THE MADONNA OF THE HOMOSEXUALS - LA MADONNA DEGLI OMOSESSUALI

LA MADONNA DEGLI OMOSESSUALI
Raffaele Ciotola
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"THE MADONNA OF THE HOMOSEXUALS"

IN MEMORY OF HOMOSEXUALS VICTIMS KILLED DURING THE NAZI  REGIME



ART AGAINST HOMOPHOBIA

"STOP HOMOPH ART"

The Movement was founded in 2003, Italy by Raffaele Ciotola.


The scope of the movement is to discourage racist attitudes and  homophobic behaviour that arise when a glbt homosexual work of art is  exhibited to the public. The idea is to spread cultural awareness and  respect in the struggle against homophobia. Mr. Ciotola firmly believes  that painting, like music, is a direct and universal Language sending  messages and spreading ideas with even more immediacy than literature.  In fact, his works express the cultural structures involving the male  and female, of love between men,love between women, transgender  experiences,discrimination,violence and refusal. "The Artist creates  freely in the struggle against prejudice and ignorance. Through his  creativity he attacks the very source of homophobic attitudes and  bravely upholds a revolution in new cultural standards of behaviour. It  is both necessary and urgent to achieve this goal, to be trusting and  win trust,where difference actually makes the difference and is  enrichening;where the beholder of the work of art may find room for his  emotions. This movement arises from the need to spread a message coming  from the heart, but that is too often filtered by society in terms of  religion or politics, and therefore often distorted and hypocritical.  This deprives the person  of their dignity,sense of freedom and respect  as an individual. The most important work of Raffaele Ciotola is the  "Madonna of the Homosexuals", painted between 2003 and 2007 and  dedicated to the many thousands of homosexual victims murdered by the  nazis. The artist attempts to express in this oil painting the immense  grief experienced in his very soul by creating a work of art of great  ethical and moral value thus creating the very manifesto of "Stop Homoph  Art". The iconic impact is unusual and differs from the traditional  Virgin and Child; the language is straightforward and nonconformist. In  the the painter's words: "I chose Maria as an historical and religious  figure, because she alone can represent a work of art meant to  communicate a genuine feeling of  love and goodness. The brushstrokes  are at times few and fragmented in the soft folds of the dress of the  female figure,and then more precise and detailed in the outline of her  face and in the decorative and symbolic elements. Colour is used in  different shades and contrast with the cold and warm tonalities and the  complementary colours of the blue and orange cloak. The light is soft  coming from the very face of the Madonna as if she were radiating a  cosmic energy embracing humanity itself. The composition rests on a  central axis where the Holy Child with the globe in its hand, rests on  the clasped hands of the Virgin Mary. The symbols grasped in the other  hand by the holy child depict the   symbols of the homosexual world. The  delicate chiaroscuro enhances further the vertical effect. More symbols  and decorations are present on the frame itself, together with the  title, and from right to left of the virgin's halo, are the Alfa and  Omega which symbolize God and Eternity, the Beginning and the End. The  pink triangle was sewn on the uniforms of the gay victims by the Nazis  according para §175 StGB Law inhibiting homosexual behaviour and  represents the movement that the artist Raffaele Ciotola has created,  inviting all to support it, in the name not only of humanity but of  human rights. Art can play a fundamental role in the struggle against  prejudice and specifically, homophobia. Art can teach to tolerate  homosexuality and in the words of Picasso : In the face of human tragedies, Picasso once said "Artists cannot and must not be indifferent" .

Prof.ssa Michela Marconi



The main character of my work  is Mary, whom I portrayed not as a religious figure, but as the  timeless historical mother symbolizing immense love - the kind that  accepts, protects and supports every single human being unconditionally  and without distinction. The Madonna not only embraces in a single  gesture Jesus the Child, but all humankind, represented by the  terrestial globe she holds in her hand. Her loving gaze is not only  directed at her Son but also embraces all those sons who are  homosexuals, represented by gay male and female symbols which the child  Jesus clasps in his hand.In order to bind even more closely the madonna  to her homosexual children, I chose the same heraldic symbols above her  head using the colours of the Gay flag and two bouquets. Those very  flowers have two meanings:the one means happiness for homosexual unions  whilst the other is in remembrance of all those homosexual victims who  tragically and unjustly met their death. I mean all the victims who are  officially registered in the documents but have been forgotten for too  long. The nazi victims especially, who suffered discrimination and fear  of gender difference caused by ignorance and the fact that homosexuality  is a condition and not a choice. Society has ignored for too long who  the "pink triangles" were and it seems that the gay community has also  forgotten today. With this work, I would like to awaken the memory of so  much suffering and also stir the consciences of all concerned by  offering this token of remembrance through the holy Lady which I have  portrayed. I am convinced that no other than she could express the  suffering of all those families who lost their sons only because they  happened to be 'different'. Many things are slowly changing today in  many countries . The GLBT community is gradually becoming more and more  respected thereby restoring the hopes and dreams denied so cruelly to  the homosexual victims of Nazism. In my simbolic portrayal, Mary is the  mother of humankind, oblivious to differences, dispensing her Love to  all.





Raffaele Ciotola  was born in Naples on the 17th of October 1964. His loving and receptive  family promoted his studies and supported supporting his artistic  nature. He obtained the Artistic High School School graduation and got  the Master of Arts degree at the state institute of Arts "F.Palizzi" in  Naples in 1983. Since he was a boy he has been devoting his life to  painting in a professional manner; after his debut in 1980 at an  exhibition in his hometown, he kept on taking part in other collective  and personal exhibitions set up in several Italian cities until 2002  (Piano di Sorrento, St. Anne in Naples, Milano, Viterbo, Milan). He was  awarded the gold medal at the National Biennial of Sacred Art in Torre  del Greco in 1980 by prof. Mr Franco Girosi, a famous Neaolitan artist  of the last century. It was foundamental for his training, the meetings  with prof. Mr Franco Girosi and with Mr Luigi Signore, an artist known  as one of the best sculptors of cribs in Italy today. He studied music  and attended the voice class at the Conservatory of Naples, but the  meeting he had in Rome in 1987 with Master Mr Renato Guelfi, opera  singer and painter, was so crucial to his professional growth that he  started performing as a singer in some Italian theatres (Lecce, Santa  Maria di Leuca, Ronciglione, Villa Pignatelli in Naples). He got to  obtained some rewards such as: the gold medal in "La Triade" Prize,  Palazzo Sormani - Sala del Grechetto - Milano; the diploma of honor at  St. Anastasia, Naples. His personal exhibition in Tuscia dates back to  2002 , in this occasion he exhibited for the first time at the Sala  Anselmi in Viterbo. His painting style and production are  characterized by an intense use of colours and by the chiaroscuro  effects conveying a whole creative freedom and a boundless vital energy,  without hiding any strong and eloquent emotion, leaving the viewer a  hope, a light , the one that leads beyond any solitude and that blurs  roles and social conventions. In fact, from the late 90s, his work is  more focused on topical issues and feels the effect of his civil  commitment against homophobia and discriminatory behaviors, so it became  a vehicle to spread some nonconformist messages, even inspired by  universal ethical values. In 2003 he created the artistic movement  called "Stop Homoph Art" which aims to spread the culture of respect and  fight against homophobia. From this battle, "The Madonna of the  homosexuals" came to life, it became the emblematic work of his  production and will be exhibited for the first time in the foyer of the  Mercadante Theater in Naples on the 18th of October 2014. So his  landscapes and his dreamlike hermetic metaphysical views of the first  period, they have been gradually replaced by works full of reflection  and judgment which are well received by public and by critics,  attracting the attention of Mr Jean-Louis Cougnon, Chief Excecutive at  General Managment of European Parliament.






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