Thursday, March 02, 2006

The new gates to Haven - Igor Mitoraj

The basilique of Saint Mary of the Angels and the Martyrs, one of the most impressive and peculiar of the many extraordinaries churches of Rome, has, since 2 days ago, a new twin set of bronze doors (you can click on the picture to get a larger version).

I had heard the news a week ago and I was stuck in the massive traffic jam caused by the inauguration on monday, yet I hadn't given even a passing sight to them yet. Today, at lunch break, I took a walk there and I was surprised to find out that they are made by one of the few modern sculptors I really like, Igor Mitoraj.

The doors are really simple and they have a somewhat rusty color which I don't really like, but that will become better as time will turn them darker. The design is somewhat poor and minimalistic, with only 3 figures coming out from the backroung, one as stilized crucified person (probably a martyr rather than Christ) on the left door and an angel and teh Virgin Mary on the right. Figures, as typical of the artist, broken and veiled. That's all, and yet I like that, maybe because there is a shape to be seen after having been dismayed by so many abstract or almost-abstract works.

I hadn't even heard the name of Igor Mitoraj untill summer 2004, when an exhibition of his statues was held at the Trajan's markets together with a reading of the Aeneid, one book each day for twoo weeks, to which I almost didn' tmiss one with my former girlfriend.

There, surrounded by the immense and venerable remains of the roman power's apogee, I faced the work of this artist, his bronze statutes, all of them in pieces and blending perfectly in the ruins that could very well had been hosting them for centuries, most of them veiled, almost in mourning for the fate of the structure hosting them, a perfect personification of the melancholy for a past lost forever.

I have to say, the history of the forefathers of Rome raved by a group of pretty talented actors, among the ruins of the roman power and surronded by the modern, yet magnificently antique, statues of Mitoraj (most of them turned to look upon the spectators from above, almost as witnesses of the story), with the sunset's light turning everything red and gold, made for an almost mistical experience. Something I shall never forget.

1 comment:

emerson said...

Guido!! These are magnificent!