Calabria and the whole world mourn the death of a great artist, Nik Spatari. Painter and sculptor, at the age of 91 he left this land, his partner Hiske Maas, and his magnificent creature: MuSaBa, the Museum of Santa Barbara.
MuSaBa the magnificent creature by Nik Spatari
The mayor of Mammola, the Calabrian town where Spatari had lived for years, gave the announcement of Nik Spatari’s death. Thus the mayor: “Mammola tightens sorrowfully around the great Mammolese personality”. Nik, in fact, since that distant 1969, when he arrives in Calabria with his long-time partner Hiske Maas, becomes a citizen of Mammola. A small town in the Reggio hinterland, a place where Spatari decided to express his inspiration and creativity.
After closing the art gallery in Brera, it gives life to one of the magical and wonderfully rich places. His world-famous creature is the Santa Barbara Museum Park. A condensation of contemporary art, one of a kind. A site specific, open air museum. When Nik arrived in Mammola, the place where the MuSaBa stands today was just a tangle of brambles and ruins. With dedication, commitment and sacrifice, together with Hiske he recoverd the Basilian monastery and began the artistic work, today known internationally.
Nik Spatari his life among the great of the twentieth century
Nik Spatari, self-taught, due to a trauma that made him deaf at the age of 11, from an early age he does not give up and is committed body and soul in the field of architecture and sculpture. From his native Calabria, he went to Paris, where he came into contact with the greats of the twentieth century. He is a pupil and friend of Picasso, Le Corbusier, Jean Cocteau, Max Ernst, Jean-Paul Sartre. Receives many accolades and awards. It also approaches American and European environments. An eclectic character who has left a profound mark on contemporary art.
His Santa Barbara Museum Park is his favorite son. Born amidst many difficulties, bureaucratic hitches and insurmountable problems. A project that in these 51 years has attracted thousands of visitors. And, more importantly, it has attracted the attention of dozens of international artists, who have given life to their artistic residences here and collaborated with Nik to create a piece of the museum.
Eclectic character, immortal artist
Now Nik’s mosaics, those disruptive, colorful works that interpret and mix history, mythology and the Christian religion, are silent, astonished, sad. They have lost the hand that cared and caressed them every day. Astonished as we all are, in front of this huge void that Nik Spatari leaves. However, in these cases it must be emphasized that the man who, until the very end, welcomed visitors to his kingdom, who was curious to learn techniques and ready to experiment new things, dies. The artist, on the other hand, remains there, immortal, among his creatures.
Lui sognatore e visionario, che è stato capace di ritrovare la bellezza dove nHe is a dreamer and a visionary, who was able to rediscover beauty where no one could see it. He who will always remain present in his art, in this Eden which is the MuSaBa. Jacob in his dream will now watch over his desired, desired and fulfilled park from heaven. His Hiske, left alone without Nik, will now have to become even more ours. Let us cling to his pain which is also a little ours. And we learn to look and rediscover beauty as Nik did in his life and in his Calabria.
(Images from Scaramuzzino’s achieve – MuSaBa Facebook page)