The "all this" was an array of paintings Mario has created in the last four years, each conveying a sardonic message: A Caravaggio study he did 30 years ago emblazoned with the words, "Enjoy your coke"; a more recent enormous canvas he unrolled for us that spells out "I love
He painted some of them as performance art. On a stage, a canvas in front of him, a row of paints lined up, a piano or a jazz band beside him, he worked to the rhythm of the music, letting it carry his hand to colour and shape. And at the end of the performance, he smears red paint on his own lips, and it is his kiss that forms the mouths of the figures he creates.
We met Mario Catalano through our hostess Paola, who herself only met him for the first time shortly before we did even though they both have ties to Martignano. We all took a liking to him, and he to us and soon enough he invited us to his home, which he shares with his parents.
Mario was born in Martignano in the house whose back garden abuts the studio where my painter housemates work. His parents, Antonio and Tomassina, moved the family to
Mario has his mother's gentleness of manner and his father's sharp wit.
Paola grew up in
Mario lived in
His parents says little but they beam when he shows us his work.
|Mario stands in from of his Caravaggio study, his parents are at the table.|
|This is the only painting Catalano has named: Malata, Malata, Malata, Malata, Malata, Malata d'Amore|