Sicily, Art and Love

Antonio Presti's sculptures

by Agnese Oliveri | 25 November 2020

La Materia Poteva non Esserci (Matter Could not Be), Pietro Consagra, 1986 Image credits: Atelier Sul Mare

‘Utopia is not what is unrealisable, but it is what the system doesn’t want realised’.

This suggestive sentence lies on the floor surrounded by walls filled with newspaper scrapes. These newspapers all write of the same man, in dozens of languages: Antonio Presti. Words and words describe exactly Presti’s strive for his personal utopia, a land filled with art and hope. Born in Messina, Sicily, in 1957 from a wealthy family, his future was already written for him: he was to be in charge of the family industry, become an engineer, marry a beautiful and wealthy girl from the city and, simply, carry on with the conventionality of a life written for him. However, Antonio did not respect a step of this journey and bravely made a path for himself. Everything started when, in his twenties, he inherited the family fortune due to the early departure of his father. Presti then asked Pietro Consagra, one of the most influential artists of the Sicilian modernist panorama, to build an impressive cement sculpture (the material provi