April 16, 2016

Show Opening at Villa La Fonte

This week I launched Firenze: On the Edge of the Postcard, a show of 20 mostly small paintings in the main entrance of Villa La Fonte, European University Institute, Florence.

The evening of the opening was clement, wine and canapés were generously served up on the house, and the turnout was better than I could've imagined given how much of a small potato I am on the art scene in Florence.

I got the opportunity to speak to dozens of people whose questions about my art struck me as perceptive and genuine, the most I can ask for as an artist.

I wasn't expecting to sell much but that occurred, too, even before the official opening.

Shows don't materialize on their own and I have the good people at Villa La Fonte, the Robert Schuman Centre, and the EUI generally to thank for making this one happen. I also have my very own Max Weber Fellow, Aitana Guia, to thank for doing most of the liaising and promoting. Finally, shout-outs to everyone who came out and hung around. I'm grateful for you all. Grazie mille!

Like usual, I didn't get many shots at the opening itself, but I did go around the next day to take these of the beautiful Villa La Fonte, built in the 15th century and owned initially by Leonardo Bruni, humanist, historian, and chancellor of the Florentine Republic.

One diehard orange bush.

The Renaissance garden in the back with the wisteria in full bloom these days.

The loggia on the way in.

The villa from the back.

The Director of the Robert Schuman Centre, Brigid Laffan, introducing me.


April 7, 2016

Firenze: On the Edge of the Postcard

If you happen to be in Florence over the month of April, pop in to Villa La Fonte in San Domenico, half way up the hill to Fiesole, on the route of the 7 bus. I'm showing 20 paintings ranging in size from 20 cm x 20 cm to 126 cm x 92 cm, all depictions of Florence which aim to squeeze a mixture of poetry and truth out of the everyday environment.

Here's a brief statement:
All too often we glimpse Florence through the lens, with the selfie stick, from the windows of moving vehicles. We frame its sunny hills and famous art, cropping out the asynchronous bits, trying to capture the perfect postcard shot. If we're lucky, we sketch it.

This collection of contemporary paintings, instead, tries to apprehend a less common image of the Bella Città, including the area around the EUI: the lived-in streets, the popular residential housing, and the people. The work is the product of months of close looking and exploration just off the trodden path, though still through the relatively unacquainted eyes of a foreigner. It encourages a deep, decentred reading of place and draws attention, ultimately, to the centrality of land, who defines and can access it, and how it is stewarded—a morally vital question for our time. The work also focusses light on the city as the centre of culture and knowledge production and increasingly where most of us across the globe are opting to live.

Ivano Stocco is an Italian-Canadian visual artist and teacher whose artworks can be found in public and private collections throughout North America and Europe. He has lived in Florence with his children and spouse, a Max Weber Fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre, since September. For inquiries, please visit www.ivanostocco.com.

Firenze: On the Edge of the Postcard
Villa La Fonte
Via delle Fontanelle 18
San Domenico di Fiesole, Italy

Opening reception: Wednesday, April 13, 6:00 p.m.