Sala Margana, Rome
6th - 22nd June 2002

Catalogue Text
Being more accustomed to writing about artists who lived centuries ago, comforted by the consensus of opinion which sits upon reputations already as solid as stone like wreaths of the words of generations of writers, I feel a certain embarrassment in finding myself speaking of a living, active and young artist. One who, moreover, has every right to respond to the lapidary and pompous words of a critic. Writing about Justin one must, therefore, distinguish between the artist that I would like him to be: his character is laconic, and it must be said that the artist, traditionally, speaks through his works. Let us, then, speak of the works, in the hope that we might find there auspicious signs, in the manner of the priests of ancient times with the entrails of their sacrificial victims. What, after all, is the work of a sincere artist if not a piece of his own heart? It will not be necessary to open the breast of this artist to discover that Rome is written on his heart, the Rome of marble and of the stones washed up by the tides of history, abandoned casual witnesses to glorious ancient roots and to the tempests that destroyed them. The ancient rocks of Rome are resistant, and deprived by modern times of all that vegetation that clung to them adding force to this comparison: ivy, acanthus, and the penetrating roots of the fig, like seaweed, produced a picturesque effect that made the task of the vagabond, pilgrim artist easier among those arches, columns and brick colossi, just like the immense rocks of the sea lining infinite beaches which were explored in Northern Europe by the first plein air painters between one formidable tide and another.

Marco Fabio Apolloni

'A Tale of Modern Patronage' by Margaret Stenhouse, Wanted in Rome, October 2002.