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We didn't eat at our usual restaurant, arriving about 22.00 instead at Victor's art emporium -- a white stucco showroom subdivided into adjoining galleries, where his latest creations were on display. A TV and video machine was pumping out enlivening films of Victor, his wife, and son -- who owns a chain of restaurants in San Diego, California, and colleagues in the art world celebrating the unveiling of huge murals covering every bit of wall space. The style is quite different and more conventional than Victor's latest creative offspring. Ancient temples, galleries, coupled with the exciting bustle of people, cars, all fusing together past and present as far as the eye can stretch.

Bill Newman and Victor Bussoletti

Victor informed me that he had received so many commissions from art exhibitions, museums, hotels and restaurants during his stay in the USA that it was establishing new interest in Italy.

It seemed that everyone we were introduced to had been our friends for years. This is the typical welcome that good-natured Italians impart. Edmund, of course, was looked on as world famous. I watched him seemingly under stress as Mrs Bussoletti endeavoured to extract his life story whilst her husband was busy cutting the joint and bread in gargantuan proportions from his table at the back -- 'gotta work, gotta work!'

Victor Bussoletti (3rd from left) and friends, with Bussoletti's paintings (behind). Photo: Bill Newman

Somehow the music didn't happen that night. It was the following night and every one after that. But we did learn about Victor's past achievements after starting to paint in the 50s. Umbria first witnessed his experience and attraction for the avant garde. Invitations followed to various cities and exhibitions at home and abroad. Lessons with, and an admiration for, Picasso -- 'The Ideal Master' -- gave him experience in mural painting and decorative expression, then following the States visit, the artistic language of Peru and Bolivia and a longer stay in Mexico encouraged neo-latin understanding.

A strong Spanish influence also endowed his rhythmic structures, and for many years Spoleto also became familiar with his plastic and metal creations. Now, at 62, his output is symbolic of power and dynamism. Reproductions of everything on show express his style at the moment, but he also has a stock of commendable 'rejects' which register starting points from which other ideas took shape. I was tremendously impressed.

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Copyright © 13 November 2001 Bill Newman, Edgware, UK






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