Yet another art exhibition opening this time by a friend of mine, Enrico Paolucci, in Pienza. The name may ring a bell with some of you as his father was also an artist – Aleardo Paolucci and I took many of my tour groups to their farm property just outside of Pienza (Southern Tuscany). Unlike most artists however Enrico works with papier-mâché creating painted fish, owls, wild boar together with scenic panels of his home area – Val d’Orcia and the Cinque Terre.
His work is quite unusual and his technique original, surprising most people when they first come across it. His bas-relief panels have been placed in hotel lobbies, on cruise ships and decorate the walls of many restaurants from Sicily to Milan. Even the new restaurant/ food chain ‘Eataly’ in Milan has his work and asked him to make 100 mini fish as table decorations….which was quite a feat!
He had always dabbled with clay and then experimented with papier-mâché which became his favourite medium. When we first met in 1997 he had only just started, initially making lots of fish having been captivated by those he had seen snorkelling in the dead sea.
His fish have been particularly successful and even some of my tour members have taken one or two home to Australia and New Zealand. His home territory of Val d’Orcia is twin territory with the Cinque Terre and his fish are also in various galleries there and other seaside resorts in Liguria. A very appropriate home for them and no beach house should be without one so I am lucky to have some in my little haven at the Cinque Terre as well!
Years ago he was commissioned to make an enormous ‘Barramundi’ for a club called by the same name as the owner had been to Australia and fallen in love with the Barramundi fish legend . Having seen the Barramundi when I was in Darwin I can understand that, as they are an amazing fish, starting life as males then changing gender when they are mature around 4-5 years old! The ones I saw were huge and no wonder the Aborigines consider them a magical fish. Enrico poured over Australian photos, sketches and Aboriginal art books and made a prototype which proudly hangs in my lounge, a little faded and dusty but just as magic.
At the current exhibition his art panels and animals and fish are much more sophisticated,
He has often done bas relief panels associated with the legend ‘The Odyssey’ in particular ‘Circe and her animals’.
Enrico’s tribute ‘Conversation’ with nature below
So follow me now as I take you on a guided tour of the opening of the exhibition.
You can see more of Enrico Paolucci ‘s work here or better still drop by Pienza as his work and his father’s decorate most of the cafes and restaurants in town!