Giuseppe Veneziano

di Ivan Quaroni e Linda Tommasi

Born in Mazzarino, Sicily, in 1971, with a background as an architect and a past as a satirical cartoonist, Giuseppe Veneziano is today one of the main Italian artists of the New Pop current. With his pictorial language, both original and recognizable, the artist deals with sensitive issues such as politics, sex, and religion, through which he gives us an objective and disenchanted image of today's society. His canvases are populated by historical personalities and celebrities of the present, movie icons, and characters from comics and cartoons. For Veneziano, there is no difference between fiction and reality, elements that tend to mix and mingle in today's media society. The artist works on the iconic impact of his subjects, whether they are extrapolated from a work of the past, a comic strip, or a news photo. What counts is the communicative capacity of the images, which become like the words of a universal and comprehensible language, precisely because they are rooted in global mass culture. His debut in the NFT was inspired by the "Madonna Northbrook," painted by Raphael around 1507. A typical element of Veneziano's art is, in fact, the iconographic appropriation of past sources (especially works of the Italian Renaissance), in which the artist replaces the original figures with historical figures, contemporary celebrities, or characters from the cinema, cartoons, and comics. In his "Madonna of the Sacred Heart," which contains a tribute to Giovanni Motta's "Jonny Boy," Veneziano succeeds in finding a perfect expressive balance, which allows him to actualize, enlivening it with a grammar appropriate to current times, the miracle of ancient painting.

Madonna of the Sacred Heart


Madonna of the Sacred Heart

Another side of the work Mystic Lollipop is the "Madonna of the Sacred Heart" by Veneziano. In this case, the Madonna to which the artist refers is the Madonna of Northbrook, painted around 1507, also by Raphael. Here it is Jonny Boy, who is housed in Veneziano's world. The Virgin encircles Jonny Boy, who holds a beating heart in his hand, giving his heart to the viewer, as Jesus gave his body and blood to the apostles. Flat, impactful pop art-inspired colors make the image intelligible to the viewer and lend an aura of cheerfulness to the work.