FACTS first and foremost, then words.
Franco Ariano Maestro Illu Minato
27th April 1972. FRANCO ARIANO was born in Cesena, Italy, but his home has always been Cattolica.
15th of October 2016. Ariano had a surgical operation due to pneumonia that he had ignored and as a result on waking up he returned to life as a Maestro Illuminato, a title that will later be
Maestro Illu Minato by Philippe Daverio who, in Florence, created a personally signed work of art for Ariano, which you can see on page 80 of his book titled:
“L’ARTE DI GUARDARE L’ARTE”.
FRANCO ARIANO after that dreadful but equally amazing night, now “SEES” complete and fully formed works of art in his mind, images so clear he has to immediately sketch them down on paper in
order to preserve them. If he turns on the light he will lose everything.
Up to august 2018, in less than two years, he had produced more than 1.300 drawings. 200 of these are images that his ”diurnal” logic fails to understand. In essence he doesn’t
know what they represent.
FRANCO ARIANO Maestro Illu Minato’ s first work of art is titled:
“IO ODIAVO L’ARTE, fino a ieri 15.10.2016”
(I HATED ART, until yesterday up to 15.10.2016), the day of his surgical anaesthesia,
his second work of art is:
“QUEL CHE TOCCO DIVENTA ORO” - (WHATEVER I TOUCH BECOMES GOLD).
Another peculiarity of his consists in using original CHRISTIE’S and Sotheby’s auction catalogues when carrying out some of his works of art.
There are three distinctive traits that will enrich all of his work, guaranteeing his recognisability.
The first, fits perfectly with his innate attention to the needs of the weakest, elderly, children, women, animals and artists. In fact he decided to donate to each of his works a real BROKEN NEST (twisted nest, no longer active, collected between trimming and pruning, respecting faunistic laws). The plastic with which the birds have built these nests represents for Ariano the imperfection that characterizes
every family or human nest.
The interpretation of the nest, according to Ariano, is a thought for those who deserve warmth and affection which are rarely or hardly ever received. It symbolizes the hearth of the family, a sort of tree house,
a warm, protective, safe place. It is a defensive way of storing our childhood memory, often the only truly peaceful and serene period of our life.
The second, is the attaching of his sentence:
”Everyone, sooner or later, needs to have their nest, even if BROKEN”.
The third, concerns the border that embraces all his work, the frame. It will never be an absolutely linear or perfectly closed limit. Always present, at least on one side of
each work, will be an opening created by him through breakage, burns, pieces of frame, cuts and discontinuous traits on the perimeter of each work.
In 2018, during an advanced calligraphy course, held by Concetta Ferrario and inspired by Chinese ideograms, Ariano created his own signature, composed of precise signs and the initials of his name “F ”
A ”. It is very coherent and in some parts the shape of the nest is represented. In the execution of the signature he also magically creates an anthropomorphic symbol, consisting of lines
and repeated circles at its extremities.
The circle, which has neither beginning nor end, nor direction or orientation, is the symbol of heaven and all that is spiritual. The nest, this sum of repeated circles, brings us back to human
concepts of perfection and intangibility. The three steps, on the right of his signature, represent the difficulties of human life which, with commitment and willingness, will be overcome,
leading to the desired goal, symbolized by the golden nest.
The large nest at the lower left of his signature, almost elliptical, is a warm and safe place for
Maestro Illu Minato. A thought addressed, in this case, to himself.
Everything contained within the ”logo” shows his drive and motivation:
“I DON’T WANT TO LEAVE JUST SIMPLE SIGNS, BUT MESSAGES”.
In 2017 Ariano invented a device that allows rivers, seas and lakes to create paintings taking advantage of the diverse characteristics of waves.
The same year, at Rimini airport, wearing a helmet and fire-resistant clothes, he positioned himself behind the engine of a plane, and by exploiting the fast flow of air coming from the engine,
created using acrylic paint, the series of works named “AERO”.
Using the same principles for the MotoGP, Ariano presented a new project for DORNA and DUCATI CORSE. Both were enthusiastic to the fact that, by using this
new multiple pipe device filled with paint, a MotoGP could paint a canvas exploiting the power of the air generated by the most powerful motorcycle in the world.
Ariano has the ARROGANCE and AWARENESS of being able to compete with:
“Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Martyr Patricio Clito Ruíz y Picasso”,
called Picasso, with whom one has the certainty of the “Sign”,
while with Ariano one has the certainty of the “Message”.
He collaborated with Giovanni Sangalli of Milan in the creation of some paintings, using Fluo paints, which contain ”secret” images, that can only be seen with ultraviolet rays.
Ariano shared his atelier with Federico Signorini, a painter and musician, of whom he says: “thus far he doesn’t know who for, what for, or why he is doing his work of art, but the outcome of his works are magnificent”.
He has always followed his desire to increase his scientific and practical knowledge with the will to enrich his artistic and poetic side. His philosophical development has grown thanks to the friendship of
the psychologist and climber Siegfried Stohr, the ”Driver Without Wings”.
To improve in sculpture and “unusual” techniques he attended a laboratory in Montefiore Conca, hosted by Maestro Umberto Corsucci, where he learned: techniques, tenacity and attention to detail.
They continuously compared and contrasted each other, almost challenging one another on their mutual creations. At master sculptor Corsucci’s bottega, in Italy, FRANCO ARIANO’s enthusiasm was stimulated,
unleashing his passion and giving course to the transformation of this boy born without an artistic education. As in the best fables, however, at some point the values of the two artists clashed and resulted
in disagreements. The divergence of views between Ariano and Corsucci, perhaps due to the age difference, increased in intensity and frequency.
As Corsucci said:
”Two cocks can’t remain in the same chicken coop”,
”You are also, Maestro Illu Minato, as cold as the blade of a knife”.
Ariano decided that he was ready to spread his wings, it was time to leave the ”NEST”.
The first time Ariano saw the MoMA and the Tate he had two thoughts,
the first was:
“I WANT TO CLIMB THEM”,
“I NEED MORE THAN ONE ROOM,
WHAT I REALLY NEED IS AN ENTIRE FLOOR TO DISPLAY MY WORKS”.
His heart filled with joy when he discovered that Van Gogh was also fascinated by bird’s nests. Ariano’s feelings for Vincent Willem are described in the next chapter VAN GOGH.
With a Bird’s Nest sketch, Vincent Willem commented in the same letter of his tender feelings for nests of birds and people:
”When winter comes (when I have more time for it) I shall make more drawings of this kind of thing. “La nichée et les nids” [the nestlings and the nests], I feel deeply for them - especially people’s nests, those huts on the heath and their inhabitants.”
In 1885, he made them the subject of five still lifes in a row. He wrote to his brother Theo that he thought these would appeal to nature lovers, “because of the colours of the moss, dry leaves and grasses, clay &c.”.
Earlier that summer, Vincent Willem had told Theo how he had got the nests. He had gone out with a peasant boy to look for them. They found six, “from which the young had already flown, so that one could take them without too many pangs of conscience”. According to Van Gogh’s friend Anton Kerssemakers, he had ”no less than 30 different birds’ nests” in his studio, collected from his walks or purchased from children for roughly 10 cents per nest. For the more elaborate nests, such as the two ball-shaped wrens’ nests in the top right of the Still Life with Birds’ Nests painting, Van Gogh would pay more”.
Ariano has in his atelier about 1,500 BROKEN NESTS (no longer usable by birds and collected in accordance with the law). He recomposes and sometimes reconstructs these nests from the beginning.
Each of them expresses two functions, representing his own signature on each work and offering a warm embrace to its recipient.
From this feeling Ariano dedicated a series of works, titled
”HOMAGES by FRANCO ARIANO Maestro Illu Minato ” to:
Vincent Willem Van Gogh, P. Paul Rubens, Andrew Warhola, Primo Levi, Kurt Cobain, Elvira Vannini, Umberto Corsucci, Edvard Munch, Eric Hebborn, Amedeo Modigliani, Guerrino Bardeggia, Andrea
Salvetti, Carlo Cracco, Charles Baudelaire, Madalyn Murray O’Hair, Noura Hussein, Vincenzo Peruggia, Marco Castiglioni, Amy Winehouse, Robin Williams, Enrico ed Alfredo Accatino, Flemish Primitives, Vincenzo
Muccioli e San Patrignano, including children and women who have been victims of addiction and violence.
Continuing with this approach, protection of one’s neighbour, he invented systems and works in his own way.
Ariano, always, observes problems by moving away from ”sequential logic”.
He resolves them by discarding obvious considerations, looking for alternative points of view.
Examples of this approach are the inventions of the ERECTUS grape and Wine, the mobile phone spacer and the safe baby pushchair, which avoids the child facing the street, while crossing the
road. Using Ariano’s system the handler is in front of the pushchair and no longer behind.
He also created a series of works on “FEMICIDE” and an installation called “PEDREPE”, a diverse meaning of the crib, a critical representation of paedophilia in the church.
Very often he became interpreter of ”lateral thinking” thanks to a simple and ingenious reversal of the order of objects or subjects, as in the work for the A.S.P. UNESCO project entitled ”FRANCESCA e Paolo”.
From a very early age Ariano is in love with both matter and materials, he keeps everything he experiments on and creates. He is fascinated by water and earth, plants, animals, nests and burrows. Already at
the age of 13 he is able to disassemble, improve and reassemble a two-stroke engine, while also being able to design and build wooden stairs.
He has only one goal in mind: to improve himself and everything he comes across.
This attitude also leads him to help a few World Motogp riders who, once they start to embrace his philosophy, personally verify that it is possible to change for the better.
While visiting Fabrizio Pecci’s ostrich nursery, in 1996 he saw a little ostrich which is unable to walk, surrounded by other ostriches slowly pecking it to death. Ariano asked Mr. Pecci if
he could take the bird in order to save it. After six months of training the baby ostrich, on a tailor made walking trolley Ariano had built, the little ostrich “Pigi” started to walk normally and you can
now find it at the Falconara zoo.
His passion for viticulture took him to plant a vineyard in the Maldives as well as one in Livigno. Moreover and he carried out a series of works of art called “VITIS DOMINI” in Italy.
He dominated the growth of Vitis vigour, uninterruptedly for 6 months, providing them with special frames within which the vines can grow and spread.
In Siena, 2003 as a wine collector, during a viticulture course held by Dr. Ruggero Mazzilli entitled “Respecting the demand for verticality of the vascular structure of the vine”
Ariano invented Vino ERECTUS, while sitting on the last chair at the last desk.
In 2009 he decided that all the bottles of Erectus wine had to be:
1. in special glass, with the neck of the bottle at least 10 cm long, to house the 2 corks (he carried out this work in collaboration with the bottle maker Vetreria Etrusca).
2. Closed with two corks.
3. Corked by of a manual corking machine capable of introducing the 2 corks into the bottle neck (a Swiss company transformed a bouchones of Champagne bottles for him).
4. Equipped with a special elongated
corkscrew, created in brass in Pordenone.
5. Sealed with lacquer wax.
6. Individually stamped with sequential numbers.
7. Placed individually, inside special safes in metal or marble, for better
The solutions to these 7 technical aspects are best described in the Vino ERECTUS chapter.
In 2011, CHRISTIE’s in Geneva auctioned the first safe containing the No. 1 bottle of his first 2009 vintage, this vintage year also marks the birth of his son Benjamin.
The auction made history with the highest price ever paid for a first vintage wine bottle and articles appeared in 52 different publications throughout the world.
In november 2018, with the patronage of Cattolica Council, Ariano created his first personal exhibition titled:
“EVERYONE, SOONER OR LATER, NEEDS TO HAVE THEIR NEST, EVEN IF BROKEN”.
“Captivating, provocative and upsetting.
Designed to leave you breathless, to reflect on the world around us from innovative angles, starting from our deepest roots, to ”land” to the pillars of modern art and culture, in particular to Vincent Willem Van Gogh.
An incredible journey awaits you with eyes focused on our society, its ironies, contradictions and injustices, revolutionizing the end in every scheme and preconception, coming to a great truth: to return each one to their nest, even if BROKEN”.
FRANCO ARIANO Maestro Illu Minato , a LIGHT.. ... a return to LIFE.....
Entrance was free, but he decided that visitors could only enter the exhibition by crawling on their hands and knees through a small hole that he had made inside a deconsecrated confessional.
He was asking people to break down, without hesitation, their preconceptions towards the newly proposed messages in the exhibited works. He put into question, from the outset, the mental patterns and the defences
of the visitors willing them to accept this particular psychological challenge.
In essence he transformed adults into children, re-introducing them to primeval actions and to the proximity and relationship with the Earth.
From the beginning Ariano, well aware of the value of his works, designed an archived for the cataloguing of them.
He respected and followed the rules of UNESCO in cataloguing.
“The archives retain testimony of the decisions taken, the actions carried out and the memories accumulated.
The archives constitute a unique and irreplaceable heritage, transmitted from generation to generation.
Archival documents are managed since their creation so as to preserve their value and meaning.
They are reliable sources of information for a responsible and transparent administration.
They play an essential role in the development of societies, contributing to the establishment and preservation of individual and collective memory.
Access to archives enriches our knowledge of human society, promotes democracy, protects citizens’ rights and improves the quality of life”.
Thus reads the incipit of the Universal Declaration on the Archives,
written by the International Council of Archives and adopted by UNESCO on November 10th, 2011.