ART IS BEAUTY
Art expresses itself in various forms and Erik A. Frandsen born in 1957, in Randers, has been exploring many of them conveying a message full of novelty and beauty.
Photocredit @ErikFrandsen FB profile.
I was 11 and I had just finished elementary school, when one morning, walking through the streets of Valdicastello, my country that had just come out, like all the countries of our Italy, tormented and wounded, from the great war that had seen mine childhood studded with privations, fear and pain, I ran into Lino, who was a worker in a company in Pietrasanta, and who sitting on the stairs of the monument, evaluating me at a glance, asked me: "O boy, but would you like to learn how to make mosaic? My company is looking for an apprentice, but one who wants to work " I looked at him, smiled and said: "Yes, I wish, a lot of desire, but I feel the father and mother and then I will let you know." At the time, you were still giving yourself to older people, as a sign of respect and deference, and it came naturally, without thinking about it too much. I ran away, as fast as I could, to tell my mother about this offer, so wonderful, so bigger than me, that it made me feel already a man, already an adult and, the next morning, I got up with the first cockcrow and, with my heart pounding, I walked towards Pietrasanta with a bag, big, bigger than me, which touched almost on the ground and which contained my lunch. The walk, that morning, as for all the following mornings, was short, because on the way I met Napoleone dell'Erné, who gave me a ride on a bicycle, so that I arrived early in front of the gate by the Ferrari & Bacci company. I went in, started looking around and discovered a world made of colors, shapes, figures, tiny pieces of colored glazes, large wooden counters on which the workers were bent with a hammer in hand, whistling a song, in joy. There were 6 workers and when you think about it today, they weren't much more adults than me, since they were between 18 and 20 years old, but to me, that day, they seemed like men ... I remember that the greatest of all was only 30 years old, but at the time at 30 we were adults, with family and children. At the time we had other responsibilities: we had to rebuild a nation. After a short visit, short because, the job was so long and there was no time to waste, Ferrari, so we called him and so I called him for the rest of our lives together, he gave me a pair of scissors and said: "Copy them on a sheet and then fill the shape with mosaics", reaching out a box full of chunks of multicolored glazes.
FROM WORK TO FRIENDSHIP IN A FLIGHT TO ATLANTA
Sometimes I believe my job is a blessing.
A blessing, someone may think, because of the money it involves.
No, I’d answer, because of the people it involves.
My job puts me in touch, on a daily basis, with people all over the world: different nationalities, different traditions, different customs, but one same purpose: art for art’s sake.
Some of them come and go, like the jobs they bring with them.
Some of them stay, forever, with me.
I was thinking about this when I met with Barbara, my blogger, in a cold and wet February morning evening, when everybody was already out, busy shopping in the lively and colourful streets of Pietrasanta during the San Biagio’s fun fair.
THAT SENSE OF EMPTINESS
In 1990 I joined Ferrari&Bacci and started that wonderful adventure that is my work in the mosaic business.
It was a special year when many unique things happened: the two sides of Germany were reunited and Germany became one; the football world championship was held in Italy and Italy was eliminated by Argentina in the semi-final… what a pity…; and in South Africa, apartheid was forever eliminated and black people could start living a better and more dignified life.
While the world at large was rich in events, my personal world became, all of a sudden, full of interest and novelty and I left Italy to go to Orlando to work on what was, at the time, my first big assignment in the mosaic business.
Happiness, anxiety, excitement…
These were the emotions I experienced on my long flight to Orlando, where I was going to stay for a 2 months’ period to install the largest mosaic I had worked on, till then.
By the moment I touched down I felt an adventure was about to begin and felt ready for that.
I was warmly welcomed by the family that managed the Orlando graveyard, that, after a while, became family to me, in the real sense of the word: people I shared my days and nights with; people I shared my success and worries with, people that became friends and then best friends.
We became so close that I came to choose David L. Neel the graveyard manager’s son, as my best man, for my wedding with Silvia, on my coming back home, but that’s another story…
I started working and, day after day, the mosaic took shape and colours became vivid in each single detail: