Buon Viaggio Buona Fortuna

Mimmo Paladino

The genesis of Buon Viaggio - Buona Fortuna is a mosaic panel featuring a swimmer in a stylized red and white body of water, created by Mimmo Paladino for Galleria in Galleria, a 2005 exhibition in the Milan metro. At the end of the show, Bisazza decided to offer the work (it is still housed in one of the corridors of the Montenapoleone station) and to commission a diptych for the Foundation based on the same theme made from traditional glass enamel tesserae, adroitly cut by hand into tiny pieces.

The image of the swimmer crossing a bright red stylized sea is caught in a dimension beyond perspective, thus outside the bounds of traditionally descriptive time and space. The mosaic technique is not used in a nostalgic way; on the contrary, its recognizability is exploited in a manner that cannot be defined as philological. Beneath the swimmer we find the incongruous element of a corno, an Italian good- luck charm, as if to say that the perception of a symbol extraneous to the context as “surreal” is ultimately an invention of modernity. Thus, based on the artist’s typical conflation of past and present, public acclaim and classic myth, even the title of the work, Buon Viaggio - Buona Fortuna refers back, not without a certain irony, to the myth of the corno as a sign of good luck and, at the same time, to the image of life as a crossing, the passage of anonymous individual existences through time.