Maurizio De Vita: Blog https://www.mauriziodevita.com/blog en-us (C) Maurizio De Vita. All rights reserved. mauriziodv@mauriziodevita.com (Maurizio De Vita) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:33:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:33:00 GMT https://www.mauriziodevita.com/img/s/v-12/u367612365-o703804772-50.jpg Maurizio De Vita: Blog https://www.mauriziodevita.com/blog 120 97 Music enlightens https://www.mauriziodevita.com/blog/2019/1/music-enlightens Music enlightensMusic enlightensItaly, Winter 2018, Simply Singers Choir

Italy, Winter 2018, Simply Singers Choir

]]>
mauriziodv@mauriziodevita.com (Maurizio De Vita) Art benevento campania Friendship gospel choir italia Muse music musica musicians musicisti Photography san lorenzello simply singers choir https://www.mauriziodevita.com/blog/2019/1/music-enlightens Thu, 03 Jan 2019 10:07:29 GMT
Gulliver's Dream https://www.mauriziodevita.com/blog/2016/4/gullivers-dream 20140813-mn_DSC7409-id19300Gulliver's DreamGulliver's Dream

"What is this?" Gulliver said, standing up in his dream a few steps from the precipice.

The beach down below was riddled with stranded logs and ropes from a wrecked ship.

"Answer by yourself." The creature voice was calm and hollow.

"It's a limit." He said.

"It's an edge." The voice still calm and hollow. "Living close to the edge makes your vision clearer. Tell me what you see from where you are."

"I see the waters and the beach. Everything is littered with garbage, flotsam and junks from Lilliput."

"Now walk farther and tell me what you see."

Gulliver stepped onto the very edge of the cliff. The wind was just a whisper. Suddenly the abyss was close, closer than ever before.

"What do you see now?"

As he closed his eyes, Gulliver said: "Where Lilliput sees garbage, ropes and waste, I can now see a ship I could build and sail away with. I see my freedom."

And then quietly the creature said.

"Some ships are made from wood and ropes, you are right."

The voice was still.

"Be careful though. Some ships are woven from just tears and wind…"

 

 

 

]]>
mauriziodv@mauriziodevita.com (Maurizio De Vita) Art Dream Freedom Friendship Garbage Gulliver Memories Muse Photography War https://www.mauriziodevita.com/blog/2016/4/gullivers-dream Sun, 10 Apr 2016 11:09:24 GMT
Minimal https://www.mauriziodevita.com/blog/2016/4/minimal MinimalMinimalistic Photo essay

]]>
mauriziodv@mauriziodevita.com (Maurizio De Vita) Art Essay Essential Minimal Moody Peace Peaceful Photography Portfolio Slideshow Video Wabi-sabi Wildlife https://www.mauriziodevita.com/blog/2016/4/minimal Sat, 02 Apr 2016 07:16:08 GMT
Ben's Tale https://www.mauriziodevita.com/blog/2015/5/bens-tale BenBenBlack and white stolen portrait.
 
The salty wind washes away every dust, but into the pores the desert stays.
 
No oasis I may hope to reach to.
 
Even the sea is still, dumb in the silence of gravestones.
 
Benjamin, Nigeria ? - Italy 1986
]]>
mauriziodv@mauriziodevita.com (Maurizio De Vita) https://www.mauriziodevita.com/blog/2015/5/bens-tale Wed, 20 May 2015 16:45:24 GMT
A class with a Master… https://www.mauriziodevita.com/blog/2015/4/a-class-with-a-master

I shall see the beauty, before this moon turns new. Twice I'll watch her get shape, at first on the lagoon in front of me and then rosy on the painter's sheet. If I'll be cautious, I'll respect the silence, as too many words have been spent like these. And a lot, like these ones, in vain.
 
Yet, I already know, as I am a stubborn student and dumb, I will not the tale resist, and with crooked pictures drunk I'll try to say. But first will come the silence, mother and daughter of every wonder. As a lot of words have been spent like these. And too many, like these, are vain.
 
Beauty thrives in silence, marvellous and proud. Words already are intrusive tale, babble of voices, reasoning of the insane.
 
As this moon turns anew, I shall see the beauty be. She will reveal twice, in the flowing of the waves and in the watercolours on the painter's sheet. I'll be there, my only richness in the desire, worthless bystander for what it counts. And I confess I'll try to tell through my crokeed images the inebriation of the time. So I'll beg pardon then. As a lot of words were spent like these. And too many, like these, are vain.
 
They have words heavy with absence and conceit, they have obscure words as resounding drums, they have words too light, may the wind dispose of them, in the same way of mines. The beauty invites and hears and heart and silent soul are needed. I can't know if I am among the ones who are called, and nonetheless I'll go, risking to show uninvited.
 

Drawing Masterclass di Keith Brockie in Tuscany, April, 3-5 2015

20150402-mn_DSC0711-id70

Thus I was writing just a week before the first Wildlife Drawing Masterclass in Italy with the great Scottish artist Keith Brockie, organized by Arts&Conservation, the society/workgroup/workshop Silvana Grimaldi, Simonetta Volpe, Marco Preziosi and me co-founded.

In a few days we would have been honoured not only of creating images together with one of the greatest wildlife artist in the world, but even of sharing whole days with him. Taking part to his first wildlife drawing workshop in Italy, we would have been privileged witnesses of how are created in the field the works of a master of our times art.

 

Logo combined Transparent orange small

The whole masterclass idea originated from several trips to Scotland and from three weeklong stays on the Isle of May, a scottish island in the North Sea, home to thousands and thousands of seabirds in their breeding season. Lots of Keith Brockie's masterpieces were born on the Isle, several of them collected in two beautiful books: One Man's Island and Return to One Man's Island. On this island we had the privilege of meeting the artist and to begin our friendship.

The secluded and yet sparkling with life atmosphere of May, the feeling part of a pristine and splendid environment had a first place role in the birth of Arts&Conservation. We were convinced, by experimenting it in person, that the will to preserve the nature may well be born in every single person immersing oneself in it. Staying day after day in an intact ecosystem let very intense emotions surface. The desire to share what one feels comes from deep inside, together with the will to preserve what one have learned to love.

Now, every person has his own emotions and builds up his own background in very singular ways. What the whole May's experience and Keith Brockie's art gave rise to in a fifty years old photographer (e.g.) may very well not be universal at all…

This is the reason I publish first this image (photo © Silvana Grimaldi) with Keith Brockie (second line, sitting in the center with a tartan shirt), taken at the end of the conference with students and teachers of Liceo Artistico di Sulmona (Sulmona Art High School).

20150331-mn_DSC8175-id338 (1)

The impact of being allowed to see his originals at close quarters, of being allowed to ask about techniques and emotions, about the kind of colours used and about self-expression has been very strong. Outstanding have been the many and disparate questions, the selfies (!), the autographs, and above all the final atmosphere of curiosity and interest. This showed us that, may they not be universal, but the emotions I was talking about before are truly shared by lots of people…

As Keith said frequently: you can just teach a little and just to a point, the rest is up to you, starting from the will to learn. We got a further teaching, during the week together and this one came without words: every inspiration comes from an encounter, every encounter comes from you being there, present and receptive. Toward nature as toward people…

Answering to a question about talent asked during a common meal at the course, Keith said that "you have something to start from", and probably this is not about technical skills, but more about a will to start and keep working, practising practising practising. The technical skills will come from this unrelenting making space to observation and exercise. It's not about a innate talent, then, but about a work ethic. We would witness the constant application of this method by Keith himself during the whole week we spent together.

 

Arts&Conservation begun to set up the event with this very things in mind: to try and create the chances for an encounter, for an "enlight" experience that might inspire people and leave tracks for everyone to remember and than possibly "bend" according to his own choices.

The first stop of Keith Brockie's trip in Italy was in Riserva Naturale Regionale - Oasi WWF Gole del Sagittario, situated in a Sito d'Importanza Comunitario (SIC IT7110099) in Comune of Anversa degli Abruzzi (Aq). The Reserve director Filomena Ricci e Piercarlo Di Giambattista (nella foto sopra è il secondo da sinistra in prima fila), president of Cooperativa Sociale Daphne, which operates in the Reserve management, greeted us with marvelous and warm thoughtfulness, giving us accomodations and making our work easy. Their advice and hospitality made Keith stay in Abruzzo pleasant and productive. The long hours spent in drawing red billed choughs and crag martins on the edge of a cliff changed the rhythm from the frenzy of the city and car driving to the deep breath of nature.

20150401-mn_DSC0702-id61

Drawing means to observe for a long time, before even to just think to rest the pencil point on the paper. Keith said several times that from this an identification process is started fusing in a single living reality the subject and the artist. The contact created in this way becomes emotion first and then memory, something not easily forgotten.

The power of visual arts portraying nature is great. The deep emotions they give rise to are so intense to inspire the will to preserve what one experiments on a personal plan to share it with others. It's not about the conservation of artworks in museum and galleries to admire them in the ages: it's all about to preserve untouched the source of their inspiration, to let nature live and keep us alive, in the most complete sense of the term.

 

This is very different from a disembodied romantic ideal, some sort of idealistic daydream with no real impact whatsoever, by artist sheltered in their studios, well protected from the external world. Keith Brockie has been involved since many years in concrete actions pro environment conservation. He took active part in the osprey reintroduction in Scotland, building and guarding artificial nests, protecting them from eggs collectors and poaching, working along scientific organizations gathering datas, ringing and tracking with GPS devices the migratory routes of the new born raptors. In Pertshire, the Scotland region he lives in, Keith personally looks after 40 pairs of ospreys.

Creating wildlife art is never detached from acting in favour of nature conservation. Art, in fact, enhances the public awareness about conservation issues bringing them to a much larger audience through the beauty of its creations. The environmental sciences  have an essential ally in art and in its ability to translate conservation issues in a more largely accessible language. It's in mankind own interest to live in an intact environment and, to make this interest evident and central, it is pivotal that people get moved from  deep inside, emotionally involved and moved by the will to understand and preserve. In the struggle for nature conservation the micro- and macro-behaviour changes are essential, from personal awareness to international politics choices.

The capacity of art to be nature and its conservation ambassador gave good proof of itself in the meeting with Liceo Artistico of Sulmona students, during the second stage of Keith Brockie's trip in Italy. The meeting, as already said, was very intense and the participation active and strong. I only would like to add that, way beyond the multimedia media utilized, what really "worked" and involved the public was to have the chances to talk with Keith in person and to admire at very close quarters the many sketches and watercolours he brought along. In fact, the be an eye witness is a winner in communication matters.

 

20150331-mn_MDX9097-id817

Young generations sensibility, their will to create for themselves a less "standardized" future and the richness of their contributes are strongly undervalued, probably… And the art has and will have a lot to say here, either.

20150331-mn_MDX9119-id839


The next stage of the trip was in Tuscany Maremma, at WWF Reserves of Lago di Burano and of Orbetello. After Abruzzo mountain ranges, the coastal lakes and Orbetello lagoon. Here our amphitryon was Fabio Cianchi, Burano Orbetello and Rocconi WWF Reserves Director. His constant presence and advice really made our days. One episode among many: the unforgettable boat trip on the Burano lake at sunset, in a splendid light, while on the horizon lightnings fell from an overcoming black tempest front and migrants flocks flew by looking for a shelter for the night…

20150402-mn_MDX9577-id1297

From Holy Friday to Easter Sunday Keith would have tought the Masterclass. He personally choose among the several proposed locations the ones fitting the most for his work with the italian artists who were already arriving at the Casale Giannella.

20150402-mn_DSC0708-id67

The attention Keith put in picking the places revealed, beyond the thoughtfulness in offering an intense experience to the participants, a fundamental aspect of wildlife art: drawing in the field. This would be one of the strongholds of the Keith's workshop: not using photographs or videos, not drawing animals never seen in person (e.g.: exotics), but observe and draw animals you are looking at, right in front of you (through field scopes or binoculars, if necessary).

Keith would stress several times the reasons behind this choice. The most important is probably the "transfert" between animal and artist during the process of direct observation. Witnessing the variety of behaviours an animal shows in nature gives to the observer a chance to get a first hand idea of the subject "character". He would catch typical "poses" during feeding, courtship, parental cares, territorial defense, interaction with other individuals and different species etc. This will take hours of patient observation of the same subject in the field, resulting in a non occasional knowledge, through the means of eyes and of pencil strokes on the paper. Keith insisted on the memory effect of the observation practise, a knowledge which accumulates in time allowing a real rendering of the subject in the artworks. Keith accented sternly the experience you have in nature, on the harmonizing coming from the patient permanence in the same environment of the animal you wish to portray.

Other reasons included the idea that to draw from a photograph basically means to work on choices made by another author about composition and interpretation; further more in a photo the process of going from tridimensional reality to bidimensional art is already accomplished, bypassing for you the passage from volume to shape.

We would have a very practical demonstration of this "theories" during the masterclass. After a brief introduction, Keith immediately brought the participants in the field to draw their first subject: the flamingoes. Unique advice was: draw what you see, not what you know…

20150403-mn_DSC0944-id303

This would have been repeated again with the next (and main) subject the day after: the herons at their roost.

 

20150404-mn_DSC1000-id359

 

And further more during the session with dead animals, retrieved and preserved by WWF. In this last case, Keith stressed the importance of making sketches and studies of particulars, as beaks, legs, articulations, plumage, to be used and modified for successive artworks.

20150404-mn_MDX9723-id40

During the "indoor" session we all lived a very moving moment when Keith went from one of his heron sketches to the final watercolour. The emotion to watch such a Master painting coming to life with my own eyes has been deep. And the silence and concentration of the participants made it even deeper. We all were witnesses of something unexpected and priceless…

20150404-mn_DSC1033-id392

20150404-mn_DSC1057-id416

We had lots of eye-opening moments, most of them difficult or outmost impossible to tell. This convince me further more of the value of this experience: it had many levels, from technical to interior, from meeting a master to the upbringing of new ideas and friendships. You should have been there to experience the full force of it! Words are simply not adequate…

20150405-mn_DSC8909-id593 (1)

In this image (photo © Silvana Grimaldi) is shown the final stage of the course with the "critique" of the three days work.

It was a moment of reflections and emotions, not only for the natural tension of showing your works to Keith Brockie, but above all for Keith's words and advices, so empathic and honest. And everybody realized that while the craft (the techniques) received corrections and suggestions, the "art" part (the art everyone personally expressed in the drawings) only received words of appreciation and encouragement.

And thus the circle came to its close: that "something" intimate whom everyone is driven to create by is expressed in the constant will to keep in practising the creation…

20150404-mn_MDX9781-id98 (1)

To tell the nature in this way has meant many things: to immerse in it, to let it fill you up, pacify you and in that calmness meet other living beings (men and otherwise), learn, appreciate and will to preserve…

It was an honour, for all and each one. After these premises how could we not have further appointments?

Logo combined Transparent orange small

]]>
mauriziodv@mauriziodevita.com (Maurizio De Vita) Art Course Drawing Friendship Keith Brockie Masterclass Memories Muse Painting Watercolour Wildlife Workshop https://www.mauriziodevita.com/blog/2015/4/a-class-with-a-master Sun, 19 Apr 2015 10:50:39 GMT
Night in the Soul https://www.mauriziodevita.com/blog/2015/3/night-in-the-soul Witchy WomanWitchy WomanA Night Heron perching at twilight.

 

Light is a constant "variable" in visual arts.

I know: it sounds strange…

Constant because it is the light to make visual arts possible. No light, no sight.

Variabile because it is what it is, it changes constantly.

When you happen to have some studio experience, with light so in control, you learn to appreciate the splendid serendipity of natural light.

Somebody says "Good light" as a greeting. Somebody else says there is no such thing as good or evil light, but just light.

Natural artist love “golden light” at dawn or sunset.

Maybe everybody is right and everybody is wrong.

There are moments when the subject is the light itself, its colour, the abstract shadows it generates. In other moments the main character will be what it's lighted and the singular side of it the light is revealing.

In my opinion, another "constant variable" exists, whom is regularly there, every time, although we don't always see.

Constant because it's there, always.

Variable because it changes, every moment.

To have an image there must be light, it's clear.

To have an image that light must hit something, it's true.

To have an image there must be an eye capable not just of watching, but of truly seeing. Above all.

These are the components of a tale, all of them essential.

Something to say, a particular angle, a storyteller.

The inspiration is born by these three "variables" coming together.

And yet, in the most golden of the all the lights, in the awe of most glorious of the landscapes, if behind those eyes no soul breaths, nothing will be created.

 

]]>
mauriziodv@mauriziodevita.com (Maurizio De Vita) Art Beauty Inspiration Light Muse Night Heron Photography Soul Wildlife https://www.mauriziodevita.com/blog/2015/3/night-in-the-soul Sat, 21 Mar 2015 07:11:19 GMT
Before the moon turns new… https://www.mauriziodevita.com/blog/2015/3/before-the-moon-turns-new Light and Darkness…Light and Darkness…Male Shag, Scottish Islands
Male Shag, Scottish Islands.
 
 
 
I shall see the beauty, before this moon turns new. Twice I'll watch her get shape, at first on the lagoon in front of me and then rosy on the painter's sheet. If I'll be cautious, I'll respect the silence, as too many words have been spent like these. And a lot, like these ones, in vain.

 

Yet, I already know, as I am a stubborn student and dumb, I will not the tale resist, and with crooked pictures drunk I'll try to say. But first will come the silence, mother and daughter of every wonder. As a lot of words have been spent like these. And too many, like these, are vain.

 

Beauty thrives in silence, marvellous and proud. Words already are intrusive tale, babble of voices, reasoning of the insane.

 

As this moon turns anew, I shall see the beauty be. She will reveal twice, in the flowing of the waves and in the watercolours on the painter's sheet. I'll be there, my only richness in the desire, worthless bystander for what it counts. And I confess I'll try to tell through my crokeed images the inebriation of the time. So I'll beg pardon then. As a lot of words were spent like these. And too many, like these, are vain.

 

They have words heavy with absence and conceit, they have obscure words as resounding drums, they have words too light, may the wind dispose of them, in the same way of mines. The beauty invites and hears and heart and silent soul are needed. I can't know if I am among the ones who are called, and nonetheless I'll go, risking to show uninvited.

 

Drawing Masterclass di Keith Brockie in Tuscany, April, 3-5 2015

http://www.artsandconservation.com/uncategorized/drawing-masterclass-with-keith-brockie/

 

]]>
mauriziodv@mauriziodevita.com (Maurizio De Vita) Art Brockie Keith Muse Photography Watercolours Wildlife Workshop https://www.mauriziodevita.com/blog/2015/3/before-the-moon-turns-new Wed, 18 Mar 2015 14:39:28 GMT
Curtain calls https://www.mauriziodevita.com/blog/2015/3/curtain-calls

 

 

I am reading this book and, although I already have a good knowledge of the wildlife visual arts (both static and video), I am struck.

Once again it seems appropriate to ask to myself some questions…  

Are we educating people and, above all, the young generations to look for sensationalism (which apparently is very human, but very Nature-unlike)?

Are we damaging and killing individuals and species trying to offer to the public close-up (never full-frame enough) experiences, expecially of the endangered ones?

Are the marketing-like techniques of capturing the public interest having the effect of being asked for more, more gory details, more invasive approaching, more image and appearance, more entertainment and shock, less real culture?

Isn't this walking into the wild to get the best prey I can (even if in pixels form), no matter what, quite off-mark?

Shouldn't some wildlife photography workshops be defined as hunt, even if they don't involve guns?

Some "clients" ask for guaranteed encounters, close and exciting.

They pay for that. They don't pay for the experience of being immersed in wild places, of breathing clean air, of learning something about the environment and its fragility.

They don't pay for the CHANCE of observing and photographing wildlife creatures.

They pay for guaranteed results… often not even worrying about putting the life of wild creatures in peril.

Isn't this hunting?

Isn't this asking for… game?

]]>
mauriziodv@mauriziodevita.com (Maurizio De Vita) Environment Ethic Photography Wildlife Workshop https://www.mauriziodevita.com/blog/2015/3/curtain-calls Tue, 17 Mar 2015 06:57:57 GMT
Circles in the Water https://www.mauriziodevita.com/blog/2015/3/circles-in-the-water 20101212-mn_MDV3322-id62220101212-mn_MDV3322-id622

Along the lake banks the laughing wind touches the water.
 
The stone you threw sinks fast,
melting with each other the ripples it moved flow afar.
 
The leaves wave on them,
creatures come to explore their secrets.
 
You know for sure the shape of what you threw,
about the waves it gave birth to you just can't say.
 
Which was, then, your gift to the world,
the stone that rapidly sinks
or the ripples, its unpredictable daughters?
]]>
mauriziodv@mauriziodevita.com (Maurizio De Vita) Art Friendship Memories Muse Photography Redshank War Wildlife https://www.mauriziodevita.com/blog/2015/3/circles-in-the-water Mon, 16 Mar 2015 13:41:49 GMT
People https://www.mauriziodevita.com/blog/2015/3/people
 
There are people who lightly dance through the life, just brushing the dust with the tip of their toes.
Not a single speck will ever alter their fingers graceful profile.
Nothing will stain the transparent tone of their soft skin.
Their weightless smile reveals pearly teeth.
 
There are people who plow their trail through the rocks, dust is the air they breath in, their clothes are clogged.
There are short breathed people by heavy steps and muddy feet.
There are burdens some have to bear so that others may proceed in dancing light.
Tears must flow from reddened orbits if other eyes are spared.
One thousand caries for every pearly smile, a thousand silences for one tune.
 
Years of wake for every single dream…
]]>
mauriziodv@mauriziodevita.com (Maurizio De Vita) Friendship Memories Muse Photography Surgeon War art black & white medical work https://www.mauriziodevita.com/blog/2015/3/people Sat, 14 Mar 2015 11:45:54 GMT
March 8th https://www.mauriziodevita.com/blog/2015/3/march-8th

We can't all be women, but we should all be humans…

]]>
mauriziodv@mauriziodevita.com (Maurizio De Vita) 8th Memories Muse Photography analog and art black child march print white woman https://www.mauriziodevita.com/blog/2015/3/march-8th Mon, 09 Mar 2015 06:37:43 GMT
Beauty or Nil https://www.mauriziodevita.com/blog/2015/3/beauty-or-nil Beauty or NilBeauty or NilCourtship behavior of Grey Herons.
 
 
Beauty crowds me till I die
Beauty mercy have on me
But if I expire today
Let it be in sight of thee—
- Emily Dickinson -
 
 
This has become a world of on-sale, rebates and special offers.
 
Rarely the value of something keeps steady.
 
And this is true for intangible values, too.
The value of values fluctuates, as in a free trade market.
This fact has become so diffused to be considered "normal", probably not without deeply troubling the human beings.
 
I have often been thinking about beauty and with great difficulty. I have been thinking about the sense of beauty.
 
The canons of beauty are tightly linked to the culture of the moment and, as all time-related things, very keen to changes and fluctuations.
This is crystal clear…
 
And yet, and this is remarkable, we still are fully capable to appreciate the beauty from another age of time, if we understand or sense just a little of its language.
Like a fil rouge through ages and experiences, the sense of beauty has the power to overcome the anachronisms and to unify the differences on a common ground.
 
I came to believe firmly that at the root of many sufferings of our time, both personal and social ones, is the lack of a true education about the perception of beauty.
I very reluctantly use the word "education".
In my native language it came to mean very different things. Good manners, discipline, habit, schooling, indoctrination: all these refers to "education" in a way or another.
 
When I say education to the sense of beauty I think more of a training or a workshop, that is an active and participated process that make people discover and develop something already present in the person, but rarely used before.
I don't think about a conference or school lesson about what is beauty and what is not. I think about a journey of progressive opening up not to a new language, but to a vast dictionary we already vaguely know, one whose we have till now used only a few words, always the same ones.
 
It's difficult to think about beauty. Because it's difficult to express it through words.
And yet every appeasement is in beauty and every dynamics.
 
I still have a lot to learn, a lot to listen to.
The sense of beauty, however, is a stronghold of my quest…
The alternative is not the ugly, but nothingness, nil.
 
]]>
mauriziodv@mauriziodevita.com (Maurizio De Vita) War art beauty education muse nil https://www.mauriziodevita.com/blog/2015/3/beauty-or-nil Sun, 08 Mar 2015 12:46:22 GMT
"There's nothing like poverty to get you into heaven…" https://www.mauriziodevita.com/blog/2015/2/-theres-nothing-like-poverty-to-get-you-into-heaven  … a verse from "Poor's man house" by Patty Griffin

He was a man of few words. And one of many shouts.
He came to us out of the blue one bright and cold morning, at the homeless refuge I was volunteering in Naples, Italy.
After a few days he became to everybody "four wheels drive Tony", because he was amazingly able to go everywhere with his wheel-chair, even down steep stairs.
Both his legs were gone in some kind of accident years before, we never found out anything about it.
He probably was one of the many psychiatric patients that were discharged by a hospital after the approval of the so named Basaglia act. This important law abolished the chronic hospitals for mental disorders and instituted day-hospital ambulatories, in the belief that families and communities were better and healthier solutions than segregating. The problem is this last part of the law was never fully funded and activated.
Antonio was dismissed by the hospital, but his family was nowhere to be found. And so, armed only with his wheel-chair, he moved out of the hospital gates and got lost into the gorge of the slums of Naples.
He was a chain smoker and begged the money for it and some food on the streets. Somehow he took to unlit the cigarettes on a circular scar he had on his right thigh. It progressively became deeper and deeper assuming the resemblances of a flesh ashtray. He kept it full of half smoked cigarettes. 
We’ll never know what kind of sufferings he faced before arriving at the refuge. He never used many words and even those few were just fragments, interspersed with wild shouts and spits.
I used to have some spaghetti with him at lunchtime, trying my best to have a chat. He seemed to tolerate my company, but never gave it for granted. It was a fresh start every time, like there has been no yesterday and there would be no tomorrow.
He was assigned a room with other people, but never really used it. Even if it was wintertime, he enjoyed to sleep on the concrete floor of the courtyard, barely covered with an old blanket, stars above, ice cold concrete as mattress.
 
This image is from one early morning, one of the last he spent in the refuge.
I suppose, something in his head told him he was done with us.
He just slammed open the gate and flew.
We never saw him again. I roamed the streets for several days looking for him, but he was simply gone.
 
This picture is to me both the image of the close intimacy and of the sidereal distance we as humans may be exposed to, sometimes without a chance of understanding…
His story remains untold, his destiny unknown. And, by the way, what a common and extremely human reality this last phrase depicts…
Well, at least, even if obscurely, a small part of that story was told here, Antonio…
]]>
mauriziodv@mauriziodevita.com (Maurizio De Vita) Friendship Homeless Italia Italy Memories Muse Naples Napoli Photography Street https://www.mauriziodevita.com/blog/2015/2/-theres-nothing-like-poverty-to-get-you-into-heaven Fri, 20 Feb 2015 20:54:31 GMT
So long Lucky… https://www.mauriziodevita.com/blog/2015/2/so-long So longSo long Lucky…

 

It's almost thirty years…

Today I was reading "A permeable life: Poems and Essays" by the great poet and musician Carrie Newcomer (http://www.carrienewcomer.com/artist/).

I found these words touching and thought they were written for you. 

It's almost thirty years and I still miss you, girl…

 

"Arthur B and Bob

by Carrie Newcomer

From the Betty’s Diner Collection - inspiration for the song “ Arthur B and Bob” 
 
Arthur B and me are very good friends.  I love Arthur B and Arthur B really really loves me.  Arthur B and Libby-dearest picked me out of a hard-worried cage.  Libby-dearest smiled and said I was a fine retriever-hound-cocker-spaniel-brown dog and this made me very proud.  They took me home and away from the hard-worried cage and now my name is Bob, which is a fine name, and I am a good and grateful dog. Libby-dearest gave me biscuits and let me jump up in the big bed and called me Slobber-Bobber and she smelled so so so good.  She laughed a lot and danced in the living room with the shiny bell on her fingers.  Libby-dearest’s shiny bell dancing made Arthur B a little nervous, but I could tell it made Arthur B a little proud.  Before Libby- dearest went away she stopped shiny bell dancing and slept and slept and dreamed and dreamed and smelled like something worried.  Arthur B sat next to her and I sat next to Arthur B while she dreamed and dreamed.  Now I take care of Arthur B so he is not alone in the big wide worried world with dogs and cars and buildings and no shiny bell dancing Libby-dearest smell.  When Arthur B is sad we are sad together.  One night I howled for sad and Arthur B howled for sad, and we howled for sad together in the dark worried night.  Arthur B is thin and he forgets to eat and once he forgot to put food in my good-dog bowl and he felt very very sorry and he cried no Libby-dearest no shiny bell dancing tears. I didn’t mind even though an empty good-dog bowl is a sad thing.  I love love love to go for a walk with Arthur B and sometimes we go to the nice lady cold hamburger place where he ties me up outside and tells me to guard the parking meter, which is a very important job and I am a good and grateful dog.  I can see Arthur B through the window and the nice lady brings him things to eat and sometimes she brings me cold hamburger pieces.  Cold hamburger pieces are the best best best food in all all all the world.  One night when Arthur B was sad the nice lady brought me inside and I put my head on his knee under the table so he would know that he was not alone in the big worried world.  I love Arthur B and Arthur B loves me and I am a good and grateful dog."
-- Carrie Newcomer --

 

]]>
mauriziodv@mauriziodevita.com (Maurizio De Vita) Dog Friendship Lucky Memories https://www.mauriziodevita.com/blog/2015/2/so-long Sun, 15 Feb 2015 16:34:53 GMT
What age? https://www.mauriziodevita.com/blog/2015/2/what-age  

Panorama Abruzzese (1)Panorama Abruzzese (1)

Paesaggio, Parco Nazionale d'Abruzzo Lazio e Molise

 

I believe in time.

I don't believe in age.

At what age did great photographers shoot their best work?

It appears to happen in their late forty or fifty.

Apparently experience, enlarged vision, deeper understanding matter a lot and are time related.

Forty or fifty years learning to see, to listen, to be part of…

It takes time spent working to reach the heights...

]]>
mauriziodv@mauriziodevita.com (Maurizio De Vita) Muse Photography War https://www.mauriziodevita.com/blog/2015/2/what-age Sat, 14 Feb 2015 12:00:00 GMT
Spirit Lifter https://www.mauriziodevita.com/blog/2014/9/spirit-lifter Spirit LifterSpirit LifterGannet at Bass Rock. Adult Gannet off Bass Rock, Scotland.

 

At the beginning probably there was the wonder.

 
No tales to tell if there was no wonder.
 
No need to paint, write or compose music.
 
If there is no wonder, there is nothing really worth to be narrated and so there are no sources for photography, music, paintings, sculptures or songs.
 
No art...
 
One of the first thing I discovered about photography is its ability to tell moving stories. Using no words.
 
Maybe that was the key for me. Its eloquence, its silences.
And the fact that it may have no words, but you must have something like a tale to tell.
 
David DuChemin (davidduchemin.com) says “there are no rules”. I find this to be right too, in its own way. Maybe the only “rule” is that you must have something to say.
But: is this a rule?
I think it is not. Well, not in the common sense of the word. It is not a technical device you use to obtain interesting content as a result. It is not some sort of law the authorities could enforce on you, if you don’t want to conform to it.
 
So it’s a free for all. Isn’t it?
Well, no.
 
The reality is it does not come free or easy, at least to me. I have to be pushed to do it, to raise up from the couch and do the work.
Wouldn’t it be nice if I could just lie on my back on the carpet in front of the fireplace? I would be there, staring at the trees out of the window, sipping a good coffee, waiting for the stories to come to me, ready to tell: images ready to be transformed in pixels with just a lazy move of my index finger…
 
Honestly: it would be great!
 
Do you believe in fairies, elves, magic and all sort of sortileges? No? I hope you don’t mind if I do. Sort of.
I believe in Muses. When the Muse appears, she sprays some magic golden dust and suddenly the boring face you see every single day becomes interesting, the landscape you used to live in changes in something fantastic, you see stories worth telling all around you, images turning into photographs. It’s the Muse, her presence lighting the place and turning the grays into colours.
 
So, is she doing all the work for you? Does she make all the heavy lifting, leaving the glory to you?
Not mine.
 
Look, it isn't something new: it’s a well known truth, simple and unpretending. You have to be out there. Alive and working (f/8 and be there, remember?). You can’t lay on your back daydreaming, the Muse will go away.
 
She is jealous, powerfully so. You could say she is very self-conscious. She knows very well how precious she is, how rare and inestimable are her gifts. You just can’t have her favours for free.
You have to be active, to interact with the sources. You have to drink the life at the springs.
 
Well, enough with this new-ageish stuff. I am lazy and basically very self-indulgent. And I am prone to procrastinate, a lot. I delayed writing these words one entire year... And I really wanted to start blogging, I was eager to!
And what about the photography projects I took notes about? And never started? I basked in the sun, warming at the ideas flowing, even cheering myself for being so creative, but I didn’t take action.
And you know what, the flow began stuttering, the sun got colder, the colours desaturated through gray hues, all the way down to true nothingness...
 
Telling it in a romantic way, this flat empty motionless vastness is not a place for the Muse to come.
It appears that movement is life to her, just as some ancient philosopher said. The action seems to have some inherent capacity in stimulating further actions. And here starts the Wonder and here starts the War, too... (Steven Pressfield, The war of art. Great book.)
 
You connect to the sources, which are simply what surround you, right here and now.
But now you are not a simple observer. You take part, you are trying to catch a glimpse of the Muse, to surprise her in action. You do this by asking questions, not merely looking at. The idea is not to look, but to see. You try to break the surface of things, to go deeper. And this may reveal itself as a twofold movement, as while you try to plunge into and beyond the surface of things, they start to sink in you, breaking your surface, modifying your balance, changing your inner chemistry, ploughing your soul. As the soil is turned upside down, it breathes more and things start to grow. That’s something the Muse seems to like a lot: action, movement, breath and growth. She will spread her magic golden dust on all of this and the Wonder will reveal itself. You will be struck by it and probably by surprise, not on your own terms. The Muse and the Wonder will conjure with the sources and a story will be brought to life. Something to tell, images turned to photograph, pixel to content, instant pictures to art.
And the War will start, too. This is nothing new, either. It has already been said before, like the most valued things often are.
War and turmoil.
 
I am not changed. I am always the lazy person I was before, and still very prone to delaying things as often as I can. One big difference, though. I have felt the Wonder and savoured its grace. It is unforgettable. You will not be able to behave as nothing ever happened. You would feel enstranged, orphaned, cast aside.
And that is the War. The conflict between discovery and habits, between movement and laziness, between falling in love and falling apart.
 
I struggle with aperture and shutter like anybody else, but...
 
…the Wonder the Muse the War...
 
This is what this blog will be about, I suppose…
]]>
mauriziodv@mauriziodevita.com (Maurizio De Vita) Birds Gannet Muse Nature Photography Scotland War Wildlife Wonder https://www.mauriziodevita.com/blog/2014/9/spirit-lifter Mon, 01 Sep 2014 16:30:00 GMT