Saturday, December 23, 2006
Friday, December 22, 2006
Thursday, December 21, 2006
He always felt sad for not being able to meet Santa Claus but it was a real miracle for him to find his presents under the tree in the morning!!!
It was always hot during Christmas, until he came to Europe and discovered snow: What a feeling!!!!
The first time Ciccio & Jacinto had Christmas together, Ciccio rented a house in the Valle d'Aosta, made a fire, and had a great dinner and good wine. Ciccio made sure that the present for Jacinto was hidden until midnight.... when it finally appeared under the tree...
It was that gesture that made Jacinto understand that Christmas is in any case a magic moment, if you share it with someone you care about, someone that remembers your history, and the best moments you had in childhood... Ciccio made him feel at home.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Today they are still buying gifts and will update us with more later tonight.
Sunday, December 17, 2006
They met with friends there, shared conversation, and enjoyed the local food.
Cicco adored the Bottarga, especially enjoying it the day it was served on raw artichokes, sliced finely, with a drop of lemon, and, of course, the delicate olive oil! The Bottarga is a typical Sardinian delicatessen, made from fish eggs, dried and compressed together – either to grate over your spaghetti, sprinkle with parsley, don’t forget the olive oil, or use the powdered version. For fish lovers only!
Driving on the roads, they came across herds of sheep, and sometimes goats as well, and once, even found a few cows grazing peacefully along the motorway!
Perhaps technology lags behind, perhaps the locals feel left behind, wish for larger streets and faster cars. Perhaps too many holiday villages puncture the landscape, abandoned during the winter months. Time has not stopped in this island, yet it takes on a different quality – simply because it exists, it’s there, to live with, in, and use.
With a promise to return soon, they send us this picture, taken in Nuoro, while visiting the exhibition at MAN (Museo d’Arte della Provincia di Nuoro) – a smoking fountain!
They wish us to inform everyone that tomorrow they’ll be in London, to see the Christmas lights in Regent street. Faxes, from there, should be easier to send as well!
Friday, December 15, 2006
In the mid 1980s before Ciccio and Jacinto became what we know them as today, glam rock and aerobics dominated the planet. In those happy years before grunge stole the show and when people actually cured depression by watching David Lee Roth strut his stuff in a myriad of outrageous costums, Ciccio would often waltz around the streets of derelict towns in many places with his walkman blasting Whitesnake, Alice Cooper, Van Halen, Poison, Motley Crew, and Def Leopard.
But in all actuality he didn't really care all that much for the groups themselves (well except for those outfits with the colored tights!). It was rather that moment when the lead guitarist would break through the clutter and transform himself from a silly kid from the American (or British or European) suburbs into the Paganini of his times: thus it isn't surprising that his all time favorite guitar player is Steve Vai.
In any case, one way, in the contemporary present, he is able to relive those happy days (when music was second to total bravura and tights) is to attend the variety of aerobics classes on offer throughout bella sicilia - he likes to mix up his selection of venue, never the same place more than 3 times a year....
...Currently Ciccio is trying to get Jacinto to write a book based on the the trials of the Italian American guitar player (chest and arm hair included) and how those working class Rocky Balboas of the music world brought -via their electric guitars- a little bit of the ostentatious Casanovean virtuosity of the 17th, 18th, and 19th century mediterranean Sun Violin Gods into post industrial city/pre suburban internet sprawl of late 20th century America and indeed the world.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
They chose to divorce... with a lot of pain and nostalgia but both still think it was the best choice for their happiness, there is only one life and one may choose to live it to the fullest...
Monday, December 11, 2006
It started with an abandoned warehouse but Jacinto thought that was too cliché and foresaw that within 6 years everyone would be using warehouses and throwing stuff in them and calling it art. Hey, it's in a warehouse man! It's art and contemporary too! So he decided to buy a villa instead. Actually it was a little shack but he pulled some 'strings' and turned the thing into a completely illegal massive kitsch villa on the side of a virgin mountain. (Virgin before Ciccio and Jacinto moved in). Now all one sees is glaring PINK otherwise known as VILLA MARIA or BIG PINK.
It was here where Jacinto and even Ciccio after getting tired of PC Barbie developed what can be considered the most cutting edge art collection of recent times. Names like Hoffenstein quite simply rang true in this environment. Space became like jelly and tomato paste. Easily moulded that is… like young American girls without a clue wondering the streets of Paris as Ciccio would later say. And other informal abstract matter painters like Smyth Browne. Where the wounds of existential angst hold out for longer and longer periods until what is left are quite simply...Paintings (Yes with a capital P!)
And that was the beginning of the art collection and the Villa Maria…
Sunday, December 10, 2006
IN any case Jacinto at a certain point had enough of the Barbie fetish and decided to 'get serious' and started a contemporary art collection. At first it was all politically correct because as we have already stated everything coming out of the 90s was politically correct and therefore not even worth bothering with, but Jacinto using his instincts was able to wade through the BS and make some killer finds. Finds that no one in the mainstream could dream of because there so mainstream they make the mainstream look mainstream.
Saturday, December 9, 2006
Sicilian Blood Orange Salad
3 to 4 blood oranges, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds
2 navel oranges, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
About 1/4 cup juice from the oranges
About 12 black Kalamata or Italian olives
Fruity extra-virgin olive oil
Half fill a medium-size bowl with ice, add the onion slices, cover with more ice, and fill bowl with cold water. Refrigerate about 30 minutes or up to a couple of hours.
Shortly before serving, fan the different colored oranges on a large plate. Drain the onions, pat dry, and tuck the onion rings here and there among the orange slices. Lightly dust the salad with salt and pepper.
Drizzle the salad with the orange juice, scatter the olives over it, and sprinkle with about 2 tablespoons olive oil. Taste for seasoning.
Across the Mediterranean in North Africa, the salad is seasoned as above, along with a little orange flower water, sugar, cinnamon, and hot paprika. Add these to taste, starting with very small quantities of about 1/4 teaspoon each and working up from there.
Friday, December 8, 2006
Felipe: Hey Paco you said you'd never say you told Alex about the gun under the kitchen sink!
Paco: Well, Felipe if you hadn't spilled that ice cream all over the couch last night I would have gone to the police instead.
Felipe: What !?
Paco: Look, all I want is some love and affection. A little P and H man..
Felipe: You mean a little TLC, tender lovin' care, you're such a moron. You should have kept your thing.
Paco: What do you mean my “thing.” I mean you know I'm a woman. A full fledged woman and that is why I went all the way and did it my way!
Felipe: Look, I like you because you still look like a man sweetie.
Paco: cries.... sob sob -
Felipe: Oh come here you sissy. Let's go get really tan!
Paco: Yeah, let's totally get tan. I want sexy tan lines Felipe.
Felipe: I totally LOVE your sexy tan lines Paco.
Paco: Me too!
Felipe: Me too...
Hundreds of ArtSEEN journals, accompanied by ArtSEEN PLUSES are (tomorrow) travelling to addresses in Italy, in the UK, in the USA, in China, in Iceland, in France, in Austria, in Mexico, and more! That’s a lot of envelopes that, thankfully, are self sealing, and a lot of stamps, that, thankfully, are self sticking!
You can always add your address to this list, see our official website!
For all of you enjoying the Immacolata Holiday, doing your Christmas shopping it the centre, enjoy!
Thursday, December 7, 2006
In the wake of his dear mother, Jacinto exercises the “art” of play-writing. He doesn’t have much success, although he tries to render scenes of everyday life more “vibrant.” He says: “Life is so often so banal, we need a bit of the shazam to make us laugh. Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles! Make the unthinkable come true!”
Jacinto has tried proposing his plays to a few of the eminent Latin American broadcasting houses, but without success, as he often treats a subject too close to heart to the Latin “manhood” mentality – "It’s too subversive," they say. "A brother who marries his sister by mistake, and divorces his mother by another mistake, discovering the priest is his long lost father who came back from the dead, we can cope with that. THIS, we can’t cope with.."
So, they said NO to “Pink Feather Boas,” to “Rio kNights” in two parts, to “Take it or leave me,” and many other of the Jacinto masterplans to make the world a better place to play in..
Wednesday, December 6, 2006
A Poem by Jacintos mother, Maria Jose...
Una nota en el silencio
He dejado sobre mi pasado las cènizas de un futuro cada vez màs cercano…
Temo que se dibujen en mi rostro las lineas de la tristeza y no los testigos de mis sonrisas,
temo los años que pesan sobre mi cadera,
temo la sombra que se encurva…
temo las palabras que empiezo a olvidar,
extraño el canto de mi madre
el silencio de mis cuarteles lejanos
y en este interminabile llanto,
la vida se me escurre entre los dedos,
un vestido que se desvancece y derrepente
mi fragilidad queda descubierta….
A note in silence
I’ve left in my past ashes of an ever impelling future…
I fret that lines of sadness Are drawn on my face
Instead of the witness to my smiles
I fear the years that pass my thighs
I fear the curving shadow
I fear the words I start to forget
I miss my mother's songs
The silence of the far away lands
And in this incessant lament
Life escapes me, slips through my fingers and suddenly
the costume disappears and my fragility remains nude..
On the 5th December 2006, ArtSEEN journal Winter ’07, issue 4, was delivered into our hands – fresh from the printers.
So, we celebrated (as if we need an excuse!)
Tuesday, December 5, 2006
Presenting Gabriel Maria Jose Sanchez Ignacio Federico Montoya - Gazza for short.
Sanchez Ignacio was an importer of Italian wines to Peru and that's how he knew Ciccio. One of the few Indian Peruvians that was in a high position, Peru was (at that time) still controlled by the 5% of whites that are incredibly wealthy – Ciccio dedicated a special recipe to him….
Monday, December 4, 2006
From first night in Paris where they had dinner at "Le Pavillon de la Grande Cascade," they both knew it was the first day of a life together, they didn't say anything to each other but they allowed it to be and happen.... that first night in Jacinto's rented apartmenent, before falling sleep, Ciccio said: We can buy a villa in Sicily or try to get a Châteaux in the south of France.... Jacinto answered, Sicily definitely Sicily.
After a few more romantic days, they left Paris with the promise of going back ever year to celebrate their first day of their life together.
It was while celebrating their ninth anniversary, staying at the Rue de Passy in Paris in 1998, that they visited the Passy Cemetery. Big fans of the silent movie star, Pearl White, they were carrying a bunch of pearl white lilies to place on her tomb. At the same time, Ciccio adored Jean-Pierre Wimille whom he admired as a Grand Prix driver, and also for his contribution to the French Resistance during WWII. To remember him, they were carrying a small model of the Bugatti T59, in which Wimille won his 1934 Grand Prix of Algeria.
On their way back from the Passy Cemetery, they stumbled on a small pet shop, with one little poodle pup on sale with a 50% discount. The shop was closing, as the owner was going into pension. Both of them loved the poodle at first sight, and decided to buy it, paying the full price – they will latter say they never regretted paying the 100% price for Gazza, that he was worth every penny, and they’d feel they would have let him down if they accepted to pay the discount.
Friday, December 1, 2006
Jacinto was an able young lad. He was reared on Zorro and sword fighting in the old Argentinean tradition. At the age of 9 he had mastered everything about European sword fighting from the heavy wielded swords of Arthurian Romance to the lighter 'just for show' swords used in the 19th century.
Bored, he turned his attention to literature. He first started out by reading classics like Dumas' 'The three musketeers'. He read the full unabridged version 'in French' in less than an hour and a half. His grandmother was duly impressed. (He grew up with his grandmother as his father and mother died tragically in a car accident when Jacinto was only 4).
But in later adolescence he began to look inward and discovered Marcel Proust's 'In Search of Lost Time'. It changed his life and although he has always maintained the look of a complete and total womanizer, he is actually just a real sweetie at heart.
He currently is writing a 'History of Lace in 17th century Madrid', while dividing his time with Ciccio on the Island of Malta, where he occasionally goes out, with Ciccio, on Sunday afternoons dressed in full 'knight of Malta regalia' with their pet poodle…
But Ciccio soon realized that 'life with mom' wasn't going to work out and ran away from home at the tender age of 17. All he had with him was a book on cooking (which he stole from his mother and which was actually full of ancient Sicilian delights that his great grandmother had asked a scribe to write down for her), a new suit, and his tooth brush - naturally he didn't need a comb, something that just made the poor boy cringe with embarrassment!
In any case he made his way in the world for a few years (we won't say exactly what he did, but life isn't easy sometimes) before finally becoming the dish washer boy at a 5 star restaurant in Rio. One night Ciccio went from dishwasher to chef due to the principle chef's full blown case of scurvy he picked up from a sailor boy. Ciccio took over with his Sicilian dishes and was an instant hit with the elite of Rio. It wasn't long though before he met Jacinto in Venice; he was supposed to go to Sicily –via Malta- but ended up frolicking happily amongst the colourful old buildings and quaint canals of Venice instead, and it was here that he fell in love with Jacinto and the dream of eternal love came true in Paris – after he followed Jacinto there – via Sicily this time…
Ciccio&Jacinto first met in 1989, at the Venice Biennale of Cinema, both of them attracted by the special exhibition of Jean Cocteau’s work, in the Italian pavilion of the Giardini. Jacinto had just divorced, and was travelling in Italy from Argentina, as that was his dream: to visit Italy and its amazing beauty and art (his father was of Italian origin.) Ciccio on the other hand, was advised by a friend of his to go, so having decided to travel to Malta, he made a last minute change of plans, and opted for Venice instead. Ciccio remembers Jacinto was sitting a few rows in front of him at a film presentation (Et la lumière fut by Otar Iosseliani), at the end of it they both smiled to each other. Coincidentally Ciccio&Jacinto ran into each other later that day at a party. While Ciccio was intensely thinking of the wine served there, Jacinto was asking to the waiter what wine it was, so Ciccio answered him "Duca Enrico Nero d'Avola, 1984- their first vintage.." (this obviously became one of those wines that they always have at home). That was how the conversation started and by the end of the night Ciccio&Jacinto were having an early breakfast at a little place near the old Ghetto. They exchanged phone numbers and left Venice, Ciccio went back to Sicily and Jacinto decided to go to Paris. After a month that Jacinto was in Paris, Ciccio called him to tell him he'd like to visit him…
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Anyway, all this to say that last night I received a fax from them: they love our blog! And they’ve offered to tell us their story, to share in the blog! They proposed to send me or Sandra a fax each morning from December 1st to December 25th, revealing to us their story bit by bit, in an Advent Calendar fashion! We’re all very, very excited about this and accepted the proposal with joy! A friend of theirs will e-mail us photos and images they wish to share as well!
So, starting from tomorrow, December 1st 2006, we will present the “Ciccio& Jacinto Advent Ball!”
We are very grateful to Ciccio&Jacinto for this “gift,” and we’re curious to see what happens!
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Here are our permanent collaborators:
We are waiting for a photo of Melissa
Melissa Morris – Mel is our English language Editorial Consultant. Her job is to check all our English texts, and especially our translations from Italian to English, and make sure they are in proper English (English English). She also analyses the texts, making great suggestions for clarifying ideas. Her understanding of the thought behind a funny-sounding sentence is precious to us and our artist-writers! Mel is form the USA, she too is an artist, a teacher, and leads bicycle tours in the summer, bringing all her passions together.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
From my e-mail this morning, in reply to my friend, David Degreef-Mounier
Monday, November 27, 2006
Andrew J Smaldone - 'AJ' - the Senior Editor
ArtSEEN journal is now a year old. It is also composed of many people who work together to make it happen: all of us are artists.
ArtSEEN journal aims in presenting artists words, thoughts, ideas about their own art, art they see, events in the world, and life in general. It is a first hand account of an artist’s process, something not many magazines do,
The artist is the pivotal point in the art world, and ArtSEEN is one way of bringing the focus back to this creative person!
We, the Editor Team, thought to open a blog, where we can share our process in making ArtSEEN happen, the “behind the SEEN” bit.. composed of many different moments, sometimes difficult, and many funny, and many joyous.
May I first introduce the Founders –Editor Team?
Goran Bezanov, MSc. PhD. Professor at the Southbank University of London.
My brother as well. He was born in Belgrade, when Jugoslavia was still Jugoslavia, without ex in front of it, and when the idea of Serbia and Montenegro would have been considered anti-patriotic. Our parents moved to Zambia, in Africa, many years ago, and Goran, of course, moved with them, then on to the UK, where he lives. What can be said about Goran is that he’s full of innovative ideas, ArtSEEN being one of them. Goran, thus, became the Publisher. In his free time he fixes his 928 Porsche.
Sandra Miranda P. (Miranda is the surname), and the P. stands for Pattin, Sandra's mothers surname. Sandra is from Colombia, and works in Florence, where she organizes the Florence Biennial. She's the one who's in charge of the managing part of ArtSEEN, thus, the Managing Editor. This involves a lot of contact with a lot of people, from bookshops to gallerists, artists, etc...and also the arduous task of finding finances we need to print our publication..
Andrew J Smaldone MA. Andrew, know as AJ behind the SEEN, is the Senior Editor. He’s originally from Tennessee, USA. AJ’s job is to contact our artists-writers for each new issue. He spends a lot of time emailing with them, and together with me, we collaborate closely with them to enhance the articles, and to bring out the best in each one of our collaborators. We won’t say what the J stands for, you’re welcome to guess.
Then there’s me, Gordana Bezanov MA. Behind the SEEN, I am G. I was born in Zambia, then moved to the UK following my older siblings traces, but “broke away” and moved to Italy back in 1993. My task is to see that this intricate human collaboration runs, and comes to fruition. I spend a lot of my time contacting people as well, assisting Sandra and AJ, contacting artists and galleries we may wish to work with in our future issues. It’s also my task to propose the Theme for the next ArtSEEN. I also stand for the graphic designer, not because I am one, but because I had no choice but to learn fast – so I am the one who does the lay-out of both the SEEN (the journal) and the PLUS (the supplement.) I have the enviable position of Editor.
Together, we’re the Editor Team.