Monday, May 19, 2014

Julio Larraz in Catania

When new inspiration arrives in Catania it is a celebration!
a living artist
painter
sometimes sculpture
Cuban by birth
American by residence
Italian by acclaim
huge canvases come to life with his colorful language: 
magical realism 
subtle details 
unexpected whimsy
and perspectives
seascapes-people-power-mythology-oceans and seas-soaring like a  bird-diving like a fish
 We visited the galleries on a family day with a special tour geared for children: simple explanations and observations of the artist's subject matter, style and techniques. It was followed by a hands on creative lab to explore the much loved subjects of Larraz (that are also near and dear to Catanese):
mythology and the sea.
 While no photos of his original artworks were allowed inside the galleries,
outside, in the museum's courtyard (where I could snap away), 
we met this surprising equestrian sculpture.
A headless horseman! 
And as I looked closer my memory was jarred to the much beloved story
Around the base of the statue are wordless panels that tell, scene by scene,
how this headless horseman came to be. 
The children were enthralled! 
I was exalted by the retelling of this nostalgic tale, unknown to my Italian friends, 
and the ingenious delivery of the story by Julio Larraz. 
 A fictional tale of the American Revolution and a stray cannonball...
 that kills and decapitates a Hessian rider...
whose headless body arises each night from his grave as a ghoulish galloping ghost
in search of his lost head. 

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