Sesto Fiorentino did its own thing in atypical 2020 by a welcoming street art project. Sestreet 2020 culminated with Exit Enter’s Awakening of a Puppet, a mural in Sesto’s piazza del Mercato.
Exit Enter began to produce street art while studying at the Fine Arts Academy in Florence. He was drawing nonstop, but was struggling to make his work known. That’s when the artist decided to use the walls of Florence as an art gallery. With this poetic invasion, people started to appreciate the art of humans, hearts and feelings, an expression of universal love.
Exit Enter’s aim remains unchanged: telling stories, illustrating poems and inspiring messages among whoever proves receptive, open to interpretation. We could call the artist a singer-songwriter of our times or, at the very least, a storyteller. On www.exitenter.it, skies full of clouds like Japanese painter Hokusai’s eighteenth-century waves and fiery orange sunsets lead us deeper into the street artist’s imagination.
In Sesto Fiorentino, Exit Enter depicted Pinocchio and the Land of Toys. We know that the book’s author Carlo Lorenzini set several scenes in Sesto, in the places that he frequented. The Land of Toys was inspired by a fair that used to be held in piazza IV Novembre and which is now revived with Exit Enter’s aesthetic in a piazza close by the original location.
Awakening of a Puppet shows Pinocchio who, convinced by Candlewick, finds himself at the mercy of a mad life in the Land of Toys. The puppet is on the brink of losing his self and turning into an ass. Thanks to the help of the Talking Cricket, he regains his conscience and understands the experience, drawing the strength needed to free all the other children lost in the Land of Toys. This selfless act means that the Fairy wakes him up as a child.
The Sesto Fiorentino mural is autobiographical too. “I wanted to show the Land of Toys as a never-ending rave party as, based on personal experience, there are plenty of similarities!” explains Exit Enter. “Before discovering that painting was my ‘exit’, I was into techno music and in search of experiences to escape the daily boredom of life in a small town. So, I spent part of my life organizing and going to my little town of temporary toys every weekend. It was a chaotic stage in my life, but out of that chaos came my human figures, which showed me the way out, in the same way that the Talking Cricket did for Pinocchio.”
“For Sesto Fiorentino and its locals, streets and squares have always been a place to meet and exchange views, of beauty and conquest,” explained Francesca Nieri, curator of the street art project. “The town has definitely changed over time, becoming more open to new culture, growing and evolving, but perhaps this individualism that is influencing our society is also making us lose our originality.”
She continued: “With the Sestreet – la strada ci sta parlando project, which we planned with the Culture Attive association in San Gimignano and which became reality thanks to the support of the Comune di Sesto Fiorentino and a generous sponsorship by Estra Luce e Gas S.p.A., we wanted to bring a few strategic corners of the town to life through the powerful expression of street art, fully conscious that beauty begets more beauty. When we give flowers and colour to greyness, the squares can be viewed by Sesto’s new residents as a starting point from which to make more beauty, spark knowledge and encourage exchange. Five walls for seven street artists on the Florentine scene, who are well known nationally and even internationally, who convey a message of rebirth, beauty, exchange, integration, commitment and culture.”