1963 · Homage to Picasso

Il primo quadro “I was 17 years old when one night I dreamt that the great Picasso was in Catania invited there by Pino della Selva, a Sicilian painter that lived in Paris. “Pino della Selva and Picasso were standing with their shoulders towards Etna in a big vase market: the former with a little ruffled red hair and his arms folded, the other, the great one, bald and oddly fattened; they both had a severe look about them. At their feet two men of letters, one dressed, the other naked, sat reading the same book. “I was apart naked and sad crouching in front of a stairway that led towards the mountain. To my left behind the stairway there opened up a tunnel guarding which there was a sculpture in lava stone that represented a sitting boy, intent on looking at his hands, just to do something. Beyond that sculpture a road first bright, then dark, led towards a Greek temple just visible in the darkness, as if graven in the stone of the bowels of the mountain. “On the two days after that dream my mother and my sisters saw me working intensely on a sheet of paper with Indian ink. On the third day my signature with the date 1963 appeared on the cover of the book that the two sitting men of letters were intent on reading. That dream was by now visible to everybody. For years it had been preserved in a folder: at Christmas 1995 it turned up in my hands while I was looking for something else, I was amazed and I realized that that juvenile picture, to which I had not given any importance anymore, was not only a homage to Picasso, the love of the moment, but the map indicating my future finds, in short in that dream there was reconstructed everything that I had seen in crocks at the age of six in the hollow trunk of that carob and everything that I was to try to materialize years later with the 1988 archaeological dream of underground Catania, with the 1992-1994 sculptures of the Room of the Sybil, with the 1995 pictorial imprints of ceramics and glass pastes, and the 1999 brunia-vases and lutrophoros-vases in terracotta and bronze.”