Massimo Cedrini, left, and the art direcor of Excellence Art Gallery in Marbella,Giusseppe Carnevale. / JOSELE

Art against animal cruelty

Protest. Italian painter Massimo Cedrini is using his work to denounce ill treatment of animals in his new exhibition in Marbella

ESTHER GÓMEZ

Through his work, Italian artist Massimo Cedrini speaks out against animal abuse and the lack of respect for the environment in contemporary society in a collection of unique and previously unseen paintings called Amort Est Vitae Essentia. Uomini Animal un solo pianeta (Love is the essence of life. Humans, animals, a single planet).

The exhibition, which can be seen at the Excellence Art Gallery in Marbella until the end of this month, will be going on to Switzerland in the spring and in the summer it will cross the pond to defend mother nature against ill-treatment in Miami, USA.

This collection, which is as much a form of protest as it is art, consists of 20 works mainly carried out in oil and graphite on which Cedrini has worked for just over a year. With these pictures this animal lover, who is very concerned about the frequent attacks on them, wants to give visibility to what he considers "a terrible situation, but one which can be changed if people become more aware".

"We're destroying the world and people don't realise," says Cedrini

Ill treatment

"Unfortunately there is no single form of ill treatment of animals," Cedrini stresses, and that is what he has wanted to show in his paintings. They are all different, all have an impact and are emotionally charged.

Every day hundreds of dogs and cats are abandoned in rubbish containers, in the middle of motorways or in the doors of animal welfare societies which are already overcrowded and have no way of housing and looking after them; elephants are killed by people who want to sell their tusks, felines for their fur, to make luxury coats and whales for their blubber; and millions of bees, the source of health and life, disappear daily as a result of indiscriminate fumigation.

Many examples of this tragic aggression towards defenceless animals are featured in the Amort Est Vitae Essentia collection, to draw people's attention to their plight. These are paintings filled with significance which, he admits, have made some people cry upon seeing them and understand, sometimes, their harsh message.

A seal who wonders between brushstrokes why someone is being cruel to it, a bee - essential to the pollinating process - presented as the mother of all flowers, thinking about what would happen if they no longer existed, a sad dog saying goodbye to the little girl who has been his companion but who, and he doesn't know why, is leaving him behind a pane of glass. These are some of the scenes in this collection which their author hopes will "stir the heart" of those who view them.

Massimo Cedrini, who was born in the town of Novafeltria in the province of Rimini, Italy, has always been interested in teaching and sharing art with others and today, more than ever, he is an artist who is very committed to his principles. Principles that are inevitably and indisputably demonstrated clearly and forcefully in all his work, but especially in the collection he is currently exhibiting in Marbella and to which, he has announced, he will be adding one more piece.

Transformation

Cedrini, who says he is experiencing a "sincere spiritual transformation", invites those viewing the works in this collection to reflect upon the future they want for a planet which he judges to be "undergoing a silent transformation".

"We are destroying the world and people don't seem to realise," he says. The society of today has preferred "to put money ahead of people," he adds, and has managed to "convince us that achieving material wealth brings true happiness," but "the reality is that it can lead to depression and feelings of absolute frustration," he says.

However, he didn't create this collection for sale, but to expose how badly mankind is behaving towards the environment which is our home and to provoke a social reaction,

Giussepe Carnevale, the artistic director of Excellent Art Gallery, says that the paintings, whose prices range from 12,500 to 16,000 euros, will be available for purchase once their planned programme of events has come to an end.