Le Grand Bleu is the title of Velasco Vitali’s exhibition on display in Taormina, during the festival days, at the former Church of the Carmine, from 15 to 19 June. The name is inspired by Luc Besson’s film bearing the same name, which in 1988 opened the 42nd Cannes Film Festival, quickly becoming an extraordinary success among the public. Many scenes of the film are shot in Taormina. The film recounts the story of the competition between two world apnea champions, but above all it tells the story of the passion they deeply shared, until their last breath, for the abyss.
“The Big Blue” is the starting point chosen by the artist to reflect on the concept of freedom – the main theme of the 2023 edition of Taobuk – and on the untameable and mysterious power of the Mediterranean. It focuses on drawing, exploring his favourite subjects: hot air balloons, the herd, landscapes. It consists of forty works on paper in different sizes and techniques – oil, tempera, watercolour, Indian ink, etching – realised from 2010 to the present.
Le Grand Bleu is a voyage of exploration into a dreamlike, an unknown and a profound world told through imagery that symbolises the comparison between cultures and civilisations. With an eclectic approach that embraces sculpture, painting, engraving and illustration, Velasco Vitali’s artistic practice investigates the most problematic aspects of human conditions through metaphors.
The artisti Velasco Vitali
He began his activity as a self-taught artist at the end of the 1970s, working with graphics, painting and drawing. In 1983 he won the San Fedele Prize and the following year he was invited by Giovanni Testori to take part in the exhibition Artists and Writers at the Rotonda della Besana, Milan. In 1986 he had his first solo exhibition, curated by Vittorio Sgarbi, at the Compagnia del Disegno, Milan; in 1999 he took part in the 13th Quadriennale in Rome. In 2004, Electa published Velasco 20, a monograph on his first twenty years of work with a contribution by Giulio Giorello, and the following year his works entered the MACRO collection. In 2011, he was invited to the Italian Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale, where he exhibited the sculpture Veidrodis, presented the installation Branco in Brussels and published Apriti cielo, a volume collecting watercolours on the theme of the holy. His most recent exhibitions include FUGA, curated by Mark Gisbourne and Giacinto di Pietrantonio, Galleria Mazzoli, Modena; Veduta, curated by Danilo Eccher, M77 Gallery, Milan; Branco , Reggia di Venaria, Turin; Sbarco, PART Museum, Rimini; Goldwatch, Assab One Gallery, Milan; Spazi Capaci, curated by Alessandro De Lisi, Capaci Community, Palermo.