Cristina Santagata interviews Daniele Crippa, curator of the “House of Angels”

Cristina Santagata interviews Daniele Crippa, curator of the “House of Angels”

Santagata 1907 supports the exhibition “La Casa degli Angeli” (The House of Angels) at Porta Siberia, an exhibition dedicated to the figure of the angel represented with works by more than 500 contemporary artists and desired by the art critic and President of the Portofino Park Daniele Crippa with the support of the Municipality of Genoa and Porto Antico Spa.

The Iglesia de los Angeles stands in the Salta region of Argentina with the intention of paying homage to the Christian Catholic religion, the local population, the Virgin, angels and children.

We recently had the opportunity to meet Daniele Crippa to hear about this very interesting project and the story behind it.

“When I had the pleasure of meeting the Mayor of Genoa, Marco Bucci, I explained to him that this exhibition had already been shown in several museums, first in Monza, then at the Villa Olmo Museum in Como and then at the Santa Maria della Scala Museum in Siena. Genoa, however, was the port from which the migration to Argentina began, and I would have loved to enhance this cultural relationship, also because this initiative was born in Argentina in a region in the north of the country called Salta, a place where a miracle on the Virgin Mary is professed, 5th in the world for number of believers. Pope John Paul II, who was very faithful to the Virgin Mary, also visited this area and on that occasion I had the opportunity to ask him if he would agree to me building a church dedicated to the angels, the children who died before baptism, on a property there. The church has been built and I am asking artists from all over the world to paint their personal interpretation of a little angel on a 25×25 canvas and right here at Porta Siberia the first 500 are on display. Once painted, the works are photographed and transferred onto ceramic tiles so that they can become part of the large contemporary art mosaic that will consist of 1840 tiles and cover the walls of the church. The former food port of Genoa has become the ‘House of Angels’ and we hope in spring, or perhaps as early as October, to bring in another 500”.

When did the construction of the church begin?

“It started in 2002 and lasted five years because the construction time there is quite long. Now there are already more than 300 ceramics”.

How are the artists contacted?

“Initially I contacted friends, the first 200-250 were, then word spread by word of mouth from the painters and later also through articles and publications. The first 500 were deliberately Italian or foreigners who lived in Italy, now we are trying to involve the rest of the world, so they come from all over. In the future I would like to organise a conference with an imam, a rabbi and a bishop to discuss the angel, a figure present in the three monotheistic religions. Today it would be a message of unity and peace”.

Have there been many visits since the exhibition opened?

“The exhibition is working quite well, even though the climate at this time is not in our favour. The idea is to organise events on the theme of the angel: at the entrance there are two niches where we would like to display two or four works by different artists each month and present them from time to time. A further step would be to display sculptures outdoors and thus eliminate some of the cars outside, also because in this way it is difficult to understand that Porta Siberia is a museum”.

Once commissioned, does an artist have a delivery schedule?

“Right now we are trying to get to 500 as soon as possible but generally no, we don’t give deadlines. The fascination lies in the fact that you can find things that are completely different from each other: the figurative, the abstract or the conceptual, and since we had the opportunity to exploit the great peculiarity of this museum, namely the illuminated floor portholes, formerly used as food storage, we decided to involve other artists to create sculptures in marble, bronze or iron to be placed right under the portholes”.

Where does a visitor find the ticket today?

“The ticket can be purchased directly here in Porta Siberia or online, on the appropriate platforms.

For us, this project is a very important opportunity to support Genoa and these beautiful spaces of Porta Siberia. The idea of supporting it came a bit by chance, however it was very easy for us to enter this beautiful world and we would like to continue supporting it in some way.

The exhibition is open to the public from Thursday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

More information at the following link:

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