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Esistenza, Trinita, Dio

In the village of Casamicciola, on the northern shore of the island of Ischia in the Bay of Naples, I acquired 29 meticulous mathematical drawings from a woman who said they were made 20 years ago by a reclusive artist who wished to remain anonymous. The collection is entitled “Esistenza, Trinita, Dio.”

The woman, who also prefers to be anonymous, told me the artist was her cousin, now in his early 80s, who lives alone and rarely talks to anyone. He was about to throw them all into the trash, when he took her aside and said he knew she loved art and also loved to draw herself, so maybe she would like to take them away.

She replied, “Oh, sì, cugino, sì!”

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They are quite a find. You were lucky to get hold of them. They're rigorous and intense and kind of beautiful in that sense.

When the woman opened the big white garbage bag and started turning the pages, I was struck by the precision of that artist's draftsmanship, the quiet energy that rose up from those heavy pages. The photo of the collection and scans of the details can't come close to the power of the originals. On Ischia they say artists are drawn to the island because there's strange energy in the atmosphere, and after years of experiencing it first hand, I can say that's true.

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