Contemporary Mythology. A juxtaposition that feels as an oxymoron when catapulted into an elusive reality such as the present one. But the myths, in their relationships with the culture of an era or of a population, still exist and must be celebrated in everyday life. “Contemporary Mythology” is the name of an artistic project realized in Rome in 2014, from the 999contemporary gallery, focusing on the representation of new models of inspiration that young generations would like to emulate.
In Rome, a myth has just ascended to the Olympus of the legend. Yes, in the Olympic stadium. In the capital city, Francesco Totti, a former footballer, but with the stigmata of divinity for “giallorossa” side of Rome, has just said stop to football. In a dramatic play on Sunday May 28, he last greeted his fans as a good leader, always with the number 10 shirt on him. Totti, during his career over a quarter of a century has weaned several generations, united fathers and sons, dreams and frustrations have sewn around his knit. Rome, also in Lazio’s white and blue colors, recognized him as a leader in a city that historically does not want masters.
foto di Fabio Rossi
And just the marble face of Francesco Totti was the first to be immortalized within the cycle “Contemporary Mythology”, not a casualty: it’s made by Roman street artist Lucamaleonte who created the 18-meter high work on the facade of the school Pascoli, in the neighborhood of Porta Metronia, where “Er Pupone” was born on 27 September 1976 and grew up. Next to the work done with a brush keeping a white-black bicrome, the question «Old to whom?» appears, a meaningful answer to the one who branded it over and over again, but had to recapture: the striker retired when he was 40 years old. A continuous challenge against Crono, the god of time, playing with old age and opening a reflection on how society lives alongside old man.
That’s the first act of the Totti-Lucamaleonte duet: in 2014, a few months before the World Cup in Brazil, Nike organized an advertising campaign with the motto “Risk Everything”. During the presentation of the Rome new jersey, the famous brand entrusted to the Roman artist the creation of a new impressive mural inspired by the Romanesque iconic and his Francesco at the entrance of the former Atac warehouse, in piazza Ragusa, in San Giovanni neighborhood.
It is a great challenge, then, to celebrate eternity through street art, open to contamination, to live in symbiosis with the wall on which it was built, to suffer the consequences of calcinations, weather-related deterioration and atmospheric agents. Destined to disappear. Like the idea behind the works of the Sten&Lex that work with posters of various sizes and constantly interact with wind, rain and everything that transforms art itself. The same fate that had the gigantic work done on the facade of a Garbatella palace: 26 meters tall for 12 in length, Totti’s face is superimposed on the face of a lycanthrope. Symbols of football in Rome (evident the link to the 1980s logo and presents in the mural) that interact with each other in a clear conceptual association: think of Rome, think about she-wolf, think of Totti. And viceversa.
Icons and symbols in the capital of vividness: Totti is recognized as the eighth king of Rome. A whispered sentence , evoked among the millennial streets that saw great men and illustrious people walking. From the street, by the road, the largest place of democracy: this is where Totti is celebrated, this is where the eighth king is to be decanced and for this reason the street artist Tvboy chose piazza del Fico to stick his stencil from the titled title : Franciscvs Totti VIII Rex Romae.
But in via Monti there is the work to which the fans are most closely linked with the deep nostalgic feelings: it portrays Totti pointing his fingers up with his eyes that are looking the stars the Olympus. It consecrates the captain’s celebration in 2001, in the year of the last Scudetto of As Roma, the only Scudetto for his son Francesco. The work has been smeared several times, but also has been restored.
Memory is not erased, do not vilify.