“Cuts – Tagli” is a new exhibition at the Annafietta mosaic laboratory in via Argentario

An idea that turned into a game for the mosaic artists of the Annafietta laboratory, where since 1998 mosaic works have been created by carving details from the Byzantine iconographic apparatus or by translating the intuition born in the workshop into mosaic, but also the ideas of those who chose Annafietta to create new compositions.

This is “CUTS | CUTTINGS”, a new exhibition that can be visited on the first floor of the laboratory, in the exhibition space on via Argentario, where the mosaics are created, in an evocative and fascinating place, a stone’s throw from the Basilica of San Vitale.

“In the creative moment from which every exhibition begins – says Annafietta herself – we were commissioned to reproduce Banksy, specifically the flower thrower. There was a spark that led to CUT, with a broad reference to the work Banksy himself created between 2004 and 2005 as a sign of freedom and peace: a scissor crosshatch on the wall built to divide Israel from Palestinian territory. Scissors and hatching thus became the symbol of the exhibition and the starting point of the journey.”

A sketch that leads to Gustav Klimt, an author who loved and was greatly inspired by Byzantine mosaics. For this reason, two frames decorated in pure “Klimt” style enhance the images of his very famous works: Judith II and Adele Bloch Bauer. The decorative motif for creating the mosaic panel was also cut from Adele’s dress.

The game continues by creating objects that draw inspiration from masterpieces, such as a candlestick from Pablo Picasso’s “Still Life with a Boiling Pot” from 1945 becomes a shelf or the Spanish artist’s signature photo holder.

On the path marked by hatching, you will come across the “Classis repetita iuvat” mosaic panel, which connects Byzantine history with the history of the port area. A mosaic that tells the story of the ancient port of Classe in its most iconic depiction, a mural in the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, replacing the old ships with a container ship, a modern symbol of maritime transport. While caravels sail free and alone.

In the same way, we arrive at Bansky and Princess Wijdan Ali, a Jordanian artist, art historian, educator and diplomat from Baghdad, with whom Annafietta participated in the “Invisible Cities” exhibition in Amman in 2023. With the works of the princess and Edvard Munch, she also highlights the use of an original type of mosaic with thinly ground opal glass to simulate the classic brush stroke of oil cannons.

“CUTS | TAGLI also speaks of the ceiling of the transept of the Basilica of San Vitale – Annafietta explains further – with four garlands ending in a center of explosions of flowers, fruit and leaves that frame the Lamb of God. The festoons are summed up in two vertical works, while the image of the transept is framed by three lilies, the flowers most present in Byzantine mosaics”.

The thin-slicing technique also produced a reproduction of “The Starry Night” created in 1889 by Vincent Van Gogh, his iconic signature “Vincent” and other works that draw inspiration from the individual details of “The Starry Night” itself. The journey eventually reaches Claude Monet with the “Japanese Bridge” from 1889 or a series of water lilies painted from 1890. In this case, the frames created specifically with the predominant colors in his works enhance the story of nature.


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