On a recent trip to New Haven, watching so many Sicilian and Neapolitan families gather to celebrate birthdays at a local restaurant, I felt inspired to re-visit the work of Mario Trimarchi and started to re-write an earlier article on this great artist. You may recognize the photographs from before, but the writing takes on a new directions. “Products,” and by this Trimarchi means his jewelry and drawings, “mainly tell stories. They are not just shapes.” This brief article explores pieces of those stories—stories and aspects of storytelling that Flamenco also engages, embodies, and transmits.
For Mario Trimarchi, a visual artist and designer from Sicily, the Scirocco wind is a creative inspiration and a connection to memory. In a recent interview, he summarizes his poetic: “this is the representation of an idea. My goal […] was to represent in the most appropriate way, the wind. I was born in Sicily, an island in which wind is very strong.” A ring that he recently designed appears to take on the form of hopes and desires carried by the wind. It is called, “Viene Via Con Me” (“Come away with me”), to fly in the sky with me and enter the winds, to follow the poetic of the winds.
Trimarchi, stepping back from his media, could be looked at as the Sicilian ‘translation’ of Paco de Lucía’s album, Sirocco: they are working from a common core of these winds that move north and northeast from the Sahara and bless the Mediterranean with African sands, thoughts, and patterned seasons.
Reflecting on his Scirocco drawings series, Trimarchi notes that wind guided him deeper into drawing and themes of instability and uncertainty.
The connection between these wind-based forms and the uncontrolable movement implied in Trimarchi’s jewelry is immediately apparent:
Trimarchi’s writing on his process involves memory. He writes, “I continued with other borderline themes: drawing islands and observing them like little architectures of stone, or drawing clouds and listening to their silence.” Stone which turns into jewelry. Wind which is memory, which turns into an aesthetic. This reminds me of the capacity to feel presence in absence, absence in presence that was explored at length in the Saudades series. Borders, frontiers, crossroads: these are the spaces that Sirocco embodies. These are the spaces of translation, the spaces translators move across. It is also the space that the film Vengo (Tony Gatlif, 2000) occupies and that will be explored at length in an upcoming essay.
“Drawing clouds and listening to their silence,” translating that silence into new forms inform Trimarchi’s “La Stanza dello Scirocco” series which the artist describes as “A collection of arhythmical objects generated by the obsession of drawing the form of the wind. Asymmetrical products with big shadows construct a new paradigm for an unstable but optimistic way of living.” Like Flamenco, seen in the previous article, Trimarchi’s work arms us–with stories–for a period of world transition.
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