I am writing this blog while flying from Arusha to Zanzibar. I am just back from an amazing 4 day-safari in several parks in Tanzania where the close contact with nature and the total disconnection from the reality I am used to, have incredibly boosted my artistic creativity.
Africa has been treating me fairly so far. Tanzanians are awesome people, very welcoming and smiley. The conditions they live are far from the comfy ones an average European is used to but in their eyes I always read pride for their country.
Driving for hours and hours, many are the villages I have been passing by. Amazing, fast changing landscapes have pleased my eyes and the colors of natural elements such as the yellow of the earth turning into an intense brown-red and then changing again into a mesmerizing green, the blue sky, the huge trees turning into a very dry vegetation exploding again into an overwhelming dark green forest, have had such a breathtaking effect on me.
The environments change but the conditions people live in do not. Poverty is all around. Kids wearing dirty clothes waving our car at the crossroads look happy because they don’t know there is a better life elsewhere. Many those walking for kilometers without shoes under the hot sun carrying water or being just on their way to the closest school. Their eyes and their smiles, despite the miserable conditions, are shining. Sadness looks not being part of the way they approach life.
By now you perfectly know how important the role of colors in the conception of my Art is. Having been living in "sophisticated" countries, I cannot retain myself from comparing the pleasant chromatic taste of locals opposite to, sometimes, the chromatic disasters of some Europeans who look ignoring the concept of color harmony and the basic difference between primary and secondary colors (it's the Italian in me speaking).
Well, it looks that African people got it naturally. My artistic eye is fascinated by the way they choose the colors of their clothes, how they combine the fabrics. The result is simply stunning! This aspect becomes even more mesmerizing outside the crowded areas, where human beings are seen in a natural background. The effect is powerful, as their blush-colors opposite to those of the natural elements become the center of attention of any observer. The Masai tribe goes over the top by the use of white painting on the dark skin of their faces and the use of a reverberant red in their clothes. They live a simple happy life in piece with their animals. Vibrant people are ones we remember. They are usually bright and full of personality. African colors cover poverty with a thick layer of human decency.