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December 8, 2023 - January 5, 2024


My way or nothing at all. Armando Bozzola. 

Curated by Luca Berta and Francesca Giubilei

December 8, 2023 - January 5, 2024

Open Monday to Friday, 10am - 6pm

Free admittance

Vernissage: December 8 at 6pm

SPARC* - Spazio Arte Contemporanea

Campo Santo Stefano, San Marco 2828A

30124 Venice

This, by Armando Bozzola, is not an exhibition. It is a staging, a performance, a show. And the show coincides with Armando's life, it tells the truth about his being, which is always a showing.

An eighty-five year old self-taught painter, he comes from a difficult social background, began working at the age of eleven, but developed a visceral passion for beauty, colour, nature, and his city, Venice. And then for music, in particular for Frank Sinatra, with whom he feels a consonance on the threshold of identification.

In the 1980s and 1990s, he participated in the exhibition season of the San Vidal Art Centre, run by the UCAI, Unione Italiana Artisti Cattolici (Italian Union of Catholic Artists), earning the esteem of critic Paolo Rizzi. Bozzola had the opportunity to exhibit side by side with already established artists, often gaining their appreciation, sometimes arousing minor dislikes due to his exuberance, Hollywood actor look and a phase of surprising commercial success. Miro Romagna testifies to him his admiration on several occasions. Edmondo Bacci tells him that 'i so cocai dovaria svolar in tuto el mondo' ('Your seagulls should fly all over the world'). At the same time, he devoted himself to a practice that has been little investigated in its relationship to the art system and the city's economy, namely street painting.

The thank-you letters Bozzola received from many countries around the world attest to how his works authentically fulfilled the desire for beauty of those who bought them, taking home a fragment in painting of the magic they experienced in Venice.

Among many letters from ordinary people, one stands out, signed by his idol, Frank Sinatra. Alerted by a gondolier, Bozzola waits late in the evening in the lobby of the Hotel Gritti for a special guest, Paul Newman. He stops him, shows him his work, and when Newman offers to buy a portfolio of graphics, Bozzola offers it to him, asking him in return to give a second one to Frank Sinatra. The promise is kept, and so the American star system's two most famous pairs of blue eyes settle on Bozzola's works.

Like the last of the Japanese soldiers on a forgotten island, Bozzola stubbornly defends his idea of beauty and loyalty to nature over 'art of plastic' and the ‘world of buttons'. What you are about to hear is his voice, which will tell you his truth about painting.

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