Pietro Ghizzardi


Pietro Ghizzardi was born in 1906 from a peasant family who hold a farm in the Mantua area. He attended primary school but failed his first and second grade and never completed his third. Fascinated by the shapes of the human face, noses, mouths and eyes he begun drawing in 1929 using package paper as a surface. In 1931 his brother, who considered that a waste of time, burns all of the drawings Pietro had been hanging on the walls; Pietro , meek and submissive, feeling deeply hurt left home. In 1933 Pietro’s father dies and leaves Pietro to the suffocating and possessive cares of his mother: this relationship will limit Pietro’s psychic and sexual development, and forbids Pietro develops any further than the psychic structure of a child. Ghizzardi keeps on painting, now not only on paper but on the walls inside and outside as well. He uses large chokes, pieces of coal from which he obtains all his so typical gray colours, flowers, berry and plants to make his colours, grinded bricks for red. When Pietro’s brother dies, Pietro and his mother loses the farm and in economical struggle Pietro takes up any random job. He used to love the farming life and never gets use to this new condition. Pouring all his energies into his art this will be his most meaningful period; despite the continuous mocking of his fellow villagers Pietro paints staggering pictures of actresses, historical characters, myths of the peasant tradition. He also wrote, using his very personal spelling, an amazing self-biography that is today published by Einaudi.

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