Sunday, April 17, 2011

Pictures Through Pinholes: Alessandra Capodacqua

 Ciao My Readers, 
          As priorly mentioned,   I have a new angle and with it a new understanding of the contemporary especially in photography and mixed media.

On February 10th 2011, I attended a lecture given by photographer; curator and teacher. Alessandra Capodacqua. Capodacqua became interested in photography during her mid-teens. Thereby, she was gifted a camera upon her eighteenth birthday to celebrate her favorite hobby. In the 1970's , photography was mainly a hobby and was not viewed as a satifisying career choice. Thus, Capodacqua majored in English but held onto her dream of one day becoming an accomplished photographer. Upon graduation, Capodacqua moved to Florence to actualize her dream. At the time, She was merely a commercial photographer. Yet ,in 1992 she suffered an eye affliction, which transformed her entire body of work. In response to her ailment, Capadacqua began to make and use pin hole cameras because they were easier on her eyes since they did not contain a lens or viewfinder.  these works set on 35 mm film were by far Capodacqua's most successful body of work.

 Capodacqua uses a myriad of photographic techniques such as black and white, color aperture, movement and lighting. She also displays varying subject matter with her self-portraits, landscapes, still lives, impressions and emersions. Her incredibly innovative style of showing her film with sprocket-holes adds to the architectural and atmospheric elements within her landscape photography.  Her ability to stretch the boundaries of photography without compromising her image via Photoshop is commendable. She creates new methods of picture making merely through movement behind and in front of the camera.

I am highly fascinated with the paranormal and the Macabre; thereby Capodacqua’s theme of being and non-being captivates me. She utilizes movement and color to play with memory and illusion. Her portraits embody the true example of creating something out of nothing as displayed with her innovative techniques and self made cameras.
I have a great appreciation for Capodacqua as a pinhole photographer and teacher. Pinhole cameras may be the easiest cameras to construct. Yet, the art of pin - hole photography is very time-consuming and in Capodacqua’s case requires much attention since she refuses to discard any film.  Capodacqua's work is truly a spectacle, to learn more about this resilient artists visit her website at

a preso, 
<3 Belladonna

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Welcome to All Art has been Contemporary!!!

Ciao My Readers,
Now my guess is many of you are very disappointed in my failure at staying in touch these past months and I don't blame you. I have absolutely no excuse for not writing these past months.  My main reason for not writing was because I decided to revert back to my depressive self and start the equivalency of a pity blog. That is right,  your Gianna who wrote such museum write-ups that were published in travel blogs reverted back to writing like a high-school girl. I suppose I did it because i was too embarrassed to admit to my readers that I was  originally very unhappy about  coming back to Florence.  The city remained  the same but so did I, I wanted to come back and feel the same way I did when I left Florence, Yet in truth all i felt was uncertainty . It has taken four months for myself to find that sense of security, which I found unexpectedly in my Young Italian Artist class. This course revolves around experiential learning from artists lectures in the class room to visits to individual studios.
As mentioned in my new biography, every artists mentioned comes from the contemporary underground art scene of Florence,  Yet, I must give credit where credit is due and that is to the brilliancy of contemporary installation artists Maurizio Nannucci.
"All art has been contemporary" by Maurizio Nannucci ,
 2010 neon , 65 x 1600 cm Galleria degli Uffizi 
His lighting display on the facade of the uffizi museum turned heads with its bold exclamation "All art has been contemporary".  His words hold verity to my own connection with art. What is contemporary art?  how do we define it?  was classical art once contemporary art? it is these questions that spring forth from this single sentence. and these questions which I further wish to explore through the art blogosphere.
Finally, I'm sure you have noticed I have renounced by title as Gianna della Rosa . Though Gianna is closer to my original name, I feel since my blog is now projecting a new angle I myself  should project a  new image. Belladonna is a lovely nickname that was given by someone very dear to me and I feel she embodies the person I am now.
Thankyou for staying tuned these past months while I was on a hiatus I promise many amazing write-ups to follow.
Grazie Mille
<3 Belladonna

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Welcome Back?

Hello my readers,

I am going to revert from speaking Italian because just hearing that language right now breaks my heart </3 .

I am currently typing this entry in the air port and all I can say is I Hate America!! I have never felt such a part of a culture: a culture that actually takes pride in their art and their food; a culture who adopts you as one of their own; a culture where you can walk outside on the beautifully paved streets glance amongst the gorgeous church works and feel like you are living a part of a sacred history.

I know this is kind of ironic being how I wrote in the beginning how much I felt like I did not belong in Florence but now I know more than ever that it is my home. If I could marry an Italian and stay in the country forever I would. I am a Florentine tried and true and I don't belong in America anymore, from my dress and new hair style which is so foreign to my for fun reading materials which hold basis in art and Florentine culture, to the very fact that I wanted to scream blasphemy at the sbarro's in the airport for their claim to have whoestyle "Italian' cooking.

I feel like Florence is my home, The Florentines are so cultured and take so much pride in their culture. What I wouldn't give to stand at a coffee bar right now and have an espresso. Well at the airport you can go and get a cup o joe at dunkin donuts served to you in a paper cup, how classy! Then you can go and order a medium drink at any drink place in America and being the definition of fat central they will serve you their version of an Italian multi-grande! Italians have so much pride for others yes they push and shove to get a around but they do it with class as opposed to city slickers who are just flat out pushing and shoving. Italians are also patient they take their time and reason with others for example, I checked my bag in Rome to New Jersey and the Italian airline worker was so patient and sent the bag through even though it was a tad overweight, I get to America and the airline worker has the nerve to argue over 5 pounds say "I'm just doing my job hunny" and send me off with a 50 dollar surgcharge. I think the Newark airport is just the definition of America and what a disgusting and capitalist society it is.

When I go home to my home town I will be living my life in bohemian style again avoiding fast food and most likely going vegan because I don't think I can tolerate American cheese anymore let alone there sad excuse for gelato they call ice-cream. I am anticipating sinking into a depression and just reminiscing and writing about Florence and trying to hold onto it so it doesn't fade away into a sweet memory. I suppose there is a silver lining to it all, I am coming back in the spring and I will be attending new art courses in contemporary Italian society, curatorial studies, art preservation, Italian cooking and my favorite and a surprise for all of you my fellow readers working as a docent in Santa Maria Novella J

As mentioned previously, I have wanted to be a docent since the beginning of this summer at my local excuse for an art museum, now I am interning as a tour guide in one of the most sacred churches in the world! My apartment next semester will also be lavishly flourished with a king size bed and situated right next to the Mercato Centrale and right down the street from Santa Maria Novella. So I suppose I couldn't be a more fortunate person. I just feel like I gave so much of my heart to a city and I cannot take it back with me. I also feel very protective of that city and it really breaks my heart when other people insult it and abuse their privilege of being in such a beautiful place. To those Nay Sayers who have the nerve to insult Florence this is all I am going to say: Your experience is what you make it: I am going to go back on my pretentious shyness and make an allusion to one of my favorite artist's Botticelli: Imagine yourself riding a scallop pushed by the wind to a destination, you have the choice of what direction you will lead. Flora bestows her mantle on you, warming you with her Florentine pride. You have the choice to where you want to go and what you want to do and how this experience will affect you as a human being. Let the compass rose be your guide and ride the wind.

I feel like the Venus who has been blown back from Florence to Cyprus against her own will and wants to go back to Florence once more. I am in a transition again riding the wind. The compass rose to my heart leads to Florence but for now I am back on the island of Cyprus waiting for the winds of fate to blow me back to the country that I love.

</3 Jenna

Monday, November 22, 2010

Up Close and Personal with Michelangelo’s David!

Ciao i miei amici,

I first off want to apologize for this long awaited post, I just have been so overwhelmed by all my traveling that I have yet to find some spare time to blog. However that is until now.

As mentioned in a previous entry, where I stress subjective viewer-ship as opposed to introspective viewer-ship I mentioned how viewing art with others is a great way to reflect on a work of art as a whole.  I feel ever since my experience in the Palazzo Pitti as well as the Uffizi I have grown rather accustomed to the social museum experience. I still love to reflect introspectively on hidden gems within the small churches and palaces of Florence however when it comes to major tourist museums as seen with the Academia sometimes it is just best to be subjective.

I visited the Academia with my two dear friends who both possessed an extensive art background. One had previously seen the David before, while the other like myself was seeing the David for the first time. Upon entrance into the Academia, I was filled with gratitude for my friends of the Uffizzi card. A crowd nearly blocked the entrance and the foyer of the first gallery was congested to the brim with buzzing tourists. Then came the moment of anticipation, after viewing and commenting on various works of byzantine and renaissance church art we ventured down the long and narrow hallway to the room of The David.  My friend expressed the magnificence of David prior to my visit and warned me how he would catch us off guard upon entrance into the hallway. However, at the time I dismissed his wariness, yet of course he was right.

Michelangelo's David
If there was only one word to describe the David, my one word would be Magnificent! His location within the Academia greatly attributes to his idealistic nature for he stands fourteen-feet high over his fellow spectators. His architectural placement contributes to his stance and beauty as well. David is situated at the end of the Academia hallway in a round; above him is a glass copula which projects naturalistic light onto his beautifully toned body. What is so fascinating about David's placement in the round is it allows the viewer to experience all 360 degrees of his gloriousness.

My friends and I decided to view the front of David first, I must admit I am a perfectionist thus I was awestruck upon his viewership. He was magnificent: his hair was perfectly quaffed, his muscles were toned, his facial features were alluring and his stance in his victorious contrappasto was so life-like and entrancing. We then proceeded to view David from all angles and sat within the round for nearly an hour commenting on Michelangelo's craftsmanship. In all honesty, pulling myself away from the David was far more difficult then I could have ever imagined, he was so captivating and handsome that I just felt so lost within his gaze. Ok I suppose it sounds like I have a school girl crush on the David but it is hard to stop staring at something that beautiful!

The Academia embodies the David; this museum is far smaller than portrayed and is comprised of mainly church works. Yet, David stands on his own as something so captivating that he beckons forth millions of tourist every year to witness his magnificence. Thus, he has lured me as well as many other fellow art lovers to question the definition of perfection.

A preso,



Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My Appreciation for the Art Blogosphere

Ciao I miei amici,

First of all I want to apologize for my hiatus these few weeks. But I must say throughout this time, I have visited some absolutely incredible museums and churches which I am eager to write to you all about in my upcoming entries.

Yet, I first want to reflect on an incredible phenomenon that has changed my worldview as we know it. This is of course the Art Blogosphere, I initially wrote my blog with the purpose of serving as a travel journal for my friends and family back home. But suddenly it transformed into something totally unexpected, I figured my main focus on most entries would be art oriented but I had no idea that my blog would morph to be counted among the ranks of other Art History Bloggers. I want to thank the incredible bloggers I have read along the way who have made me feel so welcome into the community. A special thanks to H for his kind words and assistance and to his friends M, A and Dr.F.

I am just a mere college student studying abroad with big hopes and dreams of one day making it in the art world, I have high hopes of either being a curator or perhaps writing for Art Forum. I understand these are big dreams but thanks to the art blogging world I feel like these dreams could one day be a reality. Art is my love, I feel like I have sacrificed so much socially because very few people my age are on the same wavelength as me. As seen in my bio I am a very introverted person and when I start talking about art to peers my own age I often come across as elitist or pretentious. The fact is I am not an elitist I just really love art and I love reflecting on it with others who live for the subjective view as I do. I now live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world known for its art. I look out my window and there is Santa Maria Novella, I go to get a gelato and there is the Duomo, everyday on my way to class I pass the Pallazo Strozzi. I not only see art history each and every day, I live and breathe it. Which is why my dear readers I couldn't bear to leave Florence thus I will be studying new topics next semester in accordance with museum exhibition, art expertise , art restoration and hopefully though a family connection intern at the palazzo pitti. I have big dreams and I know Florence will take me far so I will keep dreaming and keep writing so stay tuned for the promised church entries and of course my trip to the Louvre and Academia

A preso,


Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Surprise Post: Unearthing the secrets beneath the Medicee Chapel

Ciao I Miei Amici,
Now normally i am not a photo blogger, since i leave the photo blogging to the photographers ;), I in fact did not take any of the pictures that you are about to see, my  fellow fresco classmate Darlene is the one who i owe the credit too, but I was a part of the experience. I understand the virtual viewership of this imagery  is no comparison to real life but i hope you enjoy this special post.

Unearthing the secret.....

Enter the Cappele di Medicee home to the tombs of the revered Medicee family
 and our hidden piece of art history.

Michaelangelo's monumental Tomb of Giuliano di Medicee
 Upon entrance locate the monumental tombs of the Medicee crafted by Michaelangelo

Near the monument room of the Medicee there is a small room off to the side 
Now if you are lucky like I am and have one of the best restorators in all of  Florence as your teacher
then you will gain access to this secret passageway  

Congrats readers you have now reached a hidden secret in art history many wish they could behold, 
 Welcome to the Hidden Sketches of Michaelangelo!

Upon entrance into the room of Michaelangelo's hidden sketches i was in sheer awe and amazement, pictures alone cannot describe what a milestone this experience was for me in my art history career. I was viewing the most basic of form's the inner ideas and the  hidden sketches of Michaelangelo!

 In the process of constructing the Medicee monuments, Michaelangelo would escape to this room beneath the Chapel to contemplate and map out his inner ideas. These sketches were the fruits of his labor and as we can see many of these basic ideas rose to fruition in the creation of his frescoes and monuments.  

I hope you enjoyed this surprise segment on La Vita e Bella, This was an experience of a lifetime and i'm so thankful i am fortunate enough to share it with all of you 

A Preso,


Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Pallazo Pitti: The Bartolini Tondo

Ciao my readers. As mentioned in my site's profile and previous entries, I am a very introspective person when it comes to my viewership of art. Yet, an incredible opportunity presented itself which allowed me not only to come out of my shell but experience art in a completely different way. Thank you H from Three Pipe Problem for your incredible insight. Ever since the day I stumbled upon the Three Pipe Problem in search of a certain Botticelli picture, I have been following your blog religiously, it was such an honor to spend the morning with you at the Pitti Palace. Inspired by H, I have decided to present this entry with a new perspective. 

Although my blog mostly covers museum viewership and reactions, I have decided to go in a new direction for this entry in tribute to the Three Pipe Problem.

The Palazzo Pitti, home of the palatine galleries
The Palazzo Pitti is grandeur personified, it is an aesthetic and societal biosphere made up of many dimensions. From the silverware, modern art and palatine galleries to the Boboli gardens, this palace of mass exuberance is one step below Versailles. I have never been a fan of the Rococo and gilded splendor so it was no surprise upon entrance to the palatine galleries that I was blinded by the overly gaudy d├ęcor. Gold leafed walls, frescoed ceilings and antiquities of gilded splendor encompassed the interiors of the palatine galleries. Although my main focus on this entry is set on a particular piece and not the palatine galleries themselves, for a better understanding of the history of the palace and the Medici family, read H's post at my site(link below). 

The dizzying opulence of The Palatine Gallery

In my opinion, less is more when it comes to the exhibition of art. However, upon viewership of the interior palace it appeared the Medici failed to acknowledge simplicity and wished to display the best of everything, thereby overly congesting the art works within each room. While I walked the halls of the palatine galleries with H, I wanted to experience the details and styles of each renaissance artist however I found myself overly distracted due to all of the works crowded within each room. 

As mentioned in previous entries, I dislike guided tours because I wish to experience art introspectively but I found myself in tune with H for I sought to ingest all the knowledge H had to offer, I wanted to know more about the Carravagisti and the Raphaels, as well as any other artists that came up in discussion. There weren’t many tourists in the gallery and we talked throughout our entire viewing experience. Yet, there was one moment when I went silent, that moment was brought on by the viewership of the Bartolini Tondo.

Filippo Lippi, Bartolini Tondo 1465-1470

The Bartolini Tondo By Filippo Lippi(1406-1469) is housed in Room XXI of the Palatine Galleries. It is displayed on the back wall of the room is showcased by its large scale size and opulent frame. I was immediately drawn to this work and was at a loss for words, all I could do was stare in amazement. I attribute my amazement to the history behind this immaculate tondo. 

The Bartolini Tondo was the earliest form of a renaissance tondo, or painting presented in a round format. Prior to its creation, renaissance paintings were created in panels or in the style of frescoes but never set as a round. However, Lippi’s tondo led a revolution of tondos to follow, as seen in the rounds by Botticelli and Michelangelo. The tondo was commissioned by the noble silk merchant Roberto Bartolini, with the purposeful shape of a birthing tray to honor the birth of his first born child. 

It serves as a celebration of birth and matrilineal lineage. It depicts a Madonna and Child intertwined with scenes from the lives of her mother St. Anne. The Virgin serves as a focal point in the foreground while her birth and conception are displayed in the background. Lippi’s tondo is alluring not only in a religious and societal context but also as a work of incredible craftsmanship through its architecture and proportions. I was very fortunate to be amongst a fellow art lover while having such an aesthetic experience, I am rather inclined to Lippi in general since he was the mentor of Botticelli but I often undermined him for Botticelli, I now hold a deeper appreciation for Lippi as well as subjective art viewership. 

“I just loved the Bartolini Tondo so much I had to get a  postcard of it!” one of many postcards from my many museum trips 

Thank you H and my fellow readers for following my blog and watching me grow in my aesthetic experience. Who knows perhaps sometime soon, I will take a guided tour.