Based on a photograph by Pino Bertelli, a situationist photographer and film critic from Piombino, “Gente della città del ferro” (“People of the Iron City”) is a mural by Ache77 in the city of Follonica (GR), with which the artist pays homage to the historical tradition of steel production. The work is located in the former steelworks complex of ILVA and shows one of the last workers of the factory wearing a work helmet and a mask with air filters that he wears around his neck, similar to those used by spray painters. The worker is crowned by a golden halo that echoes the motif of a cast iron archway, exhibited in MAGMA – Museo delle arti in ghisa della Maremma (Museum of Cast Iron Art of Maremma), on whose wall the work was created. Thus, the worker is celebrated, even beatified, by the artifact of his work.
Their smiles dirty with coal and rust have entrusted to the wind of history their hopes, dreams and desires for a more righteous and humane world.
Ache77 is the artist of the gaze, the eyes of the protagonists of his works condense the authentic breath of their lives, and never before as in this work the artist has managed to give the worker a powerful expressiveness. As a completion of the work, the artist has inserted Pino Bertelli’s phrase-tribute to the men of the city of iron in the lower part of the piece.
Area Ex-Ilva 58022 – Follonica (GR)