Milky Way 4

Spotlight on The Milky Way

On a sunny October morning, during the Contemporary Art Day run by AMACI, the Association of Italian Contemporary Art Museums, another art happening took place in Naples. But this time it was not all about art. This time it was about walking the same path, by taking “The Milky Way”…

The one shot exhibition – hosted by one of the most important Italian galleries, Lia Rumma Gallery – focused on fundraising to promote the projects of Pianoterra Onlus, a non-governmental organization whose mission is to support all the vulnerable mother-child dads of Naples.

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Since 2008, Pianoterra onlus has been realizing projects aimed at struggling mothers living alone and in poverty, without institutional resources to support them or their children. All of the Pianoterra actions are based on a concept that has become their motto:

Donations are not liberation

So beside basic necessities, their central mission is to provide a path of sustainable and enduring support through education, medical and psychological counseling – all proven instruments for re-building the women’s confidence in their own personal resources and resilience.

Milky Way 1

Twenty-four artists, quite different in style and attitudes, but similar in philanthropic scope, donated works that became appropriate responses to the founding values of Pianoterra onlus: Marina Abramovic, Stefano Arienti, Jeannette Montgomery Barron, Elisabetta Benassi, Antonio Biasiucci, Francesco Clemente, Gabriele De Santis, Alberto Di Fabio, Giuseppe Ducrot, Tracey Emin, Lino Fiorito, May Hands, Avish Khebrehzadeh, Fabrice Langlade, Claudia Losi, Gianluca Malgeri, Marzia Migliora, Alek O., Luigi Ontani, Gabriele Porta, Gabriele Silli, Kiki Smith, Paolo W. Tamburella, Vedovamazzei.

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What is fascinating about the show is that each artist, somehow, in their own life path meditated on a pure love, as that of a mother’s love, and reflected it in their work. As you walk through the gallery, you feel wrapped in your mother’s arms and it brings you back to childhood memories. Indeed, to anyone who walks in the gallery, it becomes an experience of self-discovery, for there is a sense of belonging in each work of art.

Damiana Leoni, a contemporary art consultant who has approached for the first time the art scene as a curator, has overcome the challenge with great success. This may well be because she took inspiration from the most disruptive work in the exhibition: one of Luigi Ontani’s tableaux vivants, a portrait picture of the artist as a young man taken in India, breast-feeding a little boy.

Milky Way 2

Indeed, she chose a declining motherhood transformed into something that no longer belongs to anyone. A motherhood that has evolved into a relationship between human beings, an older and a younger one, converting a mother’s love for her own child in an enduring love for life.

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