“The sea has no roads, the sea has no explanations.” - Alessandro Baricco.
From a very young age, Francesco Procida spent much of his time in the workshop of his father, Giosuè, and his uncles, Vincenzo and Salvatore, which is where he discovered his passion for ceramics and learned its techniques. Following the death of his father, Francesco felt a great need, almost an obligation, to continue in this tradition.This craftsmanship had been synonymous with the creative flair of the Procida family for decades.
Inventor of a technique known as 'Vetroso', named after his birthplace, the town of Vietri-Sul-Mare on the Amalfi coast, Procida defined himself as a ceramicist, yet his singular technique, and choice of mostly figurative subjects, is closer to sculpture.
So, it was with the discovery of this work that the idea of mounting the exhibition 'Ma Che Bella' came to me, making a selection around the themes of Woman, the Mediterranean Sea, the Beach, Girls in Bikinis, the Sun and Italian Cinema of the 1970s.
In addition, the Gallery is also exhibiting two photographs by the Italian photographer, Massimo Vitali, renowned for his wide-angled shots of beaches. Vitali began his career as a photo-journalist in the 1960s, working with a number of agencies and magazines, becoming a film maker in the 1980s before returning once more to rediscover his artistry through photography.
In these panoramic views of Italian beaches, he depicts a somewhat self-satisfied and sanitised view of every day Italian life, an illusion tinged with a rigid conformity. He lives and works in Lucca, Italy, and in Berlin, Germany.
It is with these two major Italian artists that the Galerie Nicolas Hugo is pleased to present works by the young artist, Théo Haggai. Originally from the south of France, his series of drawings on photographs of beaches and pretty girls in bathing costumes bring a youthfulness and a breath of summer air to the exhibition, 'Ma Che Bella'. Haggai starts with the photograph before moving towards his recurring trademark caricature of a little man, a reflection of his moods and thoughts. This innovative series of work on photographs and magazine pages, which picks up the themes of Keith Haring's reinterpretation of subway posters, fits in perfectly with this exhibition, 'Ma Che Bella'. He lives and works in Aix-en-Provence.
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