Two years after Jorit painted the Nelson Mandela mural in piazza Leopoldo, the artist returns to create a new work on a condominium in via Canova, Florence. Depicting a large portrait of Antonio Gramsci, the politician and Sardinian communist intellectual imprisoned by the fascist regime from 1926-1937, the enormous mural is a stark presence in the relatively mundane urban landscape.
As is the artist’s style, stage one of the process involved tracing a sentence across the wall, taken from Gramsci’s reflections in his Letters from prison. The sentence reads “Even when everything is or seems lost, one must calmly get back to work, starting from the beginning…The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old dies and the new cannot be born”. The line was chosen given the particular fears surrounding the future in these troubling times, and is a useful reflection as we seek to remain optimistic.
The work transforms the building into an open-air contemporary art museum with this realistic portrait of Gramsci located on the external wall of the condominium in via Canova. The 213 square meter surface now stands as a message of support, community and the drive towards a better future.