Gianfranco Fiore was born in Switzerland in 1972. He studied at the Monreale Art Institute and the Accademia of Palermo, where he took a degree in Decorative Painting. Among the narrow ancient streets of Palermo’s historic centre he discovered the world of the Sicilian cart and fell in love: he began frequenting the prestigious workshops of the few master craftsmen still in operation and learned traditional decorating techniques from them. He then opened his own studio in Partinico and, with passion and patience, tracked down damaged carts and restored them with the aim of conserving the carts themselves and passing on the tradition. He initiated a series of collaborations with local artisans, creating marvellous carts for folkloric parades and private collections; he also experiments with applying classic cart decorations on other vehicles and design objects.
Enamel and oil, 60 x 151 x 68.2 cm For this refrigerator, the artist chose the subjects that traditionally decorate the inner and outer faces of the masciddari (side boards of the Sicilian cart) as well as the ornamental arabesque motifs that are roughly painted on the less visible parts of the vehicle. In this case, however, the chivalric scenes in which the paladins of France in combat alternate with chubby faces framed by checkerboard motifs, these arabesques are given the same dignity as the decorative friezes. On the top is a cameo portrait of a paladin.