Galleria Lorcan O'Neill Roma announces its first exhibition with the highly regarded Italian artist, Luigi Ontani. The show presents a group of new works in ceramic, wood, and photography. In this time of international and religious strife, Ontani has chosen to look at the idea of true Heroism and its connection with Love. Each work in the show refers to a historical or mythical hero, and connects him with Eros - or Love - as a possible justification of his most striking acts and deeds. Some of these heros in the exhibition are associated with war and forceful conquest. A ceramic sculpture of Garibaldi, known as the Hero of the Two Worlds, represents him as double-headed centaur astride the island of Sicily; one head is his, the other of his Latin-American wife Anita. Other heros are representative of legendary quests (the image Shivaji,the warrior-king revered as a god in Western India; or the lightbox of the three deities referred to in the ritual dances of Thai boxers). Others are in search of an ethical or poetical answer - and Ontani has made a powerful sculpture of Belli and Trilussa, two poets beloved by the people of Rome, each crowned by the Colisseum, that ancient symbol of raw competition. Ontani captures each hero with symbols and attributes drawn from the vast repertoire of oral tradition and legends that regard them; each, in his own capacity, appears as single protagonist of events fundamental for the tradition and beliefs of a universal civilisation which encompass, without distinction, the West and the East. Whether within sophisticated literary sources or popular traditions, Eros appears and disappears, always ambiguous, often disguised, as a source - if not the source - of the true heroic act.
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