination to deny the whole thing was the wrong way to go. Instead, Marilyn used an upcoming interview with Aline Mosby, a reporter with United Press International, to break the story on March 13, 1952:

“A photograph of a beautiful nude blonde on a 1952 calendar is hanging in garages and barbershops all over the nation today.  Marilyn Monroe admitted today that the beauty is she. She posed, stretched out on rumpled red velvet for the artistic photo 3 years ago because “I was broke and needed the money. Oh, the calendar’s hanging in garages all over town,” said Marilyn.  “Why deny it? You can get one any place.  Besides, I’m not ashamed of it.  I’ve done nothing wrong.”

The story ended up being picked up by every wire service and circulated around the world. The reaction was swift and immediate national forgiveness. Not only that, but the sensation of the pictures, her interview and all of the related controversy made Marilyn an even bigger star.

In December 1953, an astute young publisher named Hugh Hefner bought the rights from Baumgarth to reproduce the “Golden Dreams” image as the first “Sweetheart of the Month,” in the now historic inaugural issue of Playboy magazine. The success of that first issue enabled Hefner to continue producing the magazine and ultimately build his Playboy Empire.

In addition to the Red Velvet Collection, many of the original paintings in the Messenger Art Collection are being offered for sale.

Visit the website www.messengerartcollection.com and click on Masterpieces for Sale. For contacts: ro.alb@alice.it

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe (Photo credit: sasha065)


On request, some other logos drawn by students… Brands and  trademarks surround us. They besiege us. They became part of our lives. We often identify a brand with our character and style. And it’s really funny what the Holy Family Institute’s students in Comonte di Seriate (Italy) did. They enjoyed to play with their names drawing internationally known brands graphs. Leaded by their Professor mrs. Falconi, students drew their names according  to some companies brand design (Disney, Lacoste, Nike, EstaThe)whose trademarks are around us. It was a compelling game which  became a  good exercise in observation too.


Ecco ancora alcuni nomi disegnati secondo la grafica di celebri logo internazionali… I marchi ci circondano. Ci assediano. Son entrati a far parte della nostra vita. Spesso, in un marchio ci riconosciamo, con il nostro carattere e con il nostro stile. Ed è simpatico quello che hanno fatto gli studenti dell’Istituto Sacra Famiglia di Comonte di Seriate (Bergamo) che si sono divertiti a rivestire i propri nomi con i tratti grafici di noti marchi di prodotti. Sotto la guida della docente prof.ssa Falconi, gli studenti hanno proposto i loghi di società multinazionali i cui, marchi, sono sotto gli occhi di tutti ( tra gli altri, Disney, Lacoste, Nike, EstaThe). Un irresistibile gioco che si è trasformato anche in un bell’esercizio di osservazione.