Alina De Salvador Ponzetto, the talent and strenght of an artist

At the begin­ning of the new year, 2021, “Fat­to a Mano” edi­to­rial staff wan­ts to send a very spe­cial post­card to an unfor­get­ta­ble “Arti­san of Arts”, who, with her talent and tena­ci­ty, has always been ahead of her time, beco­ming a won­der­ful exam­ple of woman able to highly rea­li­ze her expres­si­ve poten­tial, whil­st caring for her family.


We fir­st met in 2005, when the new­spa­per I was wor­king for, “L’Adige” in Tren­to, asked me to wri­te an inter­view. “She is a quo­ted arti­st, they had told me, who had spent her youth bet­ween Tren­ti­no and Vene­to, and many years ago she moved to Tori­no”. I’ve met her a few times befo­re wri­ting the inter­view, to which the new­spa­per would have reser­ved an enti­re page in the Cul­tu­re sec­tion, in order to mark the highlights of her life and retra­ce the sta­ges of her arti­stic success.

Daughter of a pri­ma­ry school tea­cher, Ali­na was born in Bel­lu­no in 1921. Her sto­ries of her youth, her stu­dies at the Dame Ingle­si in Tren­to, the fir­st ren­dez-vous with her futu­re husband may seem roman­tic pages dra­wn from a “feuil­le­ton” of the past cen­tu­ry. A life­long love, that Ali­na lived with dedi­ca­tion and inten­si­ty. Her edu­ca­tion as a young lady went hand in hand with her arti­stic for­ma­tion. Her fir­st tea­cher, Rasmo with his “impe­rious mou­sta­ches” and, then, the clas­ses at the Vene­tian Aca­de­my with Vir­gi­lio Gui­di encou­ra­ged her in fol­lo­wing her arti­stic vein. Even when, mother of three kids, her pain­ting stu­dio coin­ci­ded with the kit­chen and the inspi­ra­tions of her crea­tions had chan­ged from the sce­ne­ry of the Gar­da lake and the moun­tains of Tren­ti­no or the Vene­tian views to the still life, the fruit, the bush­meat left on the woo­den table. Toge­ther with the new sub­jec­ts she expe­ri­men­ted new tech­ni­ques, always loo­king for more effec­ti­ve instru­men­ts to illu­stra­te her dai­ly living. Goua­ches, oil pain­ts, Indian ink, char­coal… and then she mixed to her colors hid­den col­la­ges: it might be a cur­ly angel’s head or a cho­co­la­te gol­den wrap, details skill­ful­ly laid within one and ano­ther brushstroke.

During one of my visi­ts, I remem­ber I gazed fasci­na­ted behind her whi­le in a few seconds, despi­te her respec­ta­ble age, on a paper sheet with some char­coal she gave life to a lush bou­quet of roses: at that very moment I per­cei­ved that she would have liked to pass on to young stu­den­ts her art and technique…

Her apart­ment in the Cro­cet­ta borou­gh, was like an Art Gal­le­ry and her works were han­ging on walls or lea­ning down all around; in some big fol­ders seve­ral dra­wings and draf­ts of pain­tings were col­lec­ted by sub­ject and tech­ni­que. Once I brought with me my mother and they got along very well toge­ther, esta­bli­shing a rela­tion­ship based on esteem and affec­tion, may­be also due to com­mon memo­ries on the Gar­da Lake. So, two years later, we, toge­ther, orga­ni­zed an exhi­bi­tion at the Offi­cers’ Club in Tori­no, with a choi­ce of 40 works, repre­sen­ting the evo­lu­tion of her arti­stic expres­sion. That was not her fir­st exhi­bit, her debut had been at the Cham­ber of Com­mer­ce of Tren­to and, after­wards in Tori­no, she had rea­li­zed two solo sho­ws at the Pro­mo­tri­ce del­le Bel­le Arti and at the Pie­mon­te Arti­sti­co e Culturale.

Art cri­tics had alrea­dy enthu­sia­sti­cal­ly reviewed her works. Here are some quo­tes. “…In the pages of a bright expres­sio­ni­sm De Salvador’s nar­ra­tion is accom­pli­shed, a color­ful figu­ra­tion and an inci­si­ve line unfolds resol­ving to con­vey the emo­tion of an instant, the inte­re­st for truth, the con­tra­st of the sun­set”, that’s what Ange­lo Mistran­ge­lo wro­te in Sep­tem­ber 2005. Fur­ther­mo­re, Mar­zia­no Ber­nar­di com­men­ted: “Ali­na De Sal­va­dor employs a very pecu­liar and effec­ti­ve tech­ni­que: a com­bi­na­tion of goua­ches and col­la­ge of color­ful papers… she repre­sen­ts throu­gh her paper cut-outs the natu­ral pat­tern, in order to enhan­ce her mate­ria­li­zed evi­den­ce throu­gh effec­ts of taste­ful vivid­ness and sce­nic per­spec­ti­ve.” Gian Gior­gio Mas­sa­ra, pre­sen­ting Ali­na at the ope­ning of the exhi­bi­tion at Palaz­zo Pra­lor­mo, the Offi­cers’ Club, depic­ted in words the arti­stic path of the Pain­ter: “… a path… sup­por­ted by a strong nar­ra­ti­ve vein… the Pain­ter unveils her­self in the string of atten­ti­ve­ly cho­sen chro­ma­tic tones, that muta­te into inner har­mo­nies of forms and expressions.”

The past Octo­ber, having not recei­ved a reply to a tele­pho­ne call, I found by chan­ce an obi­tua­ry in the web archi­ve of the new­spa­per “La Stam­pa”: Ali­na De Sal­va­dor was gone, the news at fune­ral occurred.

The last call with her, for me, has been during the fir­st loc­k­do­wn: I cal­led her from New York and I pro­mi­sed her… for her 100th bir­th­day, we’d orga­ni­ze a new exhi­bit! And we would have done it. The enthu­sia­sm that her voi­ce revea­led, thou­gh vei­led by the regret of not being any­mo­re able to keep colors in her hands, did not rise any doub­ts: this dif­fi­cult period would pass over, too, and Ali­na and her crea­tions, always new and inno­va­ti­ve, would inspi­re again a “retrie­ved’ public of art lovers.