Da Van Gogh a Letizia Battaglia: scoprirsi artista in tarda età

Artisti si nasce? Tutt’altro. C’è chi lo diventa a colpi di esercizio, chi con un’improvvisa alzata di testa, chi con una scuola o una bottega alle spalle, chi inventando il proprio stile da autodidatta. Anche l’età conta fino a un certo punto: a fronte di un enfant prodige come Raffaello, che concluse a 37 anni un strabiliante carriera, sono tanti gli artisti che in vecchiaia hanno prodotto grandi capolavori. Da Tiziano a Picasso, dal Michelangelo del Giudizio Universale al Monet delle Ninfee. C’è chi necessita di tempo per scoprire i propri talenti, per avere il tempo di metterli a frutto o per arrendersi a una vocazione a lungo repressa. Marcel Proust aveva 38 anni quando scrisse le prime righe della Recerche, che fu anche il suo unico romanzo, e John Coltrane rivelò il proprio genio musicale quando era già oltre la soglia dei 40. E gli artisti? I talenti a scoppio ritardato non mancano neppure qui. Eccone qualche esempio. Vincent Willem van Gogh, Autoritratto, 1887. Olio su tavola, 34,9 x 26,7 cm. Detroit Institute of Arts, City of Detroit PurchaseVincent Van Gogh Per noi è il pittore per eccellenza, ma a chi lo conobbe personalmente il giovane Van Gogh dovette sembrare uno spiantato: tra difficoltà scolastiche, lavori precari e crisi depressive, attese i 27 anni per prendere un pennello in mano. Neppure sua madre ci credeva: non appena il figlio lasciò la casa di famiglia, lei abbandonò le sue “croste” nel magazzino di un falegname. La strada di Vincent sarebbe stata lunga e travagliata, ma non possiamo che ringraziarlo di averla imboccata. Paul Gauguin, Autoritratto con Cristo giallo, 1890-91, olio su tela, Parigi, Musée d’Orsay © RMN-Grand Palais (musée d’Orsay) / René-Gabriel OjédaPaul Gauguin L’amore tra Gauguin e l’arte scoppia dopo i 30 anni. Dopo essere stato un marinaio inquieto in giro per il mondo, un ricco dipendente della Borsa di Parigi, un borghese padre di cinque figli. Complice la crisi finanziaria, il fuoco della creatività riemerge dai ricordi d’infanzia e distrugge ogni certezza: Paul lascia il suo impiego per dedicarsi a tempo pieno alla pittura, abbandona la famiglia e parte alla ricerca delle radici dell’arte. Il resto è storia nota: la Bretagna, la Martinica, Tahiti saranno le tappe di un viaggio epocale. Paul Cezanne, Autoritratto, 1881Paul Cézanne Cézanne era un eterno indeciso. A scuola il disegno non era il suo forte e il padre, fondatore della Banca Cézanne a Aix-en-Provence, premeva perché il figlio seguisse le sue orme. Fu la partenza dell’amico Émile Zola per Parigi a far emergere il suo amore per la pittura. Ma l’ultima parola non era ancora stata pronunciata: Cézanne fu rifiutato all’Ecole des Beaux Arts e dovette passare altro tempo prima che si mettesse seriamente al lavoro. A convincerlo fu il terremoto causato da Manet e dalla sua Colazione sull’erba (1863), ma dovremo aspettare l’invito di Camille Pissarro a Pontoise perché la sua carriera decolli. È il 1872 e Cézanne ha 43 anni. Dopo gli esordi impressionisti, si deciderà a imboccare una strada tutta sua. Henri Rousseau, La Charmeuse de serpents/ L’Incantatrice di serpenti, 1907. Olio su tela, cm 167 x 189,5. Parigi, Musée d’Orsay. © RMN‐Grand Palais (Musée d’Orsay)/Hervé LewandowskiHenri Rousseau Prima soldato, poi gabelliere dei dazi di Parigi, tra gli artisti della capitale Henri Rousseau era noto come “il Doganiere”. La sua ispirazione nasce in luogo decisamente poco romantico: l’ufficio. Il pittore in erba ha già più 30 anni ed è tardi per frequentare una scuola d’arte. Ma Rousseau imbraccia la tavolozza con convinzione e riporta sulla tela i mondi che la fantasia gli suggerisce: giungle selvagge, fiori tropicali, donne primigenie e temibili fiere prendono forma come in una fiaba. Spazi, colori e proporzioni non sono quelli insegnati nelle accademie, ma Rousseau piacerà all’avanguardia, suscitando entusiasmi da Gauguin a Picasso, fino al russo Kandinskij. Anna Mary Robertson “Grandma Moses”, Sugaring off, 1940-42. Collezione privataGrandma Moses Anna Mary Robertson Moses amava dipingere fin da ragazza, ma i genitori non sostennero le sue velleità: molto meglio sposarsi e lavorare in fattoria, come loro. Vedova e con i figli ormai cresciuti, inizia a dedicarsi alla pittura a 76 anni. Da anziana votata ai campi e alla famiglia, si trasforma in Grandma Moses. È il 1936. Tre anni dopo un collezionista scopre i suoi quadri in un villaggio sperduto dello Stato di New York e li acquista in blocco. Nello stesso anno tre delle sue tavole saranno esposte al MoMA. È l’inizio di un percorso trionfale. Grandma Moses vivrà e dipingerà fino a 101 anni, esponendo negli USA e in Europa. I suoi paesaggi agresti e le sue scene di vita gireranno il mondo su stampe e cartoline. Nel 2006 Sugaring off sarà venduto all’asta per oltre un milione di dollari, come conviene a un capolavoro del primitivismo americano. Antonio Ligabue, Autoritratto con mosca, 1960, Olio su tela, 70 x 50 cm | Courtesy of Fondazione Archivio Antonio Ligabue di ParmaAntonio Ligabue Per Ligabue l’arte è un rifugio: lo aiuta a esprimere energie e paure, lo protegge dai fantasmi della sua mente e dall’ostilità del mondo. Sulla tela tigri, leoni e serpenti diventano inoffensivi, e le passioni degli uomini smettono di fare male. Antonio scopre i colori a olio alla soglia dei 30 anni, grazie all’incontro con l’artista Renato Marino Mazzacurati. È una svolta: la campagna padana, dove il futuro artista conduce una vita nomade tra lavori saltuari, si accende di colori brillanti, diventa giungla e savana. Ligabue inizia a far pace con la sua condizione di mat – come lo chiamano nel paesino di Gualtieri – e con il suo drammatico passato. Critici e collezionisti lo scoprono alla fine degli anni Quaranta e le mostre si susseguono. Finalmente libero dalla povertà, lui affianca alla pittura un’altra grande passione: le motociclette. Shobha, Ritratto di Letizia Battaglia. Courtesy l’artistaLetizia Battaglia Fino al 1969 Letizia Battaglia faceva la casalinga e la mamma a Palermo. Certo, una casalinga sui generis, innamorata della poesia di Ezra Pound. Dopo la separazione dal marito, ha bisogno di guadagnarsi da vivere: diventa reporter per il quotidiano L’Ora, poi si trasferisce a Milano dove inizia a fotografare. Ha 35 anni e l’Italia si incammina verso gli anni di piombo. I delitti di mafia le daranno la fama. Ma Letizia è un’artista a tutto tondo e la macchina fotografica diventa uno “strumento di realizzazione di sé”: negli anni i suoi scatti accoglieranno uomini e donne, bimbi e animali, eventi di attualità, personaggi noti, scene da metropoli e da paesi sperduti. Fino all’ultimo progetto sul nudo, portato avanti a 85 anni presso il Centro Internazionale di Fotografia delle Officine alla Zisa, che Battaglia dirige a Palermo.
Source: Arte NEWS

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