Biagio Castilletti was born in Ragusa Ibla in 1974. As the grandson of a Sicilian cart driver, he had a great admiration for carts ever since he was a child, and never missed an opportunity to draw them on every piece of paper within his reach. When he was twelve, he built his favourite toy on his own: a miniature cart which he decorated himself. As a teenager, he spent much of his time in the workshops of artisans creating carts. Here he learnt the fundamental skills that allowed him to open his own workshop in the town of Riposto, Catania. Biagio met the young Damiano Rotella in 2003, when Damiano was working as an apprentice in the workshop of Di Mauro and Zappalà, in Aci Sant’Antonio. Since then the professional lives of the two artists became entwined. Biagio, intrigued by the youngster’s initiative, started to visit Damiano’s workshop, giving him advice and support. This led to a friendship based on trust, mutual collaboration and a passion for craftsmanship, leading them to create a brand of quality and experience in 2011.
Enamel and oil, 60 x 151 x 68.2 cm The decorations of this refrigerator are an homage to cart painting in the style of Ragusa, characterised by the predominance of sky blue against an orange-red background. At the centre of the front panel, which is inspired by lyric opera, is a scene taken from Giacomo Puccini’s La Bohème. The upper part features portraits of Mimì and Musetta, the female protagonists of the opera. The lower part depicts a bouquet of flowers and wheat, symbol of the Sicilian farming tradition, evoking the ornamental motifs of the sides of the patronale cart. The sides are painted with two full-length paladins framed by voluted friezes. The top features a half-length portrait of a man in traditional costume.