Thank you, Marcello.
Your gift means the world to me.
He handed me a simple, unmarked, white paper bag. Inside was a blue cardboard box, just as simple, similarly unmarked.
"This is for you," he said in Italian through a wide grin before he hugged me, adjusted his glasses and walked away. MARCELLO AVERSA walks quietly and speaks softly. He's a man of deep thought.
I had the pleasure of meeting Marcello during the selection process of the artisans that we awarded at our INAUGURAL EVENT in Naples last October. I can't wait to share more about his story with you, but before I do, here are some images of Marcello's special gift - a token of gratitude for awarding him with the MAGISTER ARTIS Star.
A native of Sorrento, Marcello is a renowned sculptor of terracotta, known most notably for his miniature representations of the Nativity.
Despite their small size, the detail that Marcello's sculptures portray are reflective of the artist himself - his endless patience, his eye for understated refinement, his understanding of human nature.
Perspective and proportions are portrayed with ease and naturalness. Leaves look as though they were plucked from a garden. Each brick is cut, shaped and baked individually before being laid into a miniature wall (oftentimes no more than a few inches high).
Beyond this, perhaps nothing better demonstrates the skill and passion that stir Marcello's hands to create than the facial expression of each of his characters. Far from static, the expression of each miniature statue - small as it may be - portrays the same serenity and grace that distinguishes Marcello himself: an artisan who strives constantly to create something better and more beautiful than any of us would ever believe was possible.
To know his sculptures is to know Marcello. To hold Marcello's gift is to hold a universe in the palm of your hand.
His Nativity sculpture has won a special place in my heart and in my home.
It will forever be a reminder of:
"M. Aversa // Sorrento"