Enrico Mazzone: In the vaults of the Divine Comedy in SAMK art hall

Familiar and unfamiliar faces, locations all around Finland and strikingly distinctive features of Finnishness intertwined with mythological imagery – this is what Italian artist Enrico Mazzone presents us at the Pori Campus art hall until 26 March 2020. Mazzone lives and works in Rauma, and he initially arrived in Finland through The RaumArs Artist-in-Residence Programme in 2015.

5.3.2020 | By: Saija Mustaniemi | Photo: Saija Mustaniemi

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Enrico Mazzone presents at SAMK art hall familiar and unfamiliar faces, locations all around Finland and strikingly distinctive features of Finnishness intertwined with mythological imagery.

Now Mazzone is working in Rauma on his principal work of art that is a massive visual narrative, a 96-metre paper roll on which he eternalizes Dante, Kalevala (the Finnish national epic), and people, places and stories he has met during his travels. The work of art should be completed at the end of the year to mark the 700th  anniversary of Dante´s death next year.

In his art, Mazzone realizes the dream encountered in his early childhood, a kind of constructive and aesthetic escapism where he follows in Dante´s footsteps as a Dante himself. Simultaneously, new worlds, figures and narrative encounters are created for the spectator.

– Ever since I was a child, I´ve been caught up by the almighty books and writings, the tomes on the shelves of my room. By turning the pages, my imagination started a never-ending, intensive long-distance journey with them. At around the age of five, I started to create and illustrate monsters and demons and relocate them in several remote planets.

Mazzone mentions especially Gustav Dore´s illustrations as his inspiration; they have vivified new places and ways of thinking. Places and spaces that contribute to the artist´s current aesthetic and the routines of creating illustrations.

New strands for art from mythology

– My own interest and dedication to mythology reveals and opens new channels. Through mythology I tie strands to art, which refer and lead back to the Divine Comedy. In my own imagination, already in my childhood, comedy, tragedy, poem and melodrama were combined and created a kind of a symbiotic pantheon, a collection of figures I carry with me in my journeys.

Mazzone sketches and drafts a lot and draws people and things he has met, drawing from memory. He does not use photographs for documentation but relies on the image he has and accepts also the fact that things mould themselves.

– The majority of collected memories stay almost the same during days, but some of them start to change and that is a part of the process. When travelling across Finland for already five years, my visuality and person have been affected, and I´ve concentrated on trying to remember all the interesting features and faces I have encountered.

SIMVLACRA exhibition includes recollections and pictures of the most incredible persons the artist has encountered during his travels in Finland. The figures have been placed in new locations, in Mazzone style, and dressed in the connotations of the Divine Comedy in monster colours and transcendental vibrations.


"SIMVLACRA - Vaults from Divine Comedy-  Exhibition in Pori  Since I was a little kid I have been fascinated from those almighty tomes on my rooms shelf. While it occured one day to step closer and by turning the pages , my imagination dipped down to a flavoured wonderlust and immediately at the age of 5 I started to create monsters, demons and relocate them in remote planets. Those illustrations by Gustave Dore’ are making vividly awake lot of presences which contribute my aestethical flair in the nowadays routine. Because the interest of the mythology there has been lot of work beside the curtains, to catch up all the wires toward the references i have encountered on the whole saga of Divine Comedy. Comedy, Tragedy, Poetry and Melodrama probably made a symbiothic pantheon, so strong to become immediately trascendental: I needed to see all the archetypes alive, on a real world, and preferably toward people close to me. As the only child, I have founded on my family and siblings, those characters so dearly. Even if ​very rudimentary, I started to draw them on a sketch-book ( i still have preserved safely in my room ) and keep starting by the feelings and memorizing my own’s family features . On a very early stage, i supposed to be Dante , in order to navigate the whole unknown world over around me and encounter lot of adventures on my pathway. Most of those memories I recall, days go by, are exactly the way there used to be, but more often, other have been changed.Travelling Finland, during those 5 years something has propelled my visual and i have been concentrated to the physiognomic of every peculiar feature I have starred. Here I present a recollection of the most incredible persons I have been chose to relocate in their native town, but dressed up by Divine’s Comedy Connotation."

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Italian artist Enrico Mazzone

Mazzone lives and works in Rauma, and he initially arrived in Finland through The RaumArs Artist-in-Residence Programme in 2015

5.3.2020 | By: Saija Mustaniemi | Photo: Saija Mustaniemi

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