Backstreet Boy in Siena
Updated: May 27
Olives are a significant part of what we do at CosituttiMarketPlace. Our end of the year offering of New Harvest oils are the high point of our season. So when I met artist Samule Calosi on a backstreet in Siena I was immediately drawn to his atelier and this drawing of the Olive Harvest and here is our story.
It has often been said that Italy is an open air museum where you find yourself surrounded by masterpieces of art and architecture around every corner. Sometimes you walk into a monumental building or church, sometimes you pass an imposing sculpture or fountain, sometimes you're taken into a hidden garden or led down a portico of arches that lead to palaces and villas that you find hard to believe. And sometimes you walk around the corner to find a little shop that has a particular type of artwork least expected.
That is how I found the studio/atelier of artist Samuele Calosi on Via della Sapienza,17 in Siena. Studying set design at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence his artistic influences included the costumes, masks and designs of the stage and the emotions portrayed by the actors. Calosi describes his work as a theatrical representation of "the most hidden parts of the script of life, less visible to the general public; the toughest and quietest parts behind the scenes of the great stage of history".
Inspired by medieval miniatures, the artist captures scenes and moments of a way of life that can be linked back to his studies in Florence and the rural Italian countryside of his grandparents. Using classically designed pens with delicate tips (0.1 and 0.2) and an ancient ink and "dot" technique Calosi creates strong tonal contrasts of dark and light. Themes are of simple but noble stories; drawings of humble yet significant work in its ritual repetition. Plants, animals and humans are drawn in a screenplay of life,inspired by peasants drawn with disproportionately, bigger hands and feet to emphasize the main "tools" of hard work in the countryside.
Next time you are in Italy take time to explore the corners and backstreets, you might be surprised at what you find.