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Penna d’Artista. Pen Pare

Portrait Of  Woman


by A. Pilade








form photos

Night of Contemporary Arts, Turin - Saturday, November 8, 2008


An open-air museum composed of artist's pens over 2.5 meters high. The pen represents one of the most distinctive features of Settimo Torinese and its history. For this reason, on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary, the local administration has decided to launch an initiative capable of enhancing the connection between the city and writing: Artist's Pens - Pen Parej. Thanks to the collaboration with TCG companies, 50 expanded polystyrene pens, 2.5 meters high and completely white, have been created to be reinterpreted. The artistic direction and coordination of the initiative have been entrusted to the association CASARTARC (House of Arts and Architecture). Some pens, already visible in the streets of Settimo Torinese, have been assigned to local primary and secondary schools, local artists, and the Academy of Fine Arts in Turin, who have been tasked with reinterpreting them according to their creativity. The others have been entrusted to the imagination of Italian artists, some of whom have been suggested by the GAI (Young Italian Artists Association), thus entering the programming circuit of CONTEMPORARY. On November 8, the Night of Contemporary Arts is scheduled, during which a guided tour among the artist's pens is planned.

                                                                              by  Exibart magazine


I made a portrait of one of my close friends, Carmen, a Spanish lady who was also living in Catania at that time, with her third husband and two sons from her first marriage. A friendship made of conversation, or more appropriately, she would talk, and I would listen, yes listen. 


I was 28 and she was almost double my age at that time. I was fascinated by her tales of life, full of her love for reading, acting and relationships with men in a time where her country was under a dictatorship which would even forbid reading most of the books.  Carmen has been struggling all her life, always feeling in love with the wrong man, she attempted suicide more than once. 


One night, during one of our conversations in her car on the way home, after a nice night spent in the city with our friends,

I asked her to portrait her while writing her life on her body with a makeup pencil in front of a mirror. She did not answer to me, there was no more talking after my request. She turned off her car and brought me to her place. I did not say anything to her, as I knew something was going to happen. 


She opened a drawer in the living room and took a little digital photo camera, one of the first digital pocket cameras, a present from her last man, and gave it to me.  After that, she went to the bedroom and wore her nightshirt, then she took a makeup pencil and a sharpener by the bathroom mirror and looked at me, saying “I am ready”.

I was ready to do that, I do not regret not having my camera with me on that moment as this was how this was supposed to be done, completely up to her.


Once finished, I asked to transfer the file in a USB, as I wanted to make sure to have my work back with me, but Carmen took my hands while holding the camera, looked into my eyes and said “this is yours now”.  

By A.Pilade

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