NYsferatu: Symphony of a Century
Magazzino Italian Art introduced its events programming on September 15, 2017, with a special screening of NYsferatu: Symphony of a Century, a hand-animated, silent film by Italian artist Andrea Mastrovito. Captivating a fascinated public for over an hour, the artist’s oeuvre was set to the live musical accompaniment of the Marco Cappelli acoustic trio in the open air of Magazzino’s courtyard.
Inspired by Friedrich W. Murnau’s 1922 Nosferatu film, the Italian artist resurrected this iconic vampire film with a contemporary twist. At a time of political unrest, NYsferatu’s timely plotline depicted the multiple hardships and stereotypes immigrants encounter on a daily basis. Mastrovito captured this principle as a result of basing his visual narratives on his numerous conversations with recent immigrants.
Taking the first step in a three-year process, Mastrovito and a team of 12 artists drew each background three times to replicate the beautifully eerie flickering shutter effect of early cinema. The artist, whose installations have captivated viewers throughout Europe and New York, aimed to create a summary of our times, a kind of “everybody's biography” using cinema as a popular language.
“Drawing is humanity’s most basic language,” Mastrovito said. “This is why I try to understand and describe the world we are living in today through thousands of drawings and visual allusions. Very often the best mediator between the world of ideas and the real world is a simple pencil.” All in all, the artist and his team drew over 35,000 original drawings to create this feature-length animation.
Mastrovito’s film, produced by MoreArt, was featured in outdoor screenings throughout New York City’s five boroughs including at Central Park’s Mineral Springs, the Queens Museum Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, and Brooklyn Bridge Park, among others.
About Andrea Mastrovito
Andrea Mastrovito (b. 1978) is a New York-based, Italian-born artist whose artistic path snakes through the reinvention of drawing and swings from his studio to the audience through public performances and installations. He is the 2007 recipient of the New York Prize, 2012 recipient of the Moroso Prize, and 2016 recipient of the Ermanno Casoli Prize. Solo exhibitions include N’importe où hors du monde, Chateaux de la Drome (2015), France; Here the Dreamers Sleep, Andersen Museum, Rome (2015); At the End of the Line, GAMEC, Bergamo (2014); and Le Cinque Giornate, Museo del Novecento, Milan (2011). His works have also been included in numerous group exhibitions across Europe and the United States including at the Museum of Art and Design, New York; MAXXI National Museum of the 21st century and Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome; Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester; B.P.S. 22, Charleroi; and the Museum of Contemporary Design and Applied Arts, Lausanne.