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Work by Antonella Ciceri, “Presepe 2023” (Translator’s Note: Nativity 2023), oil on canvas, 255x120. Photo courtesy of the artist.

January 2024 (G.T.) – Frogs with real crowns on their heads (portraying the three kings) ride Guzzini and Galletti, some skimming the surface of the water, some underwater astride their vintage Moto Guzzi, leaving ducks and fish astonished and curious; and, at the centre of it all, fantastic marine creatures who represent Nativity characters. Looking at artist Antonella Ciceri’s painting leaves one fascinated and mesmerised, leaving time to take in every phantasmagorical detail that she has left on the canvas. Imaginative and original in and of itself, Antonella Ciceri’s distinctive trait becomes extremely special due to the presence of Moto Guzzi in her works. The Eagle brand has been “introjected” into her works from her artistic origins, immersed in the roots of her native Lecco. That territory where, for more than a century, Moto Guzzi (founded in Mandello del Lario in 1921) has been a protagonist, crossing the borders and expanding all over the world.

“Blu Angels Blu”, oil on canvas, 80x100 (2023), work by Antonella Ciceri, Carabinieri Station in Olginate (Lecco). Photo courtesy of the artist.

Her sentimental attachment to the brand is such that the artist launches a proposal. “My name is Antonella Ciceri and I am an artist from the Lecco territory, resident in Olginate. Among my works, I have painted some vintage Guzzi models in my ‘Upside-down’ style with which I interpret the relationship between the terrestrial and aquatic worlds according to my introspective vision. It would be my pleasure to create and donate a work exclusively for Moto Guzzi, with the intention that it could be displayed at the next annual rally in Mandello del Lario, namely, to be exhibited in the Moto Guzzi Museum.” And she sends some images of her works. Here they are in this article.

“Superalce”, oil on canvas, 90x90 (2019), work by Antonella Ciceri, private collection. Photo courtesy of the artist.

We forwarded the Lecco native’s proposal to the Moto Guzzi team and we seized the opportunity to interview the artist.
Antonella, when did your passion for art begin?
“There was no triggering element or a particular period. I’ve been doing art from adolescence. From 1974 - I was 13 years old at the time - and through 2018, I attended several painting courses and private schools with various speakers on painting tradition and avant-garde. And from the start, as a self-taught artist, it has now been 45 years that I have been painting, exhibiting in dozens of personal and collective shows.”

Memories: on the left, Lecco native artist Antonella Ciceri’s father astride a Moto Guzzi Galletto (fifties era); on the right, the painter at an event encountering her interests. “I’ve been involved in topics connected to the protection of nature, animals, and climate change for some time now,” she explains. She loves the colours blue and green, which are always present in her paintings. Photo courtesy of Antonella Ciceri.

And your passion for Moto Guzzi?
“For anyone who, like me, was born and raised in the Lecco territory, to say ‘Moto Guzzi’ is to recall the tradition of many families, including mine. The image of my father ‘astride’ his Galletto is always in my mind. It is also the feeling of belonging to a culture that has attracted - and to this day continues to attract - countless fans from all over the world. It is feeling like interpreters of colours, shapes, and technology, creativity and design, re-interpreting in an artistic sense what has always been intrinsic in our souls.”

California 1100 Anniversary, work by Antonella Ciceri, commissioned by a German Moto Guzzi enthusiast and sent to Neustadt an der Orla, Germany. Photo courtesy of the artist.

The “upside-down” world is your distinctive trait as an artist. What are its origins and meaning for you and what message and emotions do you want to convey to the public with your works?
“The ‘upside-down’ is the theme I use to express my introspective visions and my personal interpretation, which springs from the natural theme where water represents the primary element that everything generates and includes. The ‘upside-down’ is the vision of two worlds - terrestrial and aquatic - which often reflect one another in the primordial element, where water is pure material par excellence and just the right line of union and inevitable intermingling. The solid side of visible reality is contrasted by a submerged, but just as alive and shifting, dimension. Images where the creatures are intentionally placed in a setting where they find themselves and where they regenerate.”

The recent collective exhibition at the Lecco Momart Gallery, with Antonella Ciceri’s work, Presepe 2023, which is at the top of this article, on display. In the image on the right, another one of her paintings of a sacred subject (2023).
Source of images:

“And it is also,” the artist continues, “an interpretation that generates an unmistakable and decidedly personal style where the elements represented are reminiscent of the man-subconscious-nature relationship. For example, in the paintings where Guzzi is portrayed, in the artistic abstract, the bike become a creature from ‘beneath’ which bursts forth into reality, ridden by the natural ‘eagle’ element that represents, and at the same time, protects it.”

“Atlantide”, work by Antonella Ciceri, awarded 2nd place in the international Weplanet-Milano 2021 contest.

What has been the greatest achievement of your long career as an artist so far?
“2021, the Weplanet-Milano award. My work ‘Atlantide’ was awarded second place in the prestigious international contest.”
And the one you have not yet achieved?
“I would like to organise, with the sponsorship of Moto Guzzi, a personal thematic ‘upside-down’ exhibit during the next bike rally in Mandello del Lario... displaying paintings like the one below and others that I am working on.”

Preparation of a new ‘upside-down’ work by Antonella Ciceri, with vintage Moto Guzzi and eagle.
Photo courtesy of the artist.

And concerning your desire to create and then donate one of your paintings to the Moto Guzzi Museum in Mandello, which model from the century-plus history of the brand would feature in your work?
“I'm completing a new painting featuring the Galletto, one of the mass-produced models which, in my opinion, best represents the brands long manufacturing history. My intention is to donate the painting to Moto Guzzi on the occasion of one of the upcoming events in Mandello.”

Preparation of the painting that Antonella Ciceri would like to donate to the Moto Guzzi Museum, featuring the Galletto and a soaring eagle. Photo courtesy of the artist.
A combination scooter/motorcycle, Moto Guzzi launched the Galletto in 1950 as a vehicle suited for men and women. Initially a 150cc, the engine was quickly replaced, first by a 160cc and then a 175cc, before reaching 192cc in 1954. In addition to the simple and reliable four-stroke engine, a distinctive mark of the Galletto is the spare tyre, mounted on the front part of the fairing.

Even the promessi sposi (The Betrothed) travel “upside-down” on a Moto Guzzi. Antonella Ciceri explains, “I'm adding a photo of my series called ‘I Promessi Sposi’ (Translator’s note: ‘The Betrothed’), a work displayed in my most recent personal exhibit at Villa Manzoni (2023), with the sponsorship of the Lecco Municipality on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Alessandro Manzoni’s death. The one below is the last painting in the series. The two protagonists ‘flee’, finally married and happy, aboard a Moto Guzzi!” With the eagle watching over them.

Work by Antonella Ciceri, from the ‘’I Promessi Sposi” series. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Biography, works, personal and collective exhibits, publications, contacts,
on her website (screenshot of the home page above) and her social media channels: