There have been many incredible moments for a young, art minded girl, roaming through the galleries of NYC and London and Europe. It was this weekend though that left me speechless and immensely grateful to have been drawn into this world.
It was going to be a quiet and uneventful Friday night this weekend, until unknowingly at the time, I received a once in a life time invitation. “Come to dinner with me and this man, Arturo di ModiCa, you will find him truly intriguing.” my friend casually suggested. I accepted the invitation with no context of who this mysterious man could be, saying to myself “Well, I have no other plans!”
The man I sat opposite at dinner emanated both kindness and a wisdom that could only have been achieved by a multitude of lifetimes all experienced in his 73 years of existence. He also had the most perfected beard I had ever seen, which he told me has not been shaved since 1973. As he talked, I discovered he was, what I could only describe as, a living master. Our present day Donatello.
Arturo would be best known to New Yorkers for creating “The Charging Bull” on Wall Street. Arturo installed the monumental sculpture on Wall Street using $360,000 of his own money, without the permission of the state to do so. He was arrested for the feat and the sculpture removed by the state of New York. This didn’t stop Arturo, he simply re-installed the sculpture until it was recognized as one of New York’s most treasured pieces.
His pieces are found around the world, held privately and placed publicly for passers by to marvel over. In 1999 in recognition of the artist’s singular creativity and his artistic achievements which includes ‘Charging Bull’ Arturo Di Modica was selected for The Ellis Island Medal of Honor one of the most prestigious awards given in the United States.
After dinner, during which I learned of a life filled with artistic achievement as well as a touch of debauchery here and there, we were inited to his studio in TriBeCa. I was in awe and speechless the entire time I was there. I have never been more socially inept in my life, as all of my usual conversational energy was spent trying to stop my jaw from dropping as I gazed over his creations. Some ready to leave the studio, finished with polished bronze or a steel glean, some half way through their process, clay moldings, with the artists fingerprints still visible on the surface of the clay and some sketches, just reaching their inception on paper.
I could never recreate my experience in its entirety for this short piece, as it takes gazing up at the life-size bulls, horses and bears to evoke the indescribable emotion. My luck was to be invited into the artist’s home and studio, and that I believe is an honor I will treasure forever. However, I urge anyone and everyone to marvel over the Bull on Wall street whilst here in New York and from there, explore his works around the world, each one as gargantuan in achievement as the last.