Intervista con l'artista: Mimmo Rotella
Amici lettori della signoradeifiltri, bentornati al nostro blog che, grazie alla cultura, vince lo stress da virus. Eccoci per una nuova intervista, solo un attimo che chiamo il mio amico Matteo Gentili, lo scrittore prestato all'automobilismo, il quale dovrebbe aver modificato il motorino d’avviamento della 500 sostituendolo con quello di un trattore, che a sua volta ha preso in prestito sostituendolo a quello del trattore di Antonio lo Frate che non se ne accorgerà perché con la fantasia è da una settimana che sta’ sognando la California.
Readers of signoradeifiltri, welcome back to our blog which, thanks to culture, overcomes the stress of viruses. Here we are for a new interview, just a moment, I call my friend Matteo Gentili, the writer lent to motoring, who should have modified the starter of the 500 by replacing it with that of a tractor, which in turn he took by replacing it with that of Antonio Lo Frate's tractor, who will not notice it because with fantasy he has been dreaming of California for a week.
- Hello Matteo, then can we be quiet tonight?
- Walter, calm as a fisherman from Lake Trasimeno, I'll bring you the 500 in ten minutes.
- Perfect, I'll wait for you with Majlinda in the square.
Majlinda Petraj, aka Mishel, will go out at night to meet a very important Italian artist.
- Majlinda are you worried?
- Well, I have made our story safe among the lines of thousand-year-old poems, so for millennia everyone will know how much I loved you.
- But then you love me!
- But no, I wasn't saying to you, it is the overture of my book Planet hear".
- I almost believed it, ah, here comes Matteo.
- Guys, you see I’m early? So where are you going?
- Yeah, Walter, where are we going?
- We are going to interview Mimmo Rotella but I promised him we would help him out.
- To do what?
- To tear the posters off the walls. Lately our artist is a little short of material., Now advertising is television, virtual, subliminal, telephone and digital, in short, the advertising channels have amplified, even the election posters, due to the crisis, have shrunk and, there are also many plastic billboards around. In short, for traditional paper posters there is no room anymore and so tonight we have to go around Rome in search of the torn poster.
- But I'm a writer!
- Majlind, the night is a source of inspiration and then, on board the 500, we have coffee, mini bar and super tech music.
- Then may I come too?
- Matteo, could you look out?
- Triple sandwich with porchetta?
- Yeah. Come on, let's start. Mimmo Rotella is waiting for us at the Trevi Fountain
Mimmo Rotella, (Catanzaro, 7 October 1918 - Milan, 8 January 2006)
If we think about the date of birth of this artist, it would seem a time so far away that we could ask how such a modern and revolutionary character could have been born in an era so close to the 1800s. The explanation is in the fact that Mimmo Rotella was naturally endowed with an intense intellectual liveliness and with a creative enthusiasm such as to overcome any preconceived scheme. Immediately after the war, after first studying and then teaching art in Catanzaro, he moved to Rome, where he joined the groups of young rampant artists, to bring art out of the ashes of the war drama. But it was during the 1950s and 1960s that Mimmo Rotella bravely left for Europe and the United States to expand his artistic experience. This impact with new exciting realities, as far away as a galaxy, will illuminate him on his being an artist. They will be intense years of meetings and contacts with the most propulsive artistic environment of the moment, and the eclectic Calabrian artist will space, with his talent and his art, between painting, decollage, photography, typographic technique, audio recordings and experimental poetry. Precisely for this reason Mimmo Rotella will not bask in enjoying success but will take a running, always ready to experiment with new techniques in search of a new language.
He puts aside brushes, canvases, tubes of colour, tools that are no longer enough for him and, in 1953, after returning to Rome he discovers, as electrocuted by the god of art, that world, his world, which will make him famous and protagonist of pop art. From that moment on, he worked closely with the artists of like him who, around the world, invented a new realism, a steady point of modern art for which Mimmo Rotella could be considered the Italian answer. In 1980 he settled in Milan and until 8 January 2006, the day of his death, he worked tirelessly and left a significant mark on the art world.
- Mimmo, we are happy to meet you, I brought the reinforcements with me.
- Me too, but four of us won't be a little tight inside this 500?
- But no, fantasy broadens horizons, let me introduce you to my friends, they are two writers: Majlinda Petraj and Matteo Gentili.
- Nice to meet you, did you bring gloves?
- We have everything: books to read, coffee, sandwiches, whiskey & soda, chocolate and cigarettes, indeed no, cigarettes not because they seriously harm health. Not art, Mimmo?
- You can swear to it but, I said ... did you wear gloves?
- Mimmo I have to be a back guard.
- And I will look out at Matteo.
- But I brought the uniforms from fake dustmen.
- Then Matteo and Majlinda look out, you and I dress up as scavengers and get the artistic material.
- Okay, let's get busy. Now that we are talking about these expired ex-election posters, I like to imagine you when, in the silence of the Roman night, you wandered alone on the streets to tear the posters from the walls, to give them new life. I can see you happy as a boy, with bundles of posters tied and held in your arm. I see you load the car driven by your creative enthusiasm, an impossible courage for ordinary mortals. I dare not think of the comments of the people of the nightlife of that time, "La dolce vita". Groups of people intoxicated with cheerful and excited frenzy, while meeting a man from behind who had his eyes full of fantasy, in the act of recovering precious material because it was still alive in the colours and original in the form. Of course you had to have an unprecedented resistance and strength of character in order not to hear the jokes and the boos of the people who perhaps mistaken you for an old fool.
- Walter, to be an artist you have to be a little crazy, or rather a reasonable madman, a madman who knows how to isolate himself and see the invisible who then materializes in art. At that moment you are on another dimension and everything around you does not exist. However, I didn't have time to worry about others, art for me was the factory of my dreams.
- Hey, guys, there are people coming. They look at us, what do we do?
- Let's be what we are, street artists. Majlinda, wouldn't you have a poem to act?
- Yes Mimmo, of course.
- Please, put a lot of emphasis on it! Like on a stage!
Majlinda puts on her glasses, messes a little, becomes serious, takes a breath and ...
The girl looks at Matteo with tender and dreamy eyes, she would like to kiss him, he approaches her, puts a chewed gum in her hat. A little snobbish, she slips away with the others into the darkness of the Roman night illuminated by suffused street lamps.
- Guys, what do we do then?
- Cappuccino and hot croissants?
- And the posters to tear?
- Enough for this night. Matteo, throw that chewed gum in the trash, load the posters and get in the car.
- Mimmo, where did all your energy come from?
- From hunger.
- From hunger? And why?
- If you want to fly you have to stay light, light without ballast in the head, without feeling swollen with your ego that distracts you and makes you lose love. Instead, you have to love your art, with love you have to work the matter with which you mix yourself, your soul becomes matter made of love, the same love that your two writer friends sing. Theirs is a delicate, passionate, intense, suffered love, a love that you desire, pursue and achieve only if you are hungry. Is it true that you poets too are hungry for love?
- Mimmo, we are always looking for it. If you knew how hard it was to find the right words.
- It's easy, just take a pen and write without being smart.
- That's all?
- Eh! ... Okay, I'm sure that you two, with those clean faces, are real poets, but, speaking of cunning, I understand that lately a rich drink at the bar has been paid with a can of shit.
- It was an artist's shit that of Piero (Manzoni).
-Ah so what are we going to pay with now? With the torn posters with these trou du cul faces printed on them?
- Mimmo they would be a bit bulky.
- And then what?
- Once with Picasso we g drank and ran off on a Vespa.
- Aren't you crazy?
- Majlinda and Matteo, do you have any of your books?
- I have Planet Heart.
-I The Tales of a Stranger.
-It would be a lot of stuff ... Ok, very well, I have a caricature of Mario er benzinaro. Let Mimmo Rotella sign an autograph. We go to the bar, we drink, we leave what we have and then we leave.
- Well, what if the bartender doesn't accept?
- We tell him to let Edouard Manet's pay the bill because he knows about the bar, he is one of us .
- Mimmo, the last question.
- You are welcome.
- If you hadn't been an artist, what would you have done?
- The farmer, because nobody wants to do it anymore and I would still be an original visionary. I would grow salad and tomatoes, grapes and apricots, every day I would be happy to live in contact with nature, our sister, friend, lover. Like a good farmer I would see the sun and the moon with attentive and spontaneous eyes, caress the earth and then paint the sky with my fingers. Nature among artists is the most authentic, the best.
- And the torn posters?
- That was a legacy of unbridled consumerism, it was the fall of the gods, the demystifyzation of vanity. As a farmer in the countryside I would not have needed it.
Readers of signoradeifiltri, we would like to take you with us for breakfast but it is night and maybe you are sleeping. I, Mimmo Rotella, Majlinda Petraj and Matteo Gentili greet you, and it will still be a pleasure to see you again at the next meeting with a new surprise artist.