Mario Anichini
Artist Autobiography
Sketches & Sculpt's
Details, Details
Contact Mario

Artist Autobiography

At about one o'clock in the afternoon on Friday, September 26 ,  1941 ,    in a little village near the provincial City of Lucca , in the beautiful region of Tuscany , Italy , I was born at fourteen and a half pounds.

self portrait

There were ten of us in the family when I was growing up, two girls , six boys ,mamma and pappa, I was child number five. 

The little village was Sorbano del Giudice also called Sorbanello. It had about 30 to 40  families with a medieval church and many old farm houses. I remember walking to school everyday about one mile in all kinds of weather, wearing canvas shoes with wooden soles called   zoccoloni. 

I spent most of my early childhood free time chasing butterflies, running through large fields full of wild flowers of all kinds. Most summers I spent alongside small streams watching tadpoles and minnows swimming though the tiny deep creeks that were used by the farmers for irrigation using man operated water wheels.

My father owned a sawmill and manufacturing business. He employed about fifteen people. Basically he would buy large tree trunks and make boards and planks out of them with large electric saws. The property was about five acres all chain linked. I remember always working on wooden soap box carts and wooden play rubber band guns and rifles.

At the age of seven I would walk a quarter of a mile to the carraio or cart maker  had a setup like a blacksmith I would spend much time watching him pound the red hot iron bars on the anvil, the pounding could be heard throughout the village and beyond.

At times I would take my older sister's bicycle to the old aqueduct to get fresh drinking water and would occasionally stop at  the Lido Lippi's house , artists and musicians the Lippi brothers would talk about the primary colors with which you could make all colors.

I think I enjoyed learning the best in fifth grade because maestro Biagioni would read us interesting stories.

When I was about ten years old my father sold the business and the Fiat Topolino and we had to move to piaggione , about six miles away in the mountains, on the banks of the river Serchio.

We moved in the middle of the school year my life was upset , I had to leave my friends and the little village behind and took the train to the city of Lucca to a vocational school where you could choose to study for electrician, carpenter, electronic technician, mechanic, machinist and  engineer. About the only classes I enjoyed were design and wood and iron workshops, after a few weeks they switched the class to drafting with India ink and that turned out to be nothing but lines ,arrows and circles and more lines and more arrows. They were more interested how straight those lines were than what they were about. The school was run very strict ,we had to take English ,Math so I would go through the school day daydreaming and as soon as it let out I would get rid of all that education like a child spits out a spoonful of medicine he doesn't like.

 Two years had passed since we had moved to Piaggione where my father was born ,and where my uncle lived with eleven children, seven boys and four girls. It was a big house and twenty-three of us lived and had lots of fun, we were all cousins of approximately the same age.

Now I was about twelve years old and my father moved the family to San Marco just outside of Lucca. He had a job with the city supervising and advising on planting  and maintenance of all the trees in the Commune di Lucca area. These were the lean years, after selling the Fiat Topolino he was driving a moped.

In 1954 my father came to the U.S. with the older kids and my mother myself and the younger kids came to the U.S.A. in the fall of 1955  on the ship  Independence and flew a Superconstellation four propeller plane to Chicago from New York . When we arrived in at Midway Airport it was a very hot August Chicago evening. My uncles where in the U.S. for forty years and owned a wholesale - retail meats and grocery business.

After school I would work in my uncle's supermarket selling vegetables and eventually selling meats. Later I worked full time and went to finish high school at night.

In 1958 I wanted to earn more money so I went to work for a terrazzo marble floors construction company while taking an electronic course in TV repair at the Electronic Trades Institute in the evenings and on Saturdays for one year. In 1959 I went to work for a TV manufacturing company in Chicago and I got married in 1961. 

in 1962 I would occasionally visit Manchini Galleries and watch artist Marty Katz use a palette knife to mix paint and talk how to achieve certain colors and light contrasts Marty is a fine artist and restorer of old paintings and a student of the Art Institute of Chicago.

In 1963 I became a U.S. citizen , that same year  I started a manufacturing business  with artist sculptor Silvano Assensi and artist photographer John Bernardini. we manufactured plaster lamps , concrete fountains, and eventually rigid polyurethane wall plaques and at that time I sculptured many original clay models and made over 400 latex rubber molds. Eventually the business slowed down so in December of 1970 we closed it I moved to Wisconsin  near Kenosha. The day we moved it was snowing and the movers had to shake the snow off the furniture before entering the house.

In the dead of winter 1971 I decided to turn everything negative into something positive so right then and there I began experimenting with Transparancie which consisted  of overlapping  trapezoids and other shapes air brushed on the bare cotton duck canvas.

Sometimes in that same year I visited the gallery of Lido Lippi on Michigan  Avenue one block south of the Art Institute of Chicago, Lido is an artist that does restorations of paintings and murals, and may I say one of the best in the country.

In July and August of 1971 I started working on Dimensional Illusions Paintings using an air brush and fluorescent acrylic paints I would proceed on the linen with the utmost precision that made me feel more like a machine than a human being.


In 1973 I challenged Myself to let my feelings be completely free , with no preconceived idea of what adventure lay ahead, and at the same time come up with a truly new impressionistic style I could be proud of.   I only set one rule and that was not to have any rules.  I would go for long walks in the fields and along the lake looking for stones that could have belonged to people that lived here  a long time ago and some of the stones looked like  some type of hand axes. One evening I entered my studio and began painting the stone that seemed to be held by an arm formed by natural forces focusing their strength on the stone and the profile on the canvas made its entrance into our time.

I always kept a canvas ready to paint so that when the time came I could proceed  without interruptions. I have to say that the painting Stone Age changed my life, I felt such power  coming from it that I could only look at it a few minutes each day.

A couple of months later I went for a walk into the forest to look at some very large old trees so that I could get back and paint some type of landscape. I began to push the paint into the painting for a few minutes and  stopped ,suddenly a cold chill came over me, it looked like it was alive and in a gesture of streght it was trying to break the natural chains of vegetation and weeds that formed part of its hair and fingers that kept it tied to the sea.

I called it Evolution because in that one image I saw man's evolution out of the sea.

1974 was a calmer year , except for the painting  20th  Century , I concentrated mostly on developing a simplified impressionistic technique where I could create an image with the fewest brush strokes and still get maximun effect. this is evident in the painting Mountain

where the facial expression is created with only four brush strokes. This can also be seen in the painting Dream  where the illusion of the arm is created by the dark brush strokes  on each side of it.

In the painting Nature I achieved  the effect of the figure of Mother Nature being together as one piece with the earth and background, also large curved brush strokes create the effect of movement. 

In each of the four seasons  Spring  , Summer ,  Fall  ,  Winter  ,  you feel  the actual season immediately . in Summer  her breasts are also flowers and you can feel the cold in Winter.

The painting 20th Century was a totally new concept using both known and unknown symbols I was able to show you the world you live in today.

In the entire month of May  1975  I had a one man show at the Kenosha Public Museum, most of the paintings mentioned this far were up on the walls of the museum.

In the fall of 1975 I completed the  Flowering Pear Tree  painting  and the mural

Paul Revere's Night Ride  which is now in the collection of the Salem Consolidated Grade School  in Kenosha County Wisconsin.  The Paul Revere's Night Ride  was easy to do because I just had completed the Paul Revere  bronze.

In 1976 I painted the Agony and the Ecstasy  which also looks like an agony.

I spent the second half of 1976 floating around , reflecting and contemplating  resulting

in a conclusion that even with all the experimenting I had done causing the evolution of my paintings,  I felt I needed something that would bring together all I had learned up to that point  and the idea of a self-portrait came to mind.

Once I decided i immediately started thinking about how I saw myself and how I wanted others to see me  ,  how could my character be captured in an aura of color movement neutralizing all warm and cold colors into a lively and proud expression of myself.

After about six months of kicking it around in my mind  I began painting it , and on a 1977 day I completed it in just a few hours while looking at some snapshots of myself that had been taken  a few months before on a windy day.

The next day I went to the painting and added a few strands of gray hair to my beard and side burns, and as I was signing my name  I suddenly got a feeling of complete satisfaction in witnessing that all of my thoughts had come alive on the linen.

In 1978 I painted  the  Spirit of St. Louis   , and during the research for it I learned a lot about  Charles Lindberg's flight across the Atlantic.

in 1979 I painted the recently  rebuilt in a park setting    Hyram Buttrick Sawmill of Antioch Illinois.

1980 was an unusual year .  In the early part I was preoccupied with working out a way to show our Dimension and other Dimensions in a manner that could explain visually the mystery of such an idea and thats when I painted    Perception  of  Dimension    , which shows three separate Dimensions  :  on the right there is our Dimension   , on the left is the other  , and   in the middle is a neutral Dimension where beings from all over the universe  in any Dimension can meet and communicate without seeing each other's worlds.   The neutral Dimension is a corridor that leads to infinity.

I spent most of the 80's playing with Passive Solar Energy .

 self portrait    Mario Anichini 1999


Images - Forces of Nature - 1990 Mario Anichini
Registration Number 457-373