Sala Del Lazzaretto

Mar. 13, 2024 - Mar. 14, 2015

227 Via dei Tribunali
Naples, New York



Sala del Lazzaretto (Hall of The Leprosarium), Santa Maria della Pace (ex Ospedale della Pace), Via Tribunali 227, Naples, Italy

Friday, March 13, 2015, 18:00 – 20:30 (opening reception 18:30)
Saturday, March 14, 2015, 11:00 – 18:00


The 4th Municipality of the City of Naples and Architect Loredana Baino are pleased to present, IMAGO IGNIS, a solo exhibition of mixed media drawings, photos and video byrenowned film director MARIANO BAINO.

IMAGO IGNIS explores this artist’s fascination with half-glimpsed signs of hidden realities and forbidden tomes and presents a series of mixed media recreations of pages from lost books and secret grimoires, achieved through the use of fire and water painstakingly applied to the drawing surface before and after the artwork is completed.

The drawings represent a gallery of creatures from the darkest nightmares and anatomical studies which seem the work of a naturalist who has found a shortcut to access the most remote regions of hell.

“Someone with a vivid and savage imagination that Bram Stoker would envy”

Each piece of artwork will be accompanied by a story explaining each piece’s alleged provenance. “You’ll be able to see the only surviving page of the first edition of De Praestigiis Daemonum and some burnt fragments of pages from the famed De Furtivis Cryptomensis rescued from a fire that destroyed Barking Church, London, in 1666,” Baino tells us, “There will also be a couple of pieces that reference my film work and add to the universe of Dark Waters.”

Part of the spectacular 16th century Hall of the Leprosarium, long almost 200 feet, will be dedicated to an exhibit of concept art and storyboards by the director, who always draws all his own pre-production artwork, used to previsualize his meticulously composed shots, known to his fans and to film critics for their stylistic rigor and the visual opulence that distinguishes them,

“We wanted to take advantage of Mariano Baino’s presence in Naples, where he’s currently scouting potential locations for his new film, ASTRID’S SAINTS, to mount an exhibition which would give Neapolitans the possibility to see the incredible artwork of this multitalented artist,” declares Dr. Armando Coppola, President of the 4th Municipality of the City of Naples, which is lending its prestigious patronage to the event.

The imposing, magnificent Hall of The Leprosarium, with its magical atmosphere and its past in which the place echoed with the laments of plague, leprosy and cholera victims, is an ideal setting for the work of this visionary film director whose work often deals with disquieting subject matter.

Mariano Baino fell in love with this spectacular location, which he discovered thanks to the unparalleled work of Maurizio Gemma, director of the Campania Film Commission, while scouting potential locations for his next film, a psychological mystery drama titled ASTRID’S SAINTS, co-written with actress Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni, who will play the lead, which Mariano plans to shoot in Naples.

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Mariano Baino is an award-winning film director and screenwriter hailed as “one of the great torch-bearers for expressionistic cinema” by Montreal’s Fantasia Film Festival, where his film DARK WATERS won the Prix Du Public (Audience Prize). He’s also the recipient of the prestigious Vincent Price Award for Outstanding Contribution to Fantastic Cinema from Rome’s FantaFestival and many other accolades.

His work has been screened at New York’s prestigious Lincoln Center and at The National Museum of Cinema in Turin and has been described as a “masterpiece of arthouse horror” by Scott Macauley in FilmMaker magazine and prized for its “little sense of conformity” by Mark Kermode in Sight and Sound, and described as a “true object of veneration for aficionados” by Italy’s LA REPUBBLICA, which also noted that “Baino’s work has been compared to Ingmar Bergman’s for its somber atmosphere, enigmatic characters and depth of religious meditation.”

Using drawing as a means of expression (and as a way to create alternative realities) is something Mariano Baino has been doing since early childhood, and something he continues to explore parallel to, and in conjunction with, his film work.

“I like creating alternative realities,” Baino says. “I enjoy inventing worlds that don’t exist or that, maybe, exist only in the shadows between worlds. Shadows that hide secrets bigger than we are meant to comprehend and truths too terrifying to contemplate.”

“I imagine myself in the role of a prop finder who has found the key to explore every earthly and unearthly dimension in order to find the props for this continuously evolving film, which I try to create with my drawings. But I don’t like to confine my monstrous or disturbing creatures to the nether regions of hell: sometimes, you can find them in blindingly over-lit places. Many times, monsters are the true innocents and the fact that the subjects of my drawings are consumed by flames doesn’t mean that they deserve it.”

As Gordon Wyler, co-curator of Mariano Baino’s solo exhibition CYPHERS AND FLAMES held at Brooklyn’s SoapBox Gallery, noted: “His creative process, with its use of the destructive power of fire and water as an integral part of the artistic creation, is at once sophisticated and enthusiastically child-like. His recreations of pages from lost books, treated to resemble pages rescued from the flames of the Inquisition, show a desertion of the confinements of genre painting and horror illustration. His work transcends traditional fantasy art and bridges the gap between commercial illustration, prop-making, and fine art.”

Mariano Baino’s artwork and photos have been used in films, music videos, books and CD covers. His distinctive drawings and digital-art creations, have been exhibited in Italy, the UK and The United States.

IMAGO IGNIS is curated by Architect Loredana Baino. She has organized many events and art exhibitions and was instrumental in bringing to Naples a successful event called “Making Movies”, a series of filmmaking seminars held at Il Pozzo e Il Pendolo Theater in Naples, Italy,

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