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HERO FOR FLORENCE ANTONIO PIO SARACINO
ACCADEMIA GALLERY FLORENCE, MAY 5 - SEPTEMBER 20, 2015

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HERO
“Hero”, a public sculpture at Three Bryant Park, New York by acclaimed Italian architect and designer Antonio Pio Saracino, was commissioned in 2013 as a gift by the Italian government and Eni to symbolize friendship between Italy and the United States. “Hero”, inspired by Michelangelo’s “David” is one of two works Saracino designed as a pairing (the other work is entitled “Superhero”) known as “The Guardians: Hero and Superhero.” The project, on view indefinitely was organized by New York/Milan based curator Helen Varola. A new edition of Saracino’s “Hero,” will be on display at the Accademia Gallery, Florence during Expo Milano 2015, the global exhibition that Italy hosts from May 1 to October 31, 2015. “Hero,” addressing Michelangelo’s “David,” which has been selected to represent the Italian Pavilion at Expo Milano 2015 as an historic symbol of Italian excellence, is being promoted by the Accademia Gallery in Florence, the Italian Embassy in Washington DC and PMG Italia. The new Italian edition of “Hero,” specially commissioned by New York-based Global Emerging Markets Group (GEM) and to be exhibited at the Accademia Gallery, Florence, will be larger than the Bryant Park ‘Hero’ – standing as tall as the original “David” 17ft / 5,2m. The 11,000 lb marble “Hero” will be created in Carrara, Italy with the same stone Michelangelo used to create “David.”
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ANTONIO PIO SARACINO
Antonio Pio Saracino is a New York-based Designer and Italian Architect. Saracino has designed buildings, monuments and products. His work is in museum collections internationally including the Brooklyn Museum, the Museum of Art and Design in New York City and the PowerHouse Museum in Sydney. He participated in the 54th edition of the Venice Biennale and has won numerous awards among which two American Architecture Awards from the Chicago Museum of Architecture and two Best of the Year Award by Interior Design Magazine. He was namedone of the world's 25 most interesting trendsetters by ARTnews magazine and recognized as one of the Top Ten Italian Architects under 36 by the New Italian Blood award. Saracino has exhibited his design work with Industry gallery in Washington D.C., Los Angeles and Dubai, as well as other galleries and museums internationally. His work has been reviewed internationally in publications such as The New York Times, Architectural Digest, Interior Design, Wallpaper. Vogue named Saracino 'among the most prolific Italian designers abroad.' Among Saracino’s past public projects are GATE 150 on the occasion of the150th anniversary of the unification of Italy for the Caraffa Museum in Cordoba Argentina and the MuBE Museum in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the 2010-12 Formula 1 World Championship trophy for ENI and as winner of Brussel’s Agorafolly competition, a public installation to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the European Union. In 2003, Saracino graduated cum laude with a Master's Degree in Architecture at 'La Sapienza' University of Architecture in Rome, where he worked as assistant professor of architectural design.
Angelo Tartuferi - Director of the Accademia Gallery, Florence
Angelo Tartuferi - Director of the Accademia Gallery, Florence
“I never would have expected, two years later, to receive the great honor to see a new edition of “Hero” in the Accademia of Florence, in the same place as Michelangelo’s “David.” With the New York “Hero,” I wanted to create a symbolic protector of New York City, as “David” was intended as protector of Florence. The statue celebrates the superhuman and the inspiration that it channels. The anthropomorphic layered architectural constructions display the universal ability of mankind to cement its own presence in the world with its perennial construction skills.”
Antonio Pio Saracino
Antonio Pio Saracino
“I never would have expected, two years later, to receive the great honor to see a new edition of “Hero” in the Accademia of Florence, in the same place as Michelangelo’s “David.” With the New York “Hero,” I wanted to create a symbolic protector of New York City, as “David” was intended as protector of Florence. The statue celebrates the superhuman and the inspiration that it channels. The anthropomorphic layered architectural constructions display the universal ability of mankind to cement its own presence in the world with its perennial construction skills.”
Renato Miracco - Cultural Attachè, Embassy of Italy Washington DC
Renato Miracco - Cultural Attachè, Embassy of Italy Washington DC
“The iconographic value of Michelangelo’s “David” in all various interpretations throughout history becomes a symbol of multiple meanings. Antonio Pio Saracino’s “Hero” draws inspiration from the “David” and becomes symbol of friendship between two countries. The Embassy of Italy in DC has been promoting from long times those values.”
Helen Varola - Curator, “The Guardians: Hero and Superhero”, New York states
Helen Varola - Curator, “The Guardians: Hero and Superhero”, New York states
“Saracino’s new edition of “Hero” nods to Michelangelo’s “David,” defender of the city of Florence as a contemporary civic champion who offers protection and surveillance, also suggests a long history of vulnerability spanning centuries, politics, and cultures.”
Matteo Innocenti - Curator and PMG's scientific manager
Matteo Innocenti - Curator and PMG's scientific manager
"If we were to define Antonio Pio Saracino's interpretation of Michelangelo's David in Florence, “Philological” would be the right adjective. To confront with such an important model, and in the very city where the David was created and where its fame has thrived through all these years, represents for the artist both a challenge and an act of generosity. "
Anna Santucci - Management and Communication PMG
Anna Santucci - Management and Communication PMG

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HERO FOR FLORENCE, HOMAGE TO DAVID: SARACINO INTERPRETS MICHELANGELO
Antonio Pio Saracino's interpretation of Michelangelo's David in Florence from May 5 to 20 September, in collaboration with PMG, specially commissioned by New York-based Global Emerging Markets Group (GEM) is a“Philological” homage to the masterpiece. Antonio Pio Saracino has revived the matter of “David,” the white Carrara marble, for a modern reinterpretation of the sculpture, designed not for a museum or an art gallery, but for a public space in Manhattan, thus placing itself even in this respect on the trail of the original intention by Michelangelo. The best hope is that the “Hero” can represent, in the eyes of the men of our day, the same values of freedom, justice and civic pride realized by Florentines at the height of the Renaissance by Michelangelo's “David.” The Accademia Gallery in Florence, along the Italian Embassy in Washington, is pleased to present the work of Antonio Pio Saracino, which qualifies as one of the most intelligent, modern and qualitatively most significant interpretations in terms of the execution of one of the highest signs of Western culture.
PREVIEW EXHIBITION: MONDAY MAY 4, 2015, h. 4.00-6.30 PM, GALLERIA DELL'ACCADEMIA, VIA RICASOLI 58 FIRENZE
Interviews with protagonists: Angelo Tartuferi
In collaboration with MICC (Media Integration and Communication Center)

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HERO NYC
In early 2013, Saracino was presented with two new opportunities: to produce a symbol of Italy in New York during the Year of Italian Culture in the U.S., and to create a permanent public art project for the plaza at Three Bryant Park. His idea, “The Guardians: Hero and Superhero,” is the answer to both. Hero is a gift from Italy to the United States, donated by the Italian Government with the support of the worldwide energy company Eni. Superhero, at 1095 Avenue of the Americas, was commissioned by the Equity Office. “The Guardians: Hero and Superhero,” consists of two public sculptures on view indefinitely at Three Bryant Park in the middle of Midtown Manhattan. The pair of 13-foot high statues, one in marble and the other in mirror-polished stainless steel, are positioned at the north and south ends of the public plaza at Three Bryant Park between 41st and 42nd Streets. “The Guardians” represent two civic heroes, symbolizing the past and the present, and are consistent with Saracino’s overarching aim to combine digitally generated architectural compositions with a powerful, timeless message of resiliency and innovation.
The Guardians: Hero & Superhero

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Press Release
Press release and Images
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PMG Italia
“Hero for Florence” project starts from an idea shared by Antonio PioSaracino and Anna Santucci ( Pmg Italia Organization and Communication Manager ). Pmg Italia, born in Florence, is a multimedia company working all over the country for Association, Public Bodies, Professional Associations. Pmg Italia's very professional team sets up congresses and events, taking care of organization, communication and press office.