After Mary’s report from Amsterdam, here is Pietro’s dispatch from the ICBIE in Ribeira.
Here are pictures that our Brazilian photographer Paranaguà took during the D’Artagnan Centenary Event in Salvador on Friday night. There were good wines, Brazilian beer and food and a giant chocolate cake made by our extraordinary Lu (Lucidalva).
The celebration was really joyful, with the presence of from forty to sixty people: 50% of whom were from universities (professors and students), our local ICBIE students that speak a bit of Italian and representatives of the Italian community in Salvador, some journalists and artists. Our special friend Mario Bortolotto was participating with pleasure as well.
At the opening I introduced D’Artagnan with a speech in Portuguese reminding everybody that if we are in the ICBIE Cultural institute today it is because D’Artagnan helped with the idea and 60% of the money for the foundation came from sales of his paintings. And the inspiration he gave to create a school of art, theater, languages, literature, cinema, sports, technology…. is because he was doing the same with a group of children in a baraccapoli (Italian favela) in Rome during the ‘60s and ‘70s: so ten years ago we choose a place in Salvador where there were no cultural centers - and still today there are areas without one, even while Brazil is growing economically.
Later I talked about D’Artagnan’s turbulent life, showing various photos of him with famous friends of his Dolce vita time and so I tried to explain his art and how I got to have his first show in New York and Brazil, while, in the meantime, I was helped by Kate, Mary and Toby with our gallery director Kerry Schuss and other groups of good friends in New York city. After that I explained the reason for the idea to celebrate his centenary in five cities in the world where D’Artagnan has paintings and friends; this of course, as a consequence of Italian institutions that didn’t accept to show
him in Rome or Venice, in the middle of the Italian economic crisis.
To end the event, we showed the RAI documentary by Alessandra Raspa and everybody covered me and the ICBIE staff with president Marcella, Marlene, Fabio, Rachel, Meg and Richard with congratulations, applause and many questions.