Mariolino, the artist of the way

mariolinoI find it leaning against the wall of his “puteca”** with the eye of the beholder, giving the impression of a gruff, although who knows him knows that his personality aggregates ideas, friendships, events, that is much communicative in interpersonal relationships as given on what concerns his relationship with art: artist Mariolino Capuano of the way.
For this innocent chat he greets me in his "puteca" with that initial distrust, typical of the artists, and then melt and demonstrate its solar sympathy, typical of whom is artist and modest at the same time.

It is an excursion that starts from the war, where curiosity and carefree post-war showed his artistic vocation, which began to express a self-taught within the walls of the house. The maturation of the master came at a time of turmoil for the rich cultural life of Forio, animated by the characters of the Bar Internazionale run by Maria Senese, relative of Mariolino. Still very young is fascinated by the world, participates in festivals organized by various Bolivar, his neighbor, Aldo Pagliacci and others, so having a way to fit into a social and intellectual fabric of great prestige by establishing an emotional link above, which express also in his works.
The artistic history of Ischia and Forio of that period is generally characterized by two realities that are sometimes crossed and stimulated each other. On the one hand the younger artistic native generation who presented each with its own style: Maltese, the “naive primitivism” by Michele Petroni (Peperone), with brothers De Angelis, Funiciello, Giuseppe Patalano (Bolivar) until “conceptualism” by Mariolino, the expression of special autonomy, freedom of expression and originality, but always linked and influenced by the culture and the local landscape. On the other hand, the reality represented by Italian painters: in addition to Aldo Pagliacci, Leonardo Cremonini, Enrico D’ Assia, and foreigners, including, Lelo Fiaux , Botho von Gamp, Rudolf Pointner, and of course the most “forian” of foreigners who loved this land, but above all its inhabitants, Eduard Bargheer. Artists founding in the environment and the country landscape of Forio, in its colors, in its Mediterranean light - in its monuments and its characteristic notes (the crenellated silhouette of the Tower, the unique architecture of the church of Soccorso, the dome of St. Gaetano, the harbor, the dominant size of Epomeo) new suggestions and new sources of inspiration, which involved and captivated the young age hungry for artistic horizons much wider after years of sorrow and fear. In this climate, international and stimulating Mariolino gains accuracy and thoroughness, beginning to give a starting precise in its work from there they will come to know as "the painter poet", for its famous historical or literary quotations, all the famous words of the father of Italian liberalism (Benedetto Croce) that have inspired if not led, “the wood from which Pinocchio is carved is the humanity”.
After a pause of a few years as a sailor on board, returning Mariolino resumes painting, always by himself, in the adjacent studio to his home, an old building in the historic center, creating even cartoons that reveal his irony that still characterizes him. In the early ‘80s , he began to draw with ink, crayons, enhancing landscapes islanders with an appearance of surrealism, with the economical use of acrylics.
 Paradoxically, the idea came to me to meet him after reading the presentation of a poster for his exhibition in San Angelo, where the master expresses the character Pinocchio, almost ubiquitous in his art, a fundamental element of the pictorial “poetics” of the forian artist. Ambiguous character, wooden puppet, man - child, plant, animal and human, and I read his statement that sums up its mind about this little man of wood and its "nose liar": “Pinocchio is a liar but not a hypocritical, because the mind needs lies, because it is uncomfortable to get what he lacks as the man himself that, if put in a position to be evil, he becomes, like the thief who steals to survive and to be condemned, but he goes well accepted because this evil is forced by his nature”. A true icon for the forian artist, this fairy-tale figure who moved even with his cunning of human weakness, that would compare to Prince Myshkin (the man positively good) narrated in the Idiota by Dostoevsky, that with the adjective “good” is linked to the art, as for the great Russian writer was to show the splendor of beauty represented with generosity of spirit and faith in the neighbor.
Among the shadows, lighting effects, colors and shades in his works Mariolino looks, especially through the puppet of Collodi, to enhance the “moral force of goodness”, a message that is as educational as of deep exaltation of the soul and purity.
There are several occasions that he was the protagonist as the exposure Avise castle, a place of great charm along the road that connects the capital Aosta with the very popular Courmayeur.
In fact, during the celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy, Mariolino exhibited at Villa Arbusto (Lacco Ameno) with the “Brother of Italy”, and, for the occasion, Livio Viano, the Director of Children’s theater in Aosta, honored the artist with a special Pinocchio who had accompanied all the representations of the company dedicated to Collodi’s puppet.
And he tells me with his engaging humor, “After all I refused exposure in the home of Pinocchio (Collodi) because the place does not personify the soul of Pinocchio with a kitchy decor that upset me so much that I ran away to go to this castle magic where I found the emotional warmth that the wooden puppet is”.

Over the years Mariolino has become an “ambassador” of our island with its slim and this smug irony that enchanted the “Boheme artists” of the fifties, and who, with his art, still keeps alive the spirit of the island of yore. A tribute to beauty through colors and shapes, shades and nuances that make him an artist who expresses his personal “vision” of the world that focuses on the fact to be in solidarity with all without leaving anyone behind because it is the rule to live civilly! The story of Mariolino is an artistic journey that is inspired by the endless beauty of a magical island, begun in a period where art was permeated by an environment absolute exaltation of culture, who was born after a period of great suffering that we remember the words of Eduard Bargheer that Mariolino remember as “… the most forian of Forio:

“the infinity of the sea, the silence of the quarries and caves, of fishermen and shepherds, and the farmers, sharing with them the bread and rest in the shade of the fig trees, a world of poverty, loneliness and enchantment, where the odd goat is the queen, and the sea and earth are full of invisible presences, mixed continuously with smaller daily events.
It was during the war, but we talk and think as if the ferocity, the division and the absurd folly don’t exist: nor we don’t complain of all this suffering”.


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Info on Ischia island

  • Surface: 46 Kmq
  • Hight: 789 mt
  • Lat.: 40° 44',82 N
  • Long.: 13° 56',58 E
  • Periplus: 18 miglia
  • Coasts: 51.2 Km
  • Cities: 6
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