Selected Works

Nonfiction
A look at life in little-known mountain towns of the Sicilian hinterlands.
A true account of the last years of an ancient Sicilian giant bluefin tuna trap.






Tags

Out of Palermo

Rare visit to the cave graffiti of Addaura in Palermo

January 27, 2017

Tags: addaura, cave, grafitti, prehistoric, humans, dancing, mystical, ancient, art, guided visit

The caption takes you to a cell-phone video of an expert, Dr Vassallo of the superintendency of art and culture, leading a group called Let's Save Addaura on a rare visit to the graffiti of Addaura. The site has been closed for years, but I saw it in person in July 1986, the year I (more…)

Prison wall art at Palermo's Inquisition jail

August 8, 2016

Tags: palazzo steri, art, dungeon, religion, fanatic, grafitti, heretics, inquisition, jail, prison, walls, drawings, history, preservation, awesome

I have toured this place a couple of times. It is incredible.
From the Guardian:
By age 20 Francesco Mannarino had seen more of life than was good for him. The son of a Sicilian fisherman, he had been seized as a boy by Muslim pirates and converted, perhaps forcibly, to Islam.

In the early 17th century apostasy was not an offence so long as the convert reported promptly to the officials of the dreaded Inquisition after being ransomed or recaptured. Mannarino did so, but something must have failed to convince them he was still truly a Christian and he was thrown into the dungeons alongside Palazzo Steri in Palermo. (more…)

Memorial murals

May 14, 2014

Tags: memorial, mural, art, grafitti, youth, palermo, sicily, sicilia, albergheria, ballaro`

Pasquale and Giuffrida's Memorial Wall
If you die young in Ballaro` someone will immortalize you with a giant mural of your face and maybe a garden, tended like an altar, that no one will defile. Pasquale Ferrara and Giuseppe Giufridda were two youths of Ballaro` and this mural of them was near the Mercato del Usato, the used items market, otherwise (more…)

Odd and wonderful

May 11, 2014

Tags: street art, grafitti, painting, palermo, ballaro`, art

Street art at the entrance to Ballaro` street market.
Call it street art, call it grafitti. I like it. The three eyes are a recurring theme of this anonymous artist.

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