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Author Topic: October 4, 2011 "The Enchanted Castle by F. Bentivegna"-Sicily-Italy  (Read 378 times)

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Offline charlyno

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  • Bike: BMW R1200GS
    Location: Europe
  • Posts: 114

Used motorcycles: BMW R 1200 GS

 Stages: Palermo-Sciacca-Palermo

 Countries visited: Italy

 Regions visited: Sicily

 Km covered: 210

 Duration: half day



Today was my name day and I took a nice day off work. Half day course .. all mine on the road. Leaving the child in kindergarten .. I came home and I have set in motion! Beautiful sunny day. I headed straight to Sciacca (AG) to visit a particular place especially for the beautiful and evocative story of Philip Bentivegna, crazy artist who gave life to his "kingdom and to his castle." I was "enchanted by this place, immersed in olive trees. The best thing is that I had the good fortune to visit alone, the only visitor to date at least until my departure. To better understand an article reporting the following section elapsus.it by and written by David Mauro. After I got a ride to the beach a few miles from Lumia, Sciacca for a quick bath in crystal waters and found two bunkers on the beach of the German World War II. Finally, a quick tour in motion in the historical center of Sciacca right for a look (.. but we'll be back for a visit as it should) and a sandwich before returning. .. Take a look at photos, even if not fully make the magic of the place.

(Text and article by David Mauro) In the fifties a Swedish painter chose to stay with his wife Sciacca in Sicily. Finding the charming landscape prepared canvases and brushes to capture the faces and landscapes farmers burned by the sun. He worked hard, until satisfied with the results decided to organize a solo exhibition in a former hotel in the country, the initiative became quite famous painter, much to attract the attention of artists and intellectuals Saccensi. After he had made friends with them so to speak Sicilian traditions, the legendary island of King Ferdinand, but also a saccense considered a fool by all: a madman who obsessively carved stone heads ...
Fascinated by this tale of a person wanted to know Lilieström "Philip heads" andandolo find on his farm known by all as the "Enchanted Castle." But when it was accompanied by friends in common, after initial suspicion Philip opened the doors of his reign by appointing the foreigner "dignitary of the court," but only after you have made to kneel before him. But who was this man never believed that the lord of an enchanted kingdom and called himself "Bishop"?
Philip Bentivegna was one of the many Italian immigrants who landed in 1913 in the United States to seek fortune, but the trip across the Atlantic made him a different man. An ugly episode forever changed her fate, one of those episodes that no one will ever be able to really clarify: if it was just a fight or a vendetta love to make him suffer a blow on the head that stunned for days. Since then, in fact, Philip began to act strangely, seemed to think no more: for this reason it was rejected by all as a worker and had to return to his homeland where he was also a process for desertion - is 1919 and the Great War had just ended - suffering sentenced to three years in prison. Before the sentence, a Medical Board declared that the subject was considered "mentally ill", for this reason was later vacated. Thanks to the money accumulated decided to buy a farm just outside Sciacca, where he chose to live away from people, especially away from those that would have prevented from carrying out its mission: to sculpt. He began to sculpt heads of all sizes, using all the stones of his farm and when finished the tunnels dug to extract them. They realized with celebrities such as Garibaldi, Mussolini, Pirandello, Dante, Mazzini, and many others ...
Following the stories of Philip enthusiasts, including the man Lilieström rough-mannered, with a strange accent Sicilian / Italian-American at times incomprehensible, without any notion of art, had the inspiration of primitive art untainted by convention or schools. In him was a need for the flow of creative life, an expression is essential that genuinely do not pursuing any commercial logic. Over the years, in fact many were able to ask him to buy one of his heads, but he answered all the time: "My head will not sell!"
Lilieström convinced him to hold his first exhibition former hotel in Sciacca. But the results were very different from expectations because the show was a complete failure. Besides, how could the Saccensi conceiving the art of a man considered by all the "crazy country" has always been the object of mockery and ridicule of adults and children? And yet that shows the interest of the press turned into this unusual character: they came more often and curious journalists to interview the sculptor of heads. And, although the subject of attention, the old man did not alter his way of being, always inclined between sculpture and love for his dogs.
Heads carved in bas-relief at the entrance to a cave in the Enchanted Garden
After his death in 1967, a friend came to the enchanted castle of the famous painter and theorist Jean Dubuffet's Art Brut. These, after seeing the thousands of sculptures made by relatives of the artist to deliver two heads gave to Dubuffet and now reside at the Museum of Art Brut in Lausanne. So after Dubuffet enjoyed the creativity of artists Bentivegna placed it in the list of Art Brut: self-taught artists, fools and outcasts who showed a unique aptitude for art and its forms of expression.
Today the memory of "Philip heads" is confined to the memories of some old man who knew him in life and in the Enchanted Castle, where you can see a part of countless heads, some of them being lost or stolen. Yet the art has influenced other artists Bentivegna, a young Italian sculptor in a beach of Sciacca has created a series of limestone heads following the inspiration of saccense. What's more, his story has been set to music by Italian rock band in the song Virginiana Miller Bentivegna.
The old and humble artist's apartment. Between the walls you can see the skyscrapers American paintings, memories of his past as emigrated.
But its so arcane and impenetrable art, raises more than one question. Why Philip sculpted heads only? Because none of them expressed joy and serenity? Represented for him the heads of his subjects really enchanted kingdom? One day a reporter asked the question: "Why are carved in stone?" And he said: "I am looking for the Great Mother ... Inside the earth is the seed of man. " Perhaps this answer is hidden in the impenetrable essence of his research ...
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