85 hours in 20 days, 4 fixed workstations around a work table of 140 x 190 cm, 75 pens and markers of various thicknesses and colours, 26 tubes of Indian ink, 18 sheets 42 x 30 cm for a total surface area of 150 x 210 cm, "The Great Atlas of the Cheerful Lovers" has been realised during the Riddergade AIR Artistic Residence at the studio of Kunsthal Viborg, Denmark.
Created in October 2019, it is one of the largest and perhaps most complex works I have created, after "Horizontal Poem" in 2015 (pencils and pens on paper, 105x165cm).

The "Great Atlas" is composed of 18 sheets arranged in three rows of 6. The term "atlas" was chosen because the work was conceived as a geographical representation, in a metaphorical sense, aimed at describing the variety and richness, as well as the complexity of feelings and sensations, reflections and moods experienced by a couple of lovers in their highest phase of "cheerful and joyful" falling in love.
However, the atlas is not intended to describe or evoke the state of the two lovers only in their present or past. In its title is implicit in fact also a desire or hope that this state might be experienced in an indefinite future.
In this work I recognise certain resonances with the pictographs of the Mayan tradition, the contrasts and colour vitality of the Japanese sumi-e, the chromatic sensuality and curvilinear trends of certain Indian fabrics, the baroque poetics of Horror Vacui, the Celtic ornamentations, the definitions of the cartoon-like traits, the Gothic windows and the pictorial heritage of Kandinsky, Miró, Gaudí, Klimt, Klee and Hundertwasser.


Almost always the final harmonic output of a drawing depends on the quality of the time taken to complete it. The "exact time" of the signs and of their delineating/figuration can only be the "internal" time of the surface on which it is spent, offering itself to the observer in its final result. Other times, care, haste, slow-downs outside the logic, unpredictability and intangibility of the drawing itself, if listened to and supported, inevitably lead to the negative deformation and consequent destruction of the natural conception and formal development of the work/creation that is preparing to be born and accompany in its free existence.

mixed techniques


You cannot explain in words, or describe in a list of things or acts, the sequence that leads to recognize the beginning and end of a drawing. It is a combination of factors, of synergies, of logical and irrational elements, of inner and outer temperatures, of moods, of randomness or of extreme calculation and muscular mechanics, that makes a set of traits very ordered to the sight take shape on a paper surface. It is a question of system, chemistry, physics-chemistry, a perfect combination of paper and pen, ink and colour, curves and straight lines, meditation and mental chaos, precision and abandonment, instinct and rigour. And again brain symmetries and out-of-phase geometries between the thumb and index finger and the whole hand that breaks on the physical and ideal sheet. The obstacle of paper clots married to the fluctuating descents of liquid black between the figural and abstract whites that only from the paper can be born and die. All this and much more is to glimpse within themselves the dynamics of sign and drawing. It is a question of openings and collapses and its mirror-like locks and gradual and systematic chisels. It is the hand that commands when you have to give in to the Dionysian pleasure of dirtying and cleaning. The reason of the heart that invites the energy of the right arm to channel itself into a tunnel of serene joy, of peace with the past, of faith in the future.

Pen and paper,
notes and staves extended to graphics,
where energies and cataclysms are enchanted and naked.
I define and contain myself only in the trace of the ink.
Through its movement in a space without geography,
only with white or black sky paper.
It's the same sign that drives, yes, crazy and rigorous
towards open windows, scenarios to review hidden
between the bowels and neurons, irrational and conscientious traits.
Rich in us and you, I interpret the boundaries of those lines and
these seas and trees and unfathomable biologies and pitfalls.
Because I live between polysemies and abysses of fantasies.
And the colors are inside the whites and blacks, and the times
and the spaces where forms and rebuses dialogue and quarrel. 
One tries to guess and define, playful and philosophical to hear.
It is physiological to guess that love and the harmonious press
and risk his hand and eyes to the bone to give back
lymph and joy to lost and tired directions.
Young and old together, wise and grotesque to scrutinize it
insomniac of my travels, my extreme wandering among the
dawns and nights, a technique handed down in a silent voice.

by Carmelo Strano

In "Lacrimae" by Sylvano Bussotti you could read the score starting with any musical staff and then continuing with the same whim. In Angelo Sturiale, who so much admires his older Florentine colleague, the performance (action, etc.) starts from the notation. In recent years, the composer from Catania, forces you to enter his world of visual and sound writing. That's right: first visual and then sound. There is no pre-established grid of the stave, neither structurally nor semantically.

The 42-year-old musician's system is made up of"technical" even multicultural, superimposed and juxtaposed visions, symbols. First of all, syncretist symbols borrowed from various disciplinary fields. But perhaps the system of Sturiale does not exist. For the simple reason that it is invented for every composition. A case of post-avant-gardist exacerbation? I wouldn't be writing about it here, if that were the case. It is a strong symptom of the new design condition connected with our era of "unimplosiviness", of incessant tension to form unstable balances.

The conclusion? It's that you can't give yourself constant reference grids. Who wants to put down chromes and semi chromes in the four spaces or in the five lines and maybe have fun going above and below, well legitimized to do so. The same is true for those who, aware of the new time "post" everything (avant-garde, post- modernity), invent life. It remains clear then that Sturiale is not proposing a revolution, neither of "temperament" nor of dodecaphony.

Instead of proposing, he proposes himself: as a musician (he is also a pianist and conductor in experimental works) and as an artist. The two souls, visual and sound, collude in a synergic sense in the musical writing, but in a diachronic sense (different moments) in the ink drawings.

They are exhibited, until June 30, in Catania, at the New Gallery Officina d'Arte (a collaboration with the American Bohemian Gallery). Pentagrams extended to scripts, as the author says, over about 20 years; or "spaces without geography". Free stories, sometimes rarefied, sometimes dense up to adiastematicity (absence of intervals). The detail up to the chisel is the first thing you get. But aimed at what iconographic result? Aniconicity. This, of course, is not the case for the author of the layouts, since he lives between "polysemies and abysses of fantasies".

From his drawings Sturiale obtains precisely the sound in a synesthetic sense that is not ideal, as happens in Picabia's painting "La musique est comme la peinture". In "Seibutsu" (2003), the filamentous forms tend to tangled delicately and breathed under the eyes of the user, involving the environment in their gently bradycardic rhythm. A patient texture, with results of apparent instability and inconsistency that Fausto Melotti would have liked so much.

 “La Sicilia”, 26 June 2012

by Damiano Meo 

Two essential tones: an understated colour. And disarming primordial need to represent perceptions lighting up through rapid, kidnapped signs, day and night, and letting them burn in the powerfully harmonic instability of a flame. Until incineration, which becomes ink. On white paper that is dirtied, by experience, by phenomenon.
DiSegni, which tenderly break with the world of scribbles, fly over the labyrinths of a psychological squiggle, acrobatically crossing the circumference tao, sniffing the geometry of the photo, unbolting the video game that would like to make fun of the player. One could simply define them as inner and further landscapes, transvolving them. But it is the exterior that - from Japan to Mexico, from the microchip to the Azteca sculpture - is inhaled in the individual, to become lived and to be transformed into living.
Man cannot ignore man, in mooring and in the disappearance of his footsteps. With honesty, to present oneself in the nakedness of a veil. And with courage, to decorate and decode oneself in the silence of a meditation, exposing oneself. And reflecting itself in wide and dynamic forms, immersing itself in a container with uncontainable content: seibutsu - from Japanese - incorporates the meaning of any form of living being. Each organism is a landscape and each landscape is an organism, mutable, all of a sudden. That lets itself be contained by the look that adopts it, acclimatizing itself as if it were at home.
Exorbiting styles and transcoding languages, the DiSegni do not show imposing aggressiveness: that is not their purpose. And they don't shout the latter out, because they don't think it's appropriate to do so. They transpire, with the pressure of a thin and intense line, on the void, in a filling, whispered. When in a blender of foaming colours we have forgotten - perhaps - to weigh the essence.


Wanting to pay homage to the Buddhist tradition of the mandala, but from the perspective of an "imperfect" ewabisabi like me, the hand takes me where the sign (and its design) want. Regular from far,  irregular from a very close distance, I create these mandalas revealing their irregularities and asymmetries, as to express with the sign what happens when we observe from far judging or idealising the portraits of our fellow human beings: but then we realise that from a close distance is something else! An exercise of visual analysis that is certainly amusing, but that refers to something else. A Mexican document, witness of my stay and journey into the bowels desperately in love with my existence.


As a guest composer at the Tokyo National Univeristy of Fine Arts and Music, in 2006 (year "terribilis" emotionally): a sign account for 22 days of a daily outline in which the only aesthetic obsession was Mexico seen by my incoherent and distracted "Japanesing". 
But in the graphics I gave back to the paper my Latin passion as well as my Japanese rigour: inside and outside my loculus-home in Ueno Park, Tokyo, I fell and fell back into the waters of my desesperación, far from my love and loving. From this and much more unspeakable (y olvidado) matters, my Japanese Diary was born. Thanks to the Canon Foundation.

22 sheets of a non-verbal diary "drawn" in Japan: 22 symbolic days, a time span in which the essence of my stay in Tokyo in 2006 is enclosed, condensed, between familiar graphics and very personal Japanese imagery, between fragments of improbable scores and structural schemes of future compositions, between reflections and "work in progress" sound notes, and visual experiments certainly influenced by souls and manga, but also by explorations of Maya/Aztec pictographies and iconographies coming from a distracted but passionate first contact  - since the year before my residence in Tokyo - with Mexican culture. "Diario Giapponese" is a very personal document, but also a precious draft of creative input in search of a possible conceptual structure of a graphic novel currently under development. 

Quella musica un tempo costituiva il linguaggio occulto dei 
suoi amori. Ma non essendoci ormai più sentire o ardire, non 
ha più ragion d'esistere quell'opera: la sua assenza
non è più dramma né patema. Al suo posto c'è semmai 
il disegno paziente e statico, bidimensionale, che soppianta
profondamente i suoni e lo strumento musicale. Il dinamismo
e precario esistere di note e strutture sonore non può più
farsi onda, quando tutto fuori non sa più d'amore e di te.
Ma è nell'assenza proprio che si fa presente, che si impone
il gesto tracciato e fantasioso, il percorso in bianco e nero
e le mille anime sepolte che il suo dimenticarmi ha ormai 
trasmesso in bilico a chi si annienta e stabilisce in traiettorie
di passione e fulgore. E allora tutto si ridefinisce: il colore è 
solo evocato nella mente di chi osserva e si sofferma nella
superficie del quadro completo che è la vita e il suo disegno.
Bianco e nero come colori inesistenti che vogliono solo 
l'oggi, che tracciano una luna e cento soli luminosi, come
le rivelazioni che le penne da se stesse attuano, incandescenti.
Si dice che quando si passa la linea sul foglio, non sovviene
nulla, non ci si immagina forma o dimensione, non si 
delinea nella mente alcuna idea o figurazione. Che tutto
si costituisce senza alcun programma: è la mano con
l'inchiostro che vanno insieme dove segue il percorso
innominabile dell'invenzione, un aspetto della creazione
naturale, una ideologia che si impone su di me, anche
senza comete o geografie. Disegnare è come la dura lotta 
per la vita. Vuol dire prendere decisioni ed imparare
dagli errori, deformare il proprio passato per ridefinire i
molteplici sensi del futuro. E gli dicono pure dal cielo e dagli
abissi del cuore, che quando si tracciano i sentieri d'inchiostro
non si prova più paura, ma neppure più tanta sicurezza!
Perché segnare è perdersi tra un peso e l'altro della bilancia
orientale. È uno scomparirci dentro, lontano da tutti, solo
con la mano e l'indice concettuale che circoscrive aree di 
energie e di fuochi maldestri, le conchiglie disseminate, i
tavolini ricolmi di sabbie, le posate che addentano sapori
asiatici e vecchissimi. Segmentare zone di disegno o 
assecondare linee e curve d'immediato è come dover 
prendere scelte d'impeto, dove non è importante il cosa
ma il momento, ed è fondamentale pure il senso di non-giudizio
che la carta e i pubblici mentali irrorano col loro effimero
piacere, con la loro disarmante semplicità. Il foglio perciò non 
parla a nessuno, non dice nulla: nessuna teoria, nessuna 
strategia di azione o pensiero. È solo fluire, agire, respirare
dalla vita e spontaneità suprema, è la sua natura quella
di non farsi piacere, di non guardarsi riflesso sul lago
narciso, sulle acque della fama o del successo. Per questo,
dopo tempi di incessante nomadismo e capriole che nel
tempo si ascoltavano e perdevano, dopo stagioni accese di
indeterminismo estremo, adesso i segni trovano casa: le due
dimensioni statiche e frontali si solidificano, cercano una
prigione estetica, i germogli si aprono al mondo e all'armonia
di petali e spine, di cieli e gabbie. Una perenne primavera!

(variazioni infinite)

The composition, a sort of piano reduction, is based on a graphic scheme to be interpreted by other composers as a structure for new ideas of orchestration.
Free to choose any combination of instruments, composers are asked to re-write the entire score using personal ideas regarding pitches, rhythms and sound volumes.

GRANDE FANTASIA's video-score
performed/interpreted by
Quartet Twentytwentyone Lithuania (2009)

Arturas Bumsteinas - midi keyboard, 
Lina Lapelyte - objects, 
Antanas Dombrovsky - laptop, 
Vilius Siaulys - laptop, guit. effects. 

GRANDE FANTASIA's original score

"re-interpreted" by the photographer Damiano Meo ("Concertuality")