Ivan Cangelosi


Ivan Cangelosi (Palermo, September 15, 1968) shows creative liveliness since he was a child. After spending part of his childhood in Turin, he returns to Palermo, his native city. In spite of his innate artistic vocation, the passion for languages (he studied English, German and French) and, later, for social, philosophical and political issues, push him towards humanistic studies, in the completion of which he graduates in Padua in Political Science and International Relations.

The humanistic education, apparently in contradiction with the artistic vocation, will actually be crucial in the process of creation and elaboration of his works, created through a technique which consists in the use of writing and of pens (instead of color and brushes) as tools for creating figurative and abstract art. The works made by this technique are “painted” through a sort of embroidery of letters, those indeed of the texts of some world-famous novels and other literature texts. Due to the use of the above-mentioned technique Ivan Cangelosi’s works remind of the old mediaeval amanuens art (before the spread of printing, the “amanuensis” was the person who, by profession, used to transcribe manuscripts for private clients). For this reason, and due to the merging of two genres such as literature and painting, this works could be defined as “Visual Literature”.

Ivan Cangelosi’s Visual Literature, is therefore intimately linked to the novel and literature in general. It is not simply the mere use of writing in order to fill up the shapes of the objects portrayed. It regards more the redistribution in a figurative or abstract way of the whole text of the novel within the perimeter of a single space. It is the imagination (the one of the writer and that of the reader) that becomes an image; the dull and intimate sound of the reading which tell us what we are imagining, which comes out and recompose itself in the silence of a picture. Visual Literature works aim, in other words, to a visual and evocative synthesis of the content or message of the text and, ideally, from the symbolic point of view, also wants to be a come back to the origins of writing and ist primordial forms and representations.

Ivan Cangelosi’s works include paintings made through the handwriting of : “Narziss und Goldmund” by Hermann Hesse; “Die Verwandlung” by Franz Kafka ; “Also sprach Zarathustra” by Friedrich Nietzsche; “Animal Farm” and “1984” by George Orwell; “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde “Inferno” and “Paradiso” by Dante Alighieri; “The Baron in the Trees” by Italo Calvino; “Around the World in 80 Days” by Jules Verne; “Nausea” by Jean-Paul Sartre and many others.


Ivan Cangelosi has been taking part to important exhibitions such as the “Biennale of Contemporary Art” of Palermo in January 2015, where he gained a great success in terms of public, art experts and media. The scientific committee of the Biennale has officially indicated him as one of the best artists of the event.
His innovative art and his works have been enthusiastically reported in art magazines and newspapers.
Due to the close relationship between literature and figurative art in his works, in September 2014 he has been invited as special guest to the Literature Festival in Giardini Naxos (Sicily).
In November 2014, he was received by the Italian President of the Republic to whom he presented one of his works during an official ceremony in Rome.
His works have become part of the collection of the “Museum of the Writing and the Sign” in Turin, an Austrian foundation and of several private collectors . One of his earliest works, “My colors of your clothes,” a painting in which the artist addresses the issue of trafficking in human beings, and in particular the exploitation of child labor, is permanently exhibited at the United Nations in Vienna.

Ivan Cangelosi currently lives in Vienna with his wife Adriana and his daughter Norma Sofia.