Italy is the country of Great Culture and no less great Kitsch. What makes things kitsch? For instance, Botticelli is for sure a genius, but he became an object of kitsch because of the mass reproduction of his works and the seemingly easy understanding of his art. This has happened to many other artists of the Renaissance.
This is not a new phenomenon. Already in the 18th and 19th centuries the concept of Great Italian Culture was also popular thoughout Europe including Russia. The memory of the Renaissance gave many generations of Italian artists license to use the Renaissance trade mark by successfully copying its style. For example, in Moscow you can find many palaces and villas built in these times, the collections of which contain many paintings in Renaissance style by “unknown Italian masters”. The only thing that is missing is the label “made in Italy”.
When I was in Italy, I was surprised by the popularity of Saint Francis. Stunned I was by the contradiction of his own philosophy of poverty and humility and the pop star-like Supersaint cult figure that has been made out of him after his death.
Therefore, at Civitella I made a photo-series called “fotoromanzo”, which tells the story of how Saint Francis appeared to Saint Francis, and about what Saint Francis said to the birds. About what really?