Another sculpture al fresco – more art is added to Pietrasanta’s Parco della Scultura – the “City of Art’s” open air sculpture park. This time it’s Maria Papa Rostkowski’s “Gaia” made out of “marmo arabescato” from 1980.

The unveiling reception is scheduled for this saturday, the 25th of October, 2014, at 4:30pm.

Maria Papa was one of the first foreign female artists to come to Pietrasanta. She arrived here in 1966, for a symposium organized by the Henraux company. She subsequently made Pietrasanta a regular atelier dividing her time between it and Paris. A painter by training – she studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in her native Warsaw – she worked in marble and bronze together with the local artisans in the marble laboratories and bronze foundries.

The sculpture is a donation of the artist’s son, Nicolas Rostkowski and will be placed in the Piazza D’Annunzio in Fiumetto, Pietrasanta. The Mayor, Domenico Lombardi who will preside over the unveiling, Saturday states: “We thank the Rostkowski family, especially Nicolas, for his commitment to promoting the artistic message of his mother, and for his care for our territory.” Nicolas Rostkowski will also present Saturday, along with his wife Agnieszka Tarasiuk, director of the “Xawery Dunikowski” Sculpture Museum, which recently hosted the largest retrospective dedicated to Maria papa, in Poland.

Visit Maria Papa’s website, for more information on the artist, and to see more of her work, linked here.

Visit the Parco Internazionale della Scultura’s page, to see a list – and photos – of all of the work exhibited in Pietrasanta’s open spaces, linked here.

Previously on Art is Life:

Discover Pietrasanta’s “Parco della Scultura” with a “visita guidata,” a guided tour, this Saturday, the 29th of September 

“Run, Pedal, Swim” for Pietrasanta’s first TriArtOn – a sporting encounter with art, this Sunday the 1st of September, 2013




Caterina Rapetti, an expert in the field will lead this year’s Reunion of the Accademia Aruntica in Carrara with her talk “I Marmi di Michelangelo.”

The talk takes place this Saturday, the 25th of October, 2014, at 4pm, in the Library in Piazza Gramsci, in Carrara.  

To see the full program of this Riunione di Studio, visit the Accademia Aruntica’s website, linked here.

Each year at the Riunione di Studio of the Accademia, a sculpture is presented… you can see a list the sculptures that have starred in reunions of years’ past, on the Accademia website, linked here.





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From “Manipulating Photography…Before Photoshop,” a review of an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in The Wall Street Journal, linked here.


“Fragili Bellezze S.O.S. Terra. Aria. Vita.Emergenze 2014,” is a group show by 26 artists at Palazzo Panichi in Pietrasanta, on the theme of our place within a fragile environment. The show features work by the ASART art association of Pietrasanta, and it is produced by the Assessorato alla Cultura of Pietrasanta.

The opening is tonight, Saturday, the 18th of October, 2014, at 6pm.

The show of works deals with nature, its transparency, surface, color and form – but also looks at the fragile nature of the social drama which surrounds us.

The artists showing are: Annaluce Aglietto, Mario Baroni, Enrico Becherelli, Gloria Bertolone, Marco Bianchi, Giuseppe Bonfigli, Marcela Magdalena Bracalenti, Luigi Valente Cancogni, Fortunata Carta, Daniele Emilio Cinquini, Ferdinando Coppola, Floriana Gerosa, Massimiliano Kormuller, Paola Magrini, Monica Michelotti, Sebastiano Migliarini, Marcello “MARK” Nesti, Annamaria Paggini, Maria Vittoria Papini, Fabrizio Petrillo, Michela Radogna, Cinzia Sarti, Gianfranco Stacchi, Adriana Tonelli, Vanessa Thyes, and Maria Rita Vita.

On Sunday, the 19th of October, 2014, the show takes the form of a public lecture on the Frailty of our Artistic patrimony, at the Chiostro di Sant’Agostino.

Domenico Lombardi, Pietrasanta’s Mayor will participate, as will restaurateur Emma Castè and Paolo Bartoncini Sabatini, art history professor from the University of Pisa.

“Fragili Bellezze S.O.S. Terra. Aria. Vita.Emergenze 2014.”
From the 18th of October to the 16th of November, 2014
Palazzo Panichi,
Piazza Duomo,
Hours: Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 5pm to 7pm.
FREE and open to the public.




mouvement-gothique-art-is-life-blog-october-2014We post another dark selection from A Closer Listen’s Best Music For Haunted Houses, (we posted Mike Patton’s awesome soundtrack for an imagined horror movie a few nights back) – this time it’s music – scratchy … blurred, unfinished creepy music filled with pops and cracks, and un-remembered melodies – it’s a strange album called “An Empty Bliss Beyond this World” by The Caretaker … whose name refers to a Caretaker of yore, one tasked with overseeing the Overlook Hotel, one winter, way back in 1980.

You can purchase the full album on the band’s bandcamp page, for 5 pounds, linked here.

(via A Closer Listen)


A glaring mis-attribution, by the Art is Life Forensic Art History Department was brought to our attention by a reader, (Thank you Alexandro) … we apologize for any discomfort this shoddy mislabeling may have caused: we’d like to state: as they repeat – like a mantra – in Italy “Ci scusiamo per il disagio.”

The lovely lady pictured above, holding a palm and a sword, is in fact Santa Catalina, and the painter is a young Murillo, showing his considerable chops, and not by the talented Italian contemporary Pietro Da Cortona, as we reported in a previous post. Needless to say we at Art is Life take attribution very seriously, and so heads rolled, or rather, the whole department was publicly whipped with a palm branch and skewered.

The painting of the young woman is a truly wonderful baroque masterwork – we read up on its history and it reads like a detective novel…  many copies were made, testifying to the importance of the painting and much controversy, accusations of theft and international intrigue surround the painting to this day.

We reprint the first part of Benito Navarrete Prieto’s (He is the Scientific Advisor of the Centro Velázquez) piece for the Focus-Abengoa Foundation, which won a claim of ownership to the painting.

Mr Navarrete Prieto’s an expert – and since our staff is … indisposed, we’ll let him at it… take it from the top, Benito:
(you can read the rest of the incredible story on the Focus-Abengoa Foundation, website, linked here.)

“Confused in different foreign collections and attributed to both Zurbarán and Alonso Cano, the Saint Catherine that Focus-Abengoa purchased recently has had a tempestuous history and has been the fodder for envy over the years, unquestionably because of the loveliness of the saint and its status as a “divine portrait” of exceeding elegance and beauty. Cited by Antonio Ponz in his Viaje de España in Seville’s Saint Catherine’s church, as well as by the Count of Aguila, Ceán Bermúdez also referred to it as a “very lovely half-length Saint Catherine shown along with the doorway of the chapel of the tabernacle” in the aforementioned church. In 1810 it was listed in the inventory of the Alcázar among the paintings confiscated by the invading government as by Murillo, in hall no. 11 and with place no. 286. “Another of 1 vara (about 82 cm) high and ¾ wide, St. Catherine”. This piece of information is crucial in relating it to the canvas purchased by the Foundation, as the measurements listed in the inventory dovetail with the 82.5 x 62 cm of our painting. When he published his monograph on Murillo, Diego Angulo included this information in his catalogue, although he did not relate them to any known work. However, even though he gave two entries for Saint Catherine and for the inventory at the Alcázar, he was unsure whether they were the same, as in fact they were. When writing in 1844 about Saint Catherine’s church in Seville, González de León spoke about the eminent paintings in this church, “which have recently been lost due to carelessness or avarice, a half-length of Saint Catherine by Murillo…”.

The definitive proof to confirm that this Saint Catherine is the one stolen by Soult comes from two sources. One of them is the letter recently published by Ignacio Cano from the parish priest of Saint Catherine’s church, José Ollos Limón, dated the 20th of January 1819, in which he bitterly complained to the San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts: “that last year, 1811, the French removed from my church on the orders of Marshal Soult an original painting of the effigy of Saint Catherine by Murillo worth a great deal of value and esteem. The French have taken the painting that the petitioner is reclaiming, which measures around one vara high and not as wide. The petitioner has asked the extraordinary ambassador in Paris, Mr Pedro Gómez Labrador and later the ordinary ambassador, the Honourable Mr Peñalada, for the painting….”


Previously on Art is Life:

Pietro da Cortona – neglected Italian Renaissance painter, along with other Baroque Masters on view in Lecce. Do yourselves a favor and watch the youtube video in full screen.


mouvement-gothique-art-is-life-blog-october-2014“Autumn (1973), composed by Tōru Takemitsu, and preformed by The Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. Tōru Takemitsu was a Japanese composer and writer on aesthetics and music theory. Largely self-taught, Takemitsu possessed consummate skill in the subtle manipulation of instrumental and orchestral timbre. Post courtesy of TheWelleszTheatre.
From DERTV on vimeo.



mouvement-gothique-art-is-life-blog-october-2014The art above is one of Tomi Ungerer’s concept sketches for Stanley Kubrick’s “Dr Strangelove” movie poster, from 1964.

Previously on Art is Life:

“Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” (Stanley Kubrick, 1964, Full Movie)

Drawing is Loving: ____________ “The World of Beasts” Tomi Ungerer, 2011

“Moon Man” (Tomi Ungerer, Stephan Schesch, Full animation)


mouvement-gothique-art-is-life-blog-october-2014To watch PBS’s “United States of Secrets, Part One,” click on the image above, or here, to go to the PBS page to see the full documentary.



mouvement-gothique-art-is-life-blog-october-2014To buy a copy of these documentaries on DVD, visit


mouvement-gothique-art-is-life-blog-october-2014Wikipedia states: The Ace of Hearts is a 1921 film produced and directed by Wallace Worsley. The screenplay by Ruth Wightman is based on the pulp novel The Purple Mask by Gouverneur Morris. It stars Leatrice Joy, John Bowers and Lon Chaney…. The film is divided into eight chapters. A secret vigilante society’s nine members pass judgment on others. They meet to decide the fate of a wealthy businessman they have been keeping under surveillance known as “The Man Who Has Lived Too Long” and vote to dispatch him with a homemade bomb concealed in a cigar case. Members Forrest (John Bowers) and Farallone (Lon Chaney) are both in love with the sole woman in the group, Lilith (Leatrice Joy). Forrest openly declares his love, but is spurned by Lilith, who is completely devoted to the “Cause”.

At a meeting later that day, as per their custom, Lilith deals playing cards, one at a time, to each of the society members; whoever receives the ace of hearts is to carry out the assassination. When Forrest is dealt the ace, Lilith offers to marry him that very day if it will give him courage. Forrest readily accepts, much to Farallone’s distress. After the couple marries, the grief-stricken Farallone spends the night in the rain outside their apartment.

The next morning, Lilith has been transformed by her love. She begs Forrest not to go through with the assassination. He replies that he is honor-bound to carry out his mission. He goes to the café where his target habitually dines and where Forrest works as a waiter.”

Read the rest linked here.



Pietrasanta, the “Città d’Arte” celebrates Cinema… “SpazioCinema” is a regular series of films at the Cinema Comunale in Pietrasanta, which seamlessly fits into the regular programming of the movie house. The “festival” starts this Wednesday, the 15th of October, with a screening of Truffaut’s “The 400 Blows” – a restored print in the original French, with Italian subtitles.

The second appointment, scheduled for Wednesday, the 22nd of October, features “Jimi – All is By My Side” by John Ridley (Oscar-winner, for “12 years a slave”).

The third and fourth evenings are devoted to Italian Cinema, starting on Wednesday, the 29th of October, with “Se chiudo gli occhi non sono più qui” by Vittorio Moroni, and on Wednesday, the 5th of November, with “Le cose belle” by Giovanni Piperno. The filmmakers will be present for the last two screenings.

Only one screening per evening at 9pm, the ticket price is 5 euros and a half.

We direct you to the SpazioCinema program, linked here.


The subsequent episodes of Robert Hughes’ landmark television series are linked at film’s end.

Previously on Art is Life:

 “Goya, Crazy like a Genius” (Robert Hughes, 2007, Full Documentary)

“The Mona Lisa Curse” (2008, Robert Hughes, Full Movie)

“Caravaggio” (Robert Hughes, 1975, Full Documentary)

Robert Hughes: on the Business of Art… and on Hype … “isn’t it a miracle how much money and so little ability can produce?”

Robert Hughes, “the greatest art critic of our time” … on Pop Art and Andy Warhol


From Nick Barber’s Flickr stream, linked here.








“Like The Svrgeon, The ‘Composer’ Slashes Open The Body Of His Fellow Man Removes His Eyes, Empties His Abdomen Of Organs, Hangs Him Vp On A Hook Holding Vp To The Light All Of The Body’s Palpitating Treasvres Sending A Bvrst Of Light Into Its’ Innermost Depths”

mouvement-gothique-art-is-life-blog-october-2014This is the soundtrack for a horror movie that does not exist. It’s a single 74-minute track by wildman Mike Patton’s Fantômas. Read more about the album, on the Wikipedia article, linked here, and buy the album at Discogs, linked here.

From A Closer Listen’s: “Best Music for Haunted Houses,” a compendium of dark tunes for the Harvest Festival, linked here.

Previously on Art is Life:

Press Play: Mike Patton croons “Il Cielo in una Stanza” 


Previously on Art is Life:

“Moon Man” (Tomi Ungerer, Stephan Schesch, Full animation)


This is an internets “remix” of John Boorman’s epic “Zardoz” - a great movie that’s been both LOVED, … and ridiculed (…yes, I’m talkin’ bout you Kennybob!)

Difficult to find online, difficult to rent… the world’s “silliest” movie deserves a once-over.







You can purchase the band’s album for $5 or more here.

(via A Closer Listen)


The marble quarry workers are fed up: they are going to stand against Matteo Renzi’s reforms. Two two-hour strikes are expected in the next few days and workers from some of the largest quarries (Henreaux, and Savema, and Campolonghi) will participate.

The workers are especially concerned about the reforms to “Articolo 18″ – which pretty much “liberalizes” the job market, … by removing all worker employment-protections and making it easier for anyone to be fired from their job.

“It is an act that does not have a precedent in the democratic history of this country” stated Claudio Vezzoni, a local union representative, “… modifying Article 18 without even a discussion in Parliament.”

The photo above is of the Fantiscritti quarries by Klaus with a K, from Wikipedia.







Instagramer’s Academy
“Instagram: Comunicare e fare business con le immagini”
Pisa Internet Festival, 2014
CNR Auditorium
Via Moruzzi, 1,

Visit the Festival website, linked here, for more info.


Click on the photo above to be re-directed to the EVENTS, webpage.

Visit the Pisa Internet Festival, 2014, official site, for details, linked here.



Visit GeekBlogTv’s Youtube channel, linked here.

Pastebin Onion Links!!






20 still lives in a startling black and white make up Nicola Gnesi’s very personal “Carnage” exhibition at LABottega in Marina di Pietrasanta. The exhibition, curated by Serena Del Soldato, as part of “Autumn Issue, 2014″, is a distillation of what the photographer took with him from his walks through Chinatown in Ney York City. It’s an ode to the brutal violence that unfolded daily: live meat, that in a second becomes dead. Wings, feet, heads and bones – everything for Gnesi became something else, filled with a new beauty.

Gnesi states: “Between the visceral and the sensual is a contrast that purifies and exorcises life. In the flesh we find broken fragments and at last, from the darkness a form emerges, made up of a carnage of suggestions.”

The opening reception of “Carnage” is the 11th of October, 2014, at 9pm.

Visit Nicola Gnesi’s website, linked here.






“Autumn Issue”
Nicola Gnesi “Carnage”
From the 11th of October to the 2nd of November, 2014.
Viale Apua 188
Marina di Pietrasanta

Visit the LaBottega’s website, for more info, linked here.




You can buy the album for 7 pounds, here.

Previously on Art is Life:

Press Play: “We Must Speak” by Fold

Press Play: “Salvation: A collection of poems by Mr Gee” By Fold



Nick Kollerstrom, author of ‘Terror on the Tube, Behind the Veil of 7/7′, hands himself in to Scotland Yard, after David Cameron’s speech to the UN regarding 9/11 and 7/7 “truthers” being as dangerous as ISIS.
Take the ‘Hand Yourself In’ Challenge on Facebook


David_Cameron_official-extremistOn the eve of Britain’s joining the air strikes in Syria, David Cameron, British PM, gave a speech to the UN, stating that ISIL extremists are … well, extreme, and urged the assembled to join him: “we must defeat this strategy in all its forms,” which included the following: “dealing with … non-violent extremists” …  “conspiracists,” 9/11 “truthers” and anyone that might doubt the official story of the 7/7 London bombings.

It’s quite an … unbelievable speech – look at the faces of those present, in the video above, for shock and disbelief -yet Cameron is no stranger to extreme ideas: he has also discussed setting up automatic opt-in controls which would censor “porn,” and also “violent material” and also terrorist-related content… and also somehow “anorexia and eating disorder websites,” “suicide related websites” – these measures would include censoring web forums and sites discussing “esoteric material.” Pretty strong stuff, no? We direct you to a Huffington Post article on the details of that, linked here.

We take the opportunity to post Cameron’s speech, and also – since Cameron’s speech makes them “news-related” – to post several documents which take on the official 9/11 narrative, … while we can… whatever happened on 9/11 – the impetus for the endless war on “Terror” – is confused at best, and we believe deserves at least to be discussed.

The comparisons to previous attempts to ban “non-violent extremists” and anyone spouting “esoteric materials” seem lost on Cameron.

He will, though, apologize in person to the Queen tonight, for his awful indiscretion; he was taped saying that – in a private conversation – the Queen “purred” over the recent Scottish referendum results.

We welcome your thoughts on the issue, “esoteric” or not.

The photo above is from Wikipedia – forgive the … extreme color-correction, our unpaid photoshop trolls… er interns, are bored – they insist the whole thing is an art parody, and we’ve checked: “parody” does not appear to fall under “extremism” … yet.



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