Four Bright Hands

A profile on Rosa Iacobone, Italian artist and teacher.


written by Mirianna la Grasta

Walking through Carnaby Street is a tiny Italian woman. Her meticulous and curious gaze stops on every single detail in the street. “You know what?” she wonders, “London is better than Paris, I feel inebriated by its magic atmosphere.”

But then she stops. She looks up to the grey sky. Her face clouded with disappointment. “This city needs a bright brush stroke.”

Rosa Iacobone is obviously not a common woman. She met Marcella Sacino when she was 20. They were both teaching to their students the importance of colour: “An element that we can only see thanks to the light.” Since then, they have painted together, with “four hands”.

Every afternoon, from Tuesday to Friday, Rosa stands in front of big canvases, surrounded by a selection of warm and bright acrylic paints. Colours, in fact, are vital for her: “They aren’t just a tool to express an idea, they are the message.” Warm and bright colours stand for optimism, they wipe negative feelings out and “push the human mind to overcome the obstacles”, she argues.

The room where she works is often silent, or there is some music in the background. Rosa uses the “four hands-painting” to get away from the “routine of adulthood”. The intimate relationship she has with art satisfies and inspires her life. “Painting is something I always did for myself,” she says, “I never showed my art to the public until a couple of years ago.” So she stands in front of her canvases, and waits for the instinct to guide her.

Rosa takes her brush and chooses a starting point. She moves the brush slowly on the cloth. Then comes Marcella, her “Siamese colleague”. They don’t even need to talk: “We have the same ideas, we work in harmony with four hands and we create the piece spontaneously,” she explains. Rosa always feels to have a “perfect artistic bond” with Marcella. She thinks they are a “one-artist” when they paint: “There’s a sort of telepathy between us.”

Together with her “second pair of hands”, Rosa experiments various artistic styles, coming from very different historical periods and parts of the globe. Then, she mixes them altogether to create a new contemporary art that looks at humans from an outside perspective. “In Evoluzione” (evolving), a mix of geometries and futurism, is the perfect synthesis of her art. It shows a man going through different emotional stages: he is initially grieving, curled up in the floor, then, he gradually gets up to overcome his obstacles. “The colours are vivid, and they express the man’s will to embrace life,” she explains.

“As a one-artist, we receive serenity through the act of painting, and this is exactly what we want our public to experience,” Rosa concludes.

On her left the blue Italian sky enters the window. All around her thousands of warm canvases adorn the house. “In Evoluzione” is on her right. “Ciao bella!” she says before closing the Skype call. Behind her, a photo of her walking through Carnaby Street.

To discover more about Rosa Iacobone, Marcella Sacino and their paintings visit PITTURA4MANI