A Vagina for Lucio Fontana

“Even I knew how to do that!” – This is the phrase heard most often in front of contemporary works of art containing a seemingly non-existent significance, such as the famous and highly discussed cuts by Lucio Fontana.


attese battistuzzi lucio fontana

Determined to rid people of this damned defect by pushing them to reason and understand the world that often hides in front of things that appear meaningless, I consulted an artist (and friend)—Michele Battistuzzi. Michele is a young artist and photographer of Cultural Heritage from Treviso, who, like myself, nourishes a deep passion for art and trust regarding both wisdom and knowledge. But what does Michele have to do with Vibes Week and SexisArt? I’ll fill you in.

Michele Battistuzzi lucio fontana

But first I need to go through a fundamental premise: the basics of Lucio Fontana’s cuts and his famous Attese (Waiting).
To keep things short and sweet, I’ll summarise everything by telling you that spatialism was an artistic movement from the end of the 1940s in Argentina, and landed quite early on in Venice, all thanks to Fontana. The movement essentially raised the problem of the perception of space, rather than the problem of figurative representation of any given object.

attese lucio fontana

In an artistic and historical moment in history such as the the mid-1900s, after events including the global conflict catastrophe, the succession of genres and artistic styles, and after all artists had completely “raped” and distorted space (just think of Cézanne, Picasso, Kandinsky, and Mondrian to name a few), perhaps the only thing left to do was to go beyond the space by wounding the canvas in order to have an immediate and continuous dialogue between light and shadow, fullness and emptiness, inside and outside.

This is exactly the concept taken on by Michele Battistuzzi, most intimately in his triptych Attese – omaggio a Lucio Fontana (Waiting – a tribute to Lucio Fontana). In our interview, Michele told me about how the Accademy of Fine Arts in Venice has helped him appreciate Fontana, even after having hated him before.

attese lucio fontana

He was attracted to Lucio Fontana because of the artist’s ability to experiment and play with breaking the two-dimensionality of the canvas while also using the cuts to allude to penetration, not only conceptually from the canvas itself, but also in terms of sexual penetration.

For this reason, Michele decided to carry on his project containing photographs of female sexual organs as a tribute to Fontana’s Attese. It’s clear that the project has nothing to do with pornography. On the contrary, the project tends to alienate the woman’s body from its daily role by leading it to serve as a bridge between the concept of spatialism and contemporary art.

Therefore, in Michele Battistuzzi’s tribute, we see the elevation of female sexual organs as a work of art, taking on a new form of life, of a “sweet” anticipation, and of good news.

attese battistuzzi lucio fontana

As he explained to me, it definitely wasn’t easy finding women who were ready to “offer up” their vulva for the realisation of this project. However, once they were on set, the focus was on painting and organisation, so much so that any embarrassment from the models was put to rest. 

As I usually do with my “guests”, I also asked Michele Battistuzzi for his take on taboo and on the relationship between female sexuality and today’s society. We’re both in agreement on the fact that sexuality should certainly not be a taboo in 2019. Moreover, he doesn’t hide his concern regarding the ways that sexuality is conveyed through communication channels and social networks in this day and age. His concern lies in the fact that all too often, social networks are not used in the most appropriate ways, which unfortunately, creates unpleasant consequences quite often.

Although “l’Omaggio” (the Tribute) is only a triptych, Michele’s idea would be to create a real cycle consisting of around ten works of art…so ladies, step right up!

(Critica D'Arte)

Sex and Art have always been linked together; they free the mind and the spirit. Plutarco once said: "the mind is not vase you just fill, it's a fire to light on". Let's start a journey to discover how much sex has been present - although covered - in art.

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