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La Mandarra, VVITCH- a new project by Gio Pistone in Basilicata, Italy.

October 9, 2019
4 min read

The research of feminine universe gets more and more attention over the latest productions by Italian artist Giò Pistone on which we return to speak following the painting realized for  appARTEngo festival located in Basilicata that took place in August. Let’s start from the suggestive location, Stigliano, a town that leaves you speechless and located on Mount Serra; a city ​​with a high landscape value as it is at the extreme limit of the Calanchi area. appARTEngo is a festival that is born around a sort of community of artists, expressionists of an intimate and personal art, communicators of their own culture, creators of unique messages, all united by a creed: art allows to be everywhere, even though remaining absolutely immobile.

I mean, a perfect place to continue the path called VVITCH, born after years dedicated to the pure image, Giò felt the need for a more articulated type of expression.

We had the pleasure of having a long chat with the artist who told us the steps of her creative process:

“I chose this name not for the woman’s magical element, but for its etymology: STREGA( in Italian means “Witch”) comes from the Latin word Strix which means owl: a nocturnal bird considered an evil spirit, a symbol of Darkness and Death. This word is therefore a derogatory way to call certain types of women: witch doctors, midwives, unconventional doctors, perceived in the popular imagination as old, ugly and evil. Witches are still called this for the same reasons, still sticking to the same stereotypes.  Just like every derogatory denominations portraying a social group, when used by the same group as an identity, it sounds like a rebellion: “punk” is a clear example of it. I develop this topic analysing true stories and legends, underlying the changes in the way women were perceived. I raise the matter now in these dark days because it’s about time to go to the roots of a genre of genocide which lasted for 3 centuries in Europe. I divided this journey into three stages and in Stigliano I painted a 15 x 12 metres wall titled La Mandarra inspired by a legend. In most legends, women are monsters able to transform themselves into beautiful girls in order to attract the occasional unfortunate and eventually show off their horrible features.  They usually fly, are predatory and kidnap children to eat them. La Mandarra, in particular, is as tall as a building: she kills her preys strangling them with her long legs. I’m glad I talked about legends in a place like Stigliano, a small town in the South of Italy where there is a big tradition of popular tales and legends, where witches are still around: they’re called Masciare. The drawing reflects the concepts of good and evil, the dichotomy that the ruling power forced on us for centuries; no room left for the nuances. This concept, this game, is well represented by the overturn of the Mandara image, as if it was a tarot card, that according to the position, changes it’s meaning. White becomes black and vice versa, and so the light and the shadow, the good and evil, the sacred and the secular, the night and the day, the golden hearted and the wicked”.

Get mesmerized by this new work checking more images below sent by the Artist and remember to stay tuned with us for more updated news in street art worldwide scene.

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