In the historic center of Trapani, just behind the busy pedestrian thoroughfare of Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, a multitude of ceramic faces adorn the facade of a particular building. Another glance reveals a group of colorful sculptures created from a hodgepodge of diverse objects. Welcome to the world of Mario Cassisa, a Sicilian-American outsider artist.
The studio where he lived and worked for decades is now a museum that overflows with art and memorabilia from his extensive world travels. Thin, bronze sculptures draped with strange objects tower over rows of elaborate paintings adorn the walls. One hundred or more artist books are stacked on shelves, each covered with collages and prominently bearing the name CASSISA. Art covers every available surface, for Cassisa did not stop painting at the edges of his canvases, but instead continued onto elaborately decorated frames. The over-the-top frames alone are worth a visit.
It’s a special experience to be surrounded by an artist’s oeuvre, especially one as prolific as Cassisa. His close friends confirm that he had a never-ending passion for his art and felt compelled to create even on weekends and holidays. The studio’s atmosphere continues to reverberate with this intensity of purpose and remains a labyrinth of memory for the life of Mario Cassisa.
Know Before You Go
To visit the museum, contact the shopkeepers at Il Pinguino at Via Giuseppe Garibaldi 96. No appointment is needed.