Wyoming Arts Council

Aircraft as art

Here’s something interesting that came across the blog desk.

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 Mimmo Paladino’s art has in 2011 been interpreted and displayed using the distinctive Piaggio P.180 Avanti II aircraft. This is the first time in the world an aircraft has been painted by a contemporary artist and the Master Paladino was inspired to create this work of art from the Piaggio P.180 Avanti II because of its unique, unmistakable design.

The P.180 Avanti II “Cacciatore di Stelle” (Star Hunter) will be displayed in the breathtaking location of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan from March 28th to April 28th 2011.

The metamorphosis of the P.180 Avanti into” Cacciatore di Stelle” recalls both the past and the future, through its decoration with ancestral symbols and possible new ways of communicating: constellations of signs, encompass geometrical spaces to create a celestial map.

This extraordinary work of art in the heart of downtown Milan, will be positioned on a white base which, according to the artist, is linked to the “Montagna di Sale” (Salt Mountain) and the Duomo di Milano.

The whole exposition dedicated to Paladino will take place along a 500 meters path, which makes it the longest display dedicated to a contemporary artist.

The “Cacciatore di Stelle” is part of the anthological and personal exhibition of the artist Mimmo Paladino hosted by the Palazzo Reale (including more than 50 artworks from the 70’s to the present day), which will be enhanced by the renowned “Montagna di Sale” ( 37 meters) that will be placed in the Piazza Reale.

According to Mimmo Paladino “Art is not an end in itself, and it doesn’t mean yielding to poetic attitudes: Art always implies investigating language”.

“We are very proud that Master Mimmo Paladino has now been inspired by a Piaggio Aero P.180 aircraft and that he would turn it into a unique work of art.”Alberto Galassi, CEO of Piaggio Aero Industries said: “The P.180 Avanti has been chosen because it can be considered a work of art itself, as an expression of Italian genius in design and engineering, that’s why this creation is an unprecedented event.”

The “Cacciatore di Stelle”, the Palazzo Reale exhibition and the “Montagna di Sale” were made possible by the appreciation for art and culture by Piaggio Aero, Banca Popolare dell’Emilia Romagna and Meliorbanca.

Mimmo Paladino was born in Paduli, Benevento, in 1948. He became interested in art in the late 60’s, fascinated by the cultural and artistic atmosphere of the time. His first personal art exhibition was held in Caserta in 1969. In the 70’s the artist started focusing on figures: colorful geometrical shapes, branches and masks are more and more recurring on his canvases.

In 1980 he participated in the Biennal of Venice with this group: Sandro Chia, Francesco Clemente, Enzo Cucchi and Nicola De Maria. All together they are the co-founders of the Italian Trans-avant-garde movement, which gained momentum during the 80’s and was widely shown in museums and galleries.

During this decade, Mimmo Paladino created the renowned and colorful canvases where he examined the basis of Italian culture as the artist painted unusual animals, hybrids and distorted persons. He created his works using traditional techniques: mosaic, forms in “tondo”, triptych, and wooden sculptures. Paladino focused his art in all that is mysterious, forgotten and secretive and preferred body movements instead of portraits as one never sees facial expressions in his paintings.

From 1982 onwards, he became famous in the United States, in South America, and organized exhibitions all over the world. From 1985 he dedicated himself to huge bronze sculptures and installations. Paladino had a mountain of salt built in Trapani in 1990. Next he made a mountain of salt in Naples at the end of 1995.

On the Piazza Plebiscito, between Palazzo Reale and the Chiesa di San Francesco, Paladino created a mountain of salt on whose slopes he arranged 20 black horses in random disarray surprised in a moment following the end of a violent battle.

In the 90s, the artist progressed to represent hierarchal persons and archaic heads, creating a set of oval paintings in which he included engraved wood, pictograms and figures.

In 2003 Paladino has been chosen to represent Italian Art during Italian Presidency at Brussels: one of his sculptures “Zenith” has been placed in front of the European Commission. His culture and his memories are close to those of the Mediterranean culture. From 1964 till 1969, he studied in Paduli’s Liceo artistico and in the 70s, worked with post abstract photos, a work which he abandoned little by little, in order to turn to more meaningful artistic representations


Piaggio Aero Industries S.p.A.is active in Aircraft design, manufacturing, maintenance and overhaul. The company also manufactures Aero-Engines parts and maintains repairs and overhauls engines under license. Piaggio Aero has facilities in Genoa, Finale Ligure and Naples, Italy and a subsidiary covering North, Central and South America, in West Palm Beach, FL, U.S.A. (Piaggio America, Inc.). Piaggio Aero’s core product, the P.180 Avanti II, is the fastest and most advanced executive/multi-utility turboprop in the world. The Avanti II offers the speed of a light/mid size jet aircraft, the comfort of a large, whisper quiet full stand-up cabin, with fuel efficiencies that are nearly 40% higher than most business jets. The P.180 Avanti II features fully digital, automatic flight control and utilizes the latest generation “Pro Line 21” avionics system that it is also single pilot certified. The maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 12,100 lbs gives the P.180 Avanti II greater payload range, and the introduction of the updated engines (P&WC PT6A-66B) provides both higher performance and faster cruise speed. The Piaggio Aero aircraft is able to operate out of smaller peripheral airports with landing and take-off distances that are simply unachievable in a comparably sized jet. The P.180 is able to fly at a maximum cruise speed of 402 kts, 745 km/h (MMO 0.70), and has an endurance of just under 1,500 nautical miles and a maximum altitude of 41,000 feet. Piaggio Aero shareholders structure is composed of Tata Limited, the British Company part of the Indian Tata Group, Mubadala Development Company, the development and investment company driving the economic diversification of Abu Dhabi, the Italian Ferrari and Di Mase families.

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