Italian artist finds his inspiration in Stockholm
He was born in the sign of Taurus, but has “a lot of the Leo, too”. Marco Cecioni shows his home, which is his studio, or is it perhaps the other way around, that the studio that also serves as a residence?
His zodiac sign is actually relevant information in this article, which will be about a great artist that from the suburbs of Stockholm reaches out to many countries in Europe. After a short guided tour of the works of art from several decades, which fill the walls and floor, the astrological signs symbols get stuck in your head. In many of the works you become aware of small recurring details in different contexts. It is the symbols of the zodiac signs, like Gemini, Scorpio or Sagittarius. And the stars play a quite significant role in Marco Cecioni’s life and art.
It is white winter afternoon in Vinterviken in Gröndal. The studio for sure stimulates your fantasy, a semi-basement with windows facing the water – and snow covered ice in the afternoon darkness. It was winter and dark when we met, a condition that is natural for the Swedes, but hardly for an Italian from Naples.
Despite this, Marco Cecione has worked as an artist in Stockholm for more than 25 years. However, it was not the art that brought him here, it was the music. He was only 20 years old when he came to Sweden for a short visit, but it was love that kept him there. This is also where he has his family consisting of two adult daughters.
“I had heard amazing things about Sweden before I came here. Stunning nature, a paradise … “
It was definitely different from what he was used to in Italy. And he came here as a tourist, not to stay.
“But it was so nice here, and I still think I made a good choice”, he says.
As mentioned, the reason for the first trip to Sweden was music. Marco Cecioni came to Stockholm to attend a few stage shows with his Italian band. During the 60s he was one of the founders of the band Battitori Selvaggi, who later reappeared as Balletto di Bronzo, which in Swedish means “Bronze Ballet”. The band almost got cult status in their home country after the release of an album with psychedelic music, Sirio 2222. So it was as an acclaimed and quite famous musician he came to Stockholm in the early 70s.
Marco Cecioni are excited – and happy. He has recently completed a major exhibition in his native city Naples, the first in many years. He hesitated when he was asked if he wanted to exhibit there.
“I will not sell anything. That was what I thought”, he says. But sell was exactly what he did. Everything that was on the exhibition was sold, which of course has led to him now led to him now discussing an additional exhibition in the old hometown.
Marco Cecioni is, despite the many years living here, not very well known in Sweden. The more appreciated he has been in Finland and a few other countries. He still travels to Finland regularly, after living there for a couple of years. It is also in Finland, his work has sold best.
“I love Finland and I stay there for periods of time, but after fifteen days I want to return to Stockholm”, he says. He quickly became known in Finland and came in contact with the architects who planned the Finnish shipping company Silja Line’s new big ships “Symphony” and “Serenade” that go between Stockholm and Helsinki.
“My paintings are now on the cruise ships, some are really big, about five meters, with blasted glass”, he says, not without pride.
The attention that came the decoration of the ferries led to several new jobs, such as two large glass blastings in the Treasury Department’s premises in Helsinki.
More recently, he has also worked with the housing corporation Familjebostäder in Stockholm, which has led to decorating four house entrances in Fruängen with the theme of Elsa Beskow stories. There are four meter high glass sculptures in each entrance.
Blasted glass has over time become something of a specialty for Marco Cecioni. Today his glass can be found in several places throughout the capital.
Right now, he plans an exhibition in Barcelona, in addition to the other one in his hometown Naples. But he “does not mass-produce, instead he makes just a few with quality, otherwise it will be a waste of energy”.
As an artist, he works with several major projects at once. That makes it important to save his energy. He works with several different techniques and ways of expression, such as painting, ceramics, and textiles. At the same time he participates in various musical projects. This can make his life complicated, but that is the way he is.
“I like big projects like the Silja Line ships, the apartments, and the properties in Fruängen. You must be fully committed to manage that kind of jobs”.
He also likes, he says, to try new difficult things he has never experienced before. It is a special feeling to do something for the first time – and succeed.
One of my last questions to Marco Cecioni happened to be how old he is. “When were you born?”, I asked. He still owes me the answer, because age is not a topic of conversation when it comes to him.
“Use your powers of deduction”, is the interview’s last reply.
About Marco Cecioni
As an artist, he had his education at the Italian Liceo Artistico Academy of the Arts. One of his latest major exhibition was at the Pietro Canonica, in Rome at Villa Borghese, sponsored by both Finnish and Swedish ambassadors.
He is known and appreciated in many countries, such as Spain, Poland, Finland, France, and Norway.
In 1996, Volvo chose a Marco Cecioni motif to represent their worldwide merchandising campaign that included original neckties, watches, umbrellas, T-shirts and perfume.
Marco’s works can be seen at the following institutions: The Ceramic Museum at Vietri sul Mare, Italy; The Joensuu Museum, Finland; The Middle Region Museum, Finland; The Museum of Art Industry, Finland; The Art Club, Swedish House of Parliament; The Borough Council of Positano, Italy; The Salem Community, Sweden and The Community of Östersund, Sweden.
Cecioni was also a singer and guitarist for almost twenty years, but “ended at 40 when I became too old for rock ‘n’ roll”.
Do you want to buy Marco’s art?
Visit his website marcocecioni.com