Fulvia Zambon’s figurative painting career began some ten years ago. The artist from Turin, who has chosen to live and work in the USA, started to express her feelings and passions through the gesture of the painting hand and the support of the absorbing canvas when she was very young. Her contribution to OPEN 12 is one of her sweet but horrifying Baby Carriages which have made her famous – paintings to be found in some of the most valuable collections in the world. Peace is a baby carriage with the Stars and Stripes, which is the symbol of the country Fulvia has chosen to live in, but also the symbol of a Power which is controversially engaged in many peace-keeping missions all over the world. This baby carriage is empty. A long, black, almost endless cloth hangs out, from the place where the baby’s little body should be lying. Something irreparable has happened. The baby carriage ran away by itself. It abandoned the town and finally came to a clearing in an autumn wood. The symbols of abandonment, of death, of guilt are very clear. In this coppice, which stands for temperance and wisdom, there is a little house reminding us of a kind woodman’s fairy-tale cottage. A cup of milk was put down on the stump which is usually used to chop wood. This is one of those bowls which in so many paintings has always reminded us of our early childhood The cup is a symbol of food, and therefore of the possibility of survival. But another important element makes its discreet presence felt: a little oval picture hanging inside the hut. Its subject could be a little angel, a spirit of the wood or the transfiguration of a little mouse which accompanied the artist’s fancies when she, as a child, invented stories about a mouse that accompanied her everywhere. The painting undoubtedly reminds us of the terrible events that happened in America on 11th September 2001, when two Boeings piloted by Arabian kamikazes crashed into the Twin Towers. “We all felt America was invincible”, Fulvia explains, “That attack left everybody flabbergasted”. The Second Gulf War began on 20th March 2003. Everybody knows what followed. Fulvia Zambon is not engaged in politics. Actually her pictures are real stories which transfer everyday happenings into a fairy-tale, but very serious world. “But”, she adds, “in these eight years we have seen just some coffins covered by the flag, few images on TV. The rest has been carefully hidden. We become frightened of our own dead. Yet we realized that things were going wrong”. The work of art exhibited at OPEN 12 is a large picture which reveals the thinking of a talented painter who is able to give voice to den zeitgeist. Ordinary people cannot stand wars any longer. Peace becomes for once a word free of symbolical and rhetorical meanings. It simply and straightforwardly means: Stop it.
Text by Anna Caterina Bellati