‘La Pieta’, the iconic image of Christ’s inert body being supported by the Virgin Mary is one of the most emotionally charged images in all Western Art and also one of the most moving testimonies to human compassion. ‘Compassion’ is not a word one would associate with Cesare Lucchini’s paintings, yet, for their apparent cry of desperation, they also represent a cry for kindness. The overriding theme of his works is to pose, in a highly emotional way, the question, ‘why’? Why are these people alone and abandoned?
In a western world dominated by an alarming shift to the political right where any form of moderation is immediately shouted down; where episodes of racism are on the rise, Cesare Lucchini addresses the ultimate solitude inherent in the human condition and the cruelty of man’s behaviour to his fellow human being.
Having visited the detention centre for immigrants on the Italian island of Lampedusa, it is no surprise that it became a focus for a series of works. Concentrating as he has often done in the past on what ‘remains’ after a tragedy, the paint- ings contain footprints and what appear to be pieces of discarded belongings, whilst in another area of the canvas, a lone silhouetted figure surrounded by barbed wire, looks on. A boat covered in barbed wire with a solitary human being standing in the distance as a majestic looking mountain and a terse blue sky look on is another reference to the almost daily tragedy taking place on the sea just beyond the island.