OMAGGIO A NIK SPATARI
It is with great sadness that we learned of the death of a great Calabrian artist, Nik Spatari. “… One of the very rare cases in which an outsider pours the salt of architecture into the earth” …. as indicated by Bruno Zevi presenting Musaba, the Nik Spatari Foundation, which is a living museum park, placed inside the gardens and vegetable gardens of the monastery of Santa Barbara, in Mammola. Painter, sculptor, architect, a precocious talent, a self-taught man who left for Paris when he was just twenty years old to attend Le Corbusier’s studio, nourishing himself with frequentation and collaboration with twentieth-century greats artists, from Picasso to Jean Cocteau, from Max Ernst to Sartre. It was here that he met Hiske Mass, a Dutch artist, and with her he went to live in Milan, creating the Brera gallery and then, in 1969, rediscovering Calabria. For him it is a return, for her a discovery. Despite great difficulties and oppression, they choose to live in Santa Barbara in the heart of the Locride area, acquiring land and a monastic complex completely buried by brambles and oblivion, making it, over time, Musaba, the only Calabrian open-air museum which is also a laboratory of artistic experimentation and landscape protection. Nik focuses his projects on the evolution of Mediterranean history in the most significant visual-scientific expression: the arts, architecture, the environment, the human sciences in all its anthropological, formal, social, eclectic material aspects, thinking always to a system that must be enjoyed by all. It is he who takes care of the creative phase of the museum-laboratory with drawings and designs, while his wife promotes and coordinates the construction phases. Musaba therefore becomes a combination of architecture, sculpture, visual works of art, Mediterranean gardens, an archaeological-landscape park, but above all, at his behest, a research and training laboratory open to young people from all over the world. Here is one of his most important three-dimensional murals “Jacob’s Dream” of 260 m2 which frescoes the apse and the vault of the church of Santa Barbara known as the Sistine Chapel of the Mediterranean as well as an area used as an exhibition space where they are collected a collection of his works as evidence of his artistic evolution from 1943-2010, and works by authors such as Giacometti, Bonalumi, Scanavino, Schifani, Tadini and many others.