The story of the Hedgehog Man: artworks, drawing and the story

Homage to Anna Politkovskaja: since 2010

Opere la Storia dell' uomo riccio


Il disegno La Storia dell' uomo riccio


The Story

it was 2009 when I first read Per questo. Alle radici di una morte annunciata. Articoli 1999-2006, a collection of articles by Anna Politkovskaya, that Adelphi had just published in Italy.
The stories made such an impression on me that I decided to dedicate a new series of sculptures to this remarkable figure. A courageous Russian dissident, Anna Politkovskaya was assassinated, becoming a symbol for numerous journalists who fight for the truth and are killed on the front line of hotspots all over the world.

The tragic characters present in her stories, which she witnessed in first person, have been sources of inspiration for a visual narrative that I chose to depict in a fairy-tale like manner, recounting this and other dramatic realities of today’s society.

The character which inspired me most was Moisej Michajlovic Nazarov, described by Politkovskaya as the “hedgehog man” in the chapter Il fuoco della guerra (The fire of war) that narrates of “who no longer has anything to stay warm next winter”. And this is how a series of sculptures came into being, preceded by a numerous number of drawings, which I entitled La storia dell’uomo riccio (The story of the hedgehog man).

The series is accompanied by a theatrical script, an illustrated manuscript with drawings and photographs, composed of a prologue and 11 acts depicted in a large drawing in color, a final synthesis of the entire narrative cycle. Thus far, the series is made up of 110 panels (transposed onto 400 boards).
There are four principal episodes in this story and in the artwork that shares the same name: an old man who is chased from his home; his vagrancy amid a humanity that is both lacerated and dispirited by violence; the transfiguration of his body into a hedgehog to protect himself; the encounter with a woman who removes his quills, allowing for his metamorphosis from hedgehog into a butterfly that can now fly free, with the renewed hope of living poetically on earth.