There have been, as there should be, many commemorations of the tragic events of September 11th, 2001. Each of us, Americans and citizens of every other country, has strong emotions tied to that day: the sheer horror of the pictures burned into our memories; the frustration, depression and anger engendered by senseless, inhuman violence; the urge to understand what it meant, what it means, and how that understanding should guide our actions as individuals and as nations. In hosting this commemorative art exhibit at the Johns Hopkins Bologna Center, our aims are modest but we hope meaningful. Andrea Benettis and Lanfranco Di Ricos delicate and thoughtful evocation provides us a visual interpretation that we hope can take the viewer beyond the starker images of that day while still providing a link for our own memories and a stimulus to our own interpretation of that world-changing event we will forever call 9-11. The Bologna Center is grateful to the artists for giving us the opportunity to serve as a venue for a public showing of their original works, and to the Associazione-Italo Americana Luciano Finelli for organizing the display and the activities around it.
Kenneth H. Keller - Director Johns Hopkins University Bologna Center
ART AND PEACE: A SINGLE MESSAGE OF LOVE
The works created by Andrea Benetti and Lanfranco Di Rico to commemorate the victims of September 11th 2001 and to give a sign of solidarity to the people of United States, unleash intense feelings of suffering and anguish; but at the same time they demonstrate hope and with a shout they invoke peace, placing it above all else as a life priority. Peace is the manifesto of Andrea Benettis art, because he promotes at every occasion and he places it at the foundation of his artistic expression; no one better than Lanfranco Di Rico could have joined up with Benetti to assemble this complex work, because Di Ricos theological training (he is laureate in theology at the Sacra Universita Pontificia of the Vatican) has prepared him to place peace and a love for his neighbor above all else. Besides the notable creative content offered by these works, the technique used is excellent, expressed through painting, incision and material manipulation. It is a perfect meeting of the two artists who each managed their own artistic ambits (Benetti painting, Di Rico sculpture); forms and colors that intertwine masterfully in this exhibit. So appreciation for these works runs along multiple paths that go from the message that inspired them, to the excellent creation of the works; to the technique and choice of color, to the creative integration that the two artists have achieved, melding their knowledge and skills into the works of art they present in this show. I remember something Benetti said that I found remarkable for its simplicity and strength. He said it when he first presented this exhibit at the Peoples Museum of Abruzzo in Pescara: I feel that art must always offer an answer that contrasts violence and hatred; certainly not the only answer, but arts answer must exist, strong and firm, as witness to the love that it has for life, always firm in refusing and denouncing every action of injustice, cruelty and death and to announce a message of life and peace.
Gregorio Rossi - Curator Museum of Contemporary Italian Art in America