Work in progress


The little girl from Grottarossa

A girl of about eight years, maybe less. And his story. In Grottarossa, north of Rome, in a February of the mid-sixties, the bulldozers employed in the construction of a building crossed this minimal story and, at least at the beginning, did not understand its value. The Carrara marble sarcophagus and the body it contained, in fact, was first extracted from the earth and then thrown a little further into the area of ​​the waste site. Only a few days later, the sight of the little body that the sarcophagus housed, and which was miraculously intact, made some workers believe that they were facing a murder committed there and still remained unsolved. The carabinieri were called. And after them the pathologists arrived. And then again the archaeologists, since that little body did not belong to any poor contemporary victim, but to an unlucky child who lived in Rome in the second century after Christ. The body was mummified, and this detail already excited the scholars, since in Rome mummification was a phenomenon so present, but much less than in Egyptian culture. Also from the very first investigations on the kit and the sarcophagus that completed the discovery it was immediately clear that it was a child from a wealthy class; daughter of someone who could afford to adorn the deceased’s corpse with Sri Lankan sapphires, Chinese silks, amber from the Baltic Sea and very fine linen bandages. Since then, the mummy has been carefully studied and inspected: there are many details that have come to light. And there is not only the datum of its social position, or its unusual burial (it does not affect so much the mummification that mixes Egyptian elements with indigenous uses, as the depth – over five meters – to which the sarcophagus has been sunk), but almost all of his short life emerged slowly under the tools of the scientists. Eight years are few. The eight years of this mummy have passed under the sign of various diseases, last of all the pleurisy that should have caused the death after a life probably passed into a state of perennial infirmity against which his rich parents have fought like lions. However, they were defeated. Today, the history, life, death and pain of those left in this Roman family are visible within the splendid archaeological collection of the section of the National Roman Museum housed in the rooms of Palazzo Massimo alle Terme. It affects the body of the baby, its tiny measures, its skin darkened by the resins used for mummification. And it excites that amazing and precious kit, among which also a small ivory doll stands out. A real Barbie of the second century, a toy-jewel that shows off the lunar symbols of a distant culture, which in Rome, at the moment of maximum expansion of the empire, had found fertile ground: the cult of Isis. As well as guiding us on this journey of suffering in the daily life of the imperial era, there is also the famous Carrara marble sarcophagus. A very precious piece, richly carved, on which flow the images of a mythological hunt taken from the Aeneid, which tells the story of Aeneas and Dido and the machinations of the gods to make them fall in love blocking the hero to Carthage forever. But it is on the cover that the most exciting traces of the history of Grottarossa have become entangled. There was another hunting scene carved. It has no reference to mythology or epic. It is a simple lion hunting scene in which men abduct a puppy to a lioness. In the revenge of the lioness, which attacks the hunter and kills him, is contained all the pain, the despair and the rage of two parents who are seen tearing a daughter from illness and then from death. It is still there, stuck in the marble, buried under tons of land over five meters deep. That body, almost intact thanks to the bandages, resins and treatments lent until the last moment of life and even later, is there to tell us about it, giving us back a drop of tenderness that has been able to challenge time.



Solo was born in Rome, where he lives and works, in 1982. The beginning of his artistic production coincides with the boom of graffiti art in Italy, in the second half of the 90s, and it is in that period that he is fascinated by the writing world . On the walls of the city the protagonists of his canvases travel, inspired by the imagery of comics and dropped in ordinary situations, not always winning. Super heroes who resist the adversities of life and, in difficulty, become a positive example for the community. The works on canvas, which are exhibited in various galleries around the world, flank his production on the walls, made in suburban neighborhoods. And so, from the exhibition to the Macro of Rome curated by Achille Bonito Oliva titled “Tracks”, to the galleries in Paris, Prague, Berlin, Miami and London, from the walls of Prima Valle in Rome, to posters in disadvantaged areas of Rio de Janeiro and Los Angeles, has collaborated with public and private realities and with numerous international brands, and also works as a set designer for the cinema. Recently, he was invited to participate in the collective Dark and Light Bever, edited by Vincenzo Mollica and Riccardo Corbò in the splendid setting of Citta ‘di Castello, on the Dark Knight who sees the works of all the greatest designers of yesterday and today on display. who confronted the character of Bob Kane (from Manara to Pratt, Zerocalcare, David Messina, Ceccotti among others) consecrates him as part of the magical world of comics he has always loved.