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Madonnaro_What is Madonnaro / Madonnari?

Madonnaro is an Italian word meaning "Our Lady painter" or "Our Lady painting". The history of this art form is closely tied to the tradition of Catholic processional art. In medieval Italy, they created images of Virgin Mary or the patron saint of the town directly on the street, as a celebration of their festivals.

It is also called Street Painting, Chalk Art, Pavement Art, or Sidewalk Art.

And in Europe, there were artists who travel from town to town, create paintings on the sidewalk or public square, and live on donations. Some documentation indicates that El Greco did Madonnaro when he traveled from Italy to Spain.

Even today, we can see some festival features the painting on the pavement with flower petal or colored sawdust, in Catholic countries - Italy, Spain, or Central and South Americans. etc. (Some are called Flower Carpet)

The concept of the ephemeral painting can be found not only in Catholic but also in many other religions, such as a "Mandala" of sand in Tibet or a sand painting of Navajo, one of Native Americans. It was probably one form of prayer for all human beings.

* "Madonnari" is the plural form for "Madonnaro" in Italian. Incidentally, "Madonnara" is the feminine form.

...while I'm painting on the street...

● Is this painted on the street directly?
● What do you use for paint?
● Will it be gone?
● How long does it take?
● Where do you start to paint?
● When will this painting be finished?
● Do you photograph always?
● Don't you feel sad since it donesn't remain?

● Is this painted on the street directly?


● What do you use for paint?

 Chalk and pastel, basically.
Chalk is the ordinarily chalk used for a blackboard. Pastel has the price-range by the quality. I properly use them.
If I use only a cheap stuff, the picture looks poor, and if I use only a high quality stuff, I become poor.

● Will it be gone?

 Yes, it will.
If it rains, it's washed away immediately, or gradually it fades and is gone while people walk on and cars pass along.
Since the material is fairly stable, on a windy day, a color flies even while I'm painting. I often find the portion where I finished prior is already fading.

But a destroyed street painting is also beautiful ...in my opinion.

● How long does it take?

 Depends on what you paint. Normally one day, two days, or three days. There is also a painting takes me a week. There is also a painting in 3 hours.

Although the area which I can paint a day may considerably changes, depends on the complexity of the design and the quality of the pavement, it's about 1.5sq m to 4sq m.

● Where do you start to paint?

Since a passerby is not stop whole day with me, it doesn't make sense that the public can't see what it is until I finish it at the end of the day.
I'm thinking the picture looks always somewhat completed even while I'm working on. (ex.1, ex.2)

● When will this painting be finished?

 Except at festivals or commission works, I basically do not finish my painting.
Because the process is the highlight of Madonnaro.
As long as there is a spectator, I keep painting.
In one way of looking, it's always completed. (?)

When I'm invited, of course, I finish just on the arranged time. I'm a professional ...after all.

● Do you photograph always?

 Not always.
I basically think it's difficult to show what it is exactly by photograph.
First of all, you can't feel the size of painting.

Also since a camera has only one eye, generally the picture appears distorted. Human eyes are measuring and correcting the depth by two.

However, there are some anamorphic paintings for photographs. The images appear to become 3D when viewed through a lens from a certain point. (ex.1, ex.2)

● Don't you feel sad since it doesn't remain?

 I believe the public is attracted by the painting in progress, and that is the essence of this art form. I think it's like performance art, that people who is present in that time and that place can experience.
I'm happy if it remains in memory of people, I'm even happier if they drop a tip in my collection jar.

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