Piaggio Museum (Pontedera, Pisa province, Tuscany, Italy), 22 October 2022–13 January 2023 – Among the best tradition of craftsmanship and contemporary artistic inspiration, among canvases prepared by hand, palette knives, brushes, vivacious colours, and subjects which declare and express great unveiled passion: welcome to the world of Stefano Berardino, a young Italian artist from Piedmont in love with motors, who turns two and four wheelers into art subjects and “unique” protagonists of his painting production. His encounter is inevitable with the legendary Vespa (born in 1946), the timeless icon, protagonist for more than 75 years of Italy’s industrial heritage, undisputed symbol of style, technological progress, and Italian design all over the world, always capable of reinventing itself, attracting new generations.
And Stefano Berardino celebrates it in his “personal” #THATSMOTORINGART @ PiaggioMuseum. The Icons of ‘Made in Italy’, the new exhibit hosted at the Piaggio Museum in Pontedera (Pisa), from 22 October 2022 through 13 January 2023. For the exhibit, Berardino created about thirty works of art, oil or acrylic paintings in a strict graphic style that gives Pop Art a nod, on a material background often enhanced by sand and quartz dust.
The paintings, all large in size, tell the story of Vespa in a true “parade”: from the elegant models of the fifties and sixties all the way to its more modern versions. All in the setting of a harmonic and engaging layout which is perfectly placed in the halls of the Piaggio Museum’s temporary exhibits, in the heart of the old Piaggio workshops, “in dialogue” with the unique models displayed in this true “temple” of the history of mobility and Italian style.
A history to which Stefano Berardino also dedicates a tribute on the canvases dedicated to other Piaggio products, such as the runabout manufactured in France in the ’50s (the Vespa 400) and the beloved Ape three-wheeler (born in ’48 out of a Vespa “rib”), not to mention the motorcycling sector, with four works dedicated to the long history of Moto Guzzi, which recently celebrated 100 years of highly successful operations.
The Icons of ‘Made in Italy’, an exhibit curated and produced by the Piaggio Foundation – Sabrina Caredda and her team - and architect Luca Masi, with layout and graphic design by Silvia Paracchini and Claudio Bellosta, is a homage to the forms and history of one of the most significant iconic vehicles of our country, a demonstration of love and pride for made in Italy, embodied in the art, colour, palette knife, and passion of Stefano Berardino. The exhibit catalogue is a must-see, edited by art critic Luca Nannipieri, with the contributions from Matteo Franconi, Mayor of Pontedera, and Riccardo Costagliola, Chairman of the Piaggio Foundation.
PIAGGIO MUSEUM: www.museopiaggio.it
ONLINE GALLERY - THE WORKS IN THE EXHIBIT:
INAUGURATION WITH THE EXCELLENCES OF THE TERRITORY.
Participating in the exhibit inauguration, which took place on Friday, 21 October in the Museum Auditorium, with Chairman Costagliola doing the home honours, was the artist, Stefano Berardino (“born into the trade”, with the family workshop in Orta San Giulio boasting 40 years of activity), collector and car and Vespa enthusiast. “In my art, I represent this passion, making it tangible.” His works, therefore, also make tangible the memories of many enthusiasts who love to display a Berardino painting in their living rooms that depicts their favourite car or the first Vespa of their youth.
Speaking of Vespa, Stefano reveals that as a youngster he rode an enduro bike, but his grandmother suggested that perhaps he should get an elegant white Vespa instead. Her grandson took her advice and, over the years, it turned out to be a fortunate prophecy (Stefano now owns four Vespas, including the “6 Giorni” special edition). Art critic Luca Nannipieri highlighted the “intriguing innovation of Stefano Berardino’s works,”, including him in the trend of artists, launched in the early nineteen hundreds by futurists, who privileged the motoring world in their works.
The traditional “ribbon cutting” of the exhibit grand opening was followed by a cocktail with the contribution of some of the territory’s organisations par excellence: ANGIOLINI-Il sublime del cacao, B-DONE custom indoor & outdoor design, LA CITTADELLA CAFFE’, TENUTE LUNELLI, and SAVITAR TARTUFI – San Miniato. Mayor Franconi took the opportunity to point out the combination of art and territory that is also accomplished in the new exhibit promoted by the Piaggio Foundation as a further sign of the commitment of Pontedera, in the Tuscan Valdera region, candidate for Capital of Culture 2025 in Italy.
Photographic and video references. Federico Vecchio, photo creator. Luca Viale, videomaker. Luca Viale, videomaker.
Opening event with musicians: saxophonist Dimitri Grechi Espinoza and pianist-keyboardist Pee Wee Durante.
WHO IS STEFANO BERARDINO. Thirty years old from Orta San Giulio (Novara province, Piedmont, Italy), he approached the world of art following in the footsteps of his father, Nicola Berardino. After completing his studies in 2011 at the age of 19, he exhibited for his first time at the OrtArte Gallery of Orta San Giulio. In the following years, he began promoting his works, participating in international art competitions and he subsequently opened a temporary art gallery in the historic city centre of Arona.
In 2015, he was selected for an art tour in Spain, with two exhibits at the C.A.C. Mijas Museum Picasso and the Museo de Los Galves in Macharaviaya (Malaga). He participated in the Picasso tribute at the CASINO DE MARBELLA with a few works selected for the event presentation cover. Concluding the path at the CLUB NAUTIC of SALOU (Tarragona). During the year 2016, he was selected for the Trivero City Art Reward, Biella Province. In late 2018, he organised the personal exhibit entitled “ThatsMotoringArt – Quando il motore dell’arte è la passione” (‘When the engine of art is passion’), curated by OrtaVintage – Galleria OrtArte, at the Mirafiori Gallery in Turin. Given the success of the exhibit, the artist was hired to leave the collection on display permanently in the Mirafiori Gallery. In February 2020, at the Fiat Chrysler Motor Village Marylebone in London, Berardino inaugurated a personal exhibit entitled “#ThatsMotoringArt®️ The Art of Motors in London”: a collection of 27 works, celebrating the anniversaries of Panda and Alfa Romeo for the occasion, and completing the collection with two personalised works. In 2021, with the foundation of the Italian/French Stellantis group, he created a new collection called “ThatsMotoringArt-E” intended to celebrate the electrification of the range. In 2022, he confirmed the partnership with the new flagship dealer “Stellantis&You”. And now he has a personal exhibit at the Piaggio Museum in Pontedera, celebrating Vespa.
Stefano Berardino: www.stefanoberardino.com