Contemporary Art Exhibition and Socio-Cultural Artistic Project in Italy, supported by American Association of the “National Hugging Day”

Europe Lifestyle

From 25 March to 23 April the city of Piacenza, in the northern part of Italy, a few kilometers from Milan, opens its doors to the international project “L’Abbraccio” by hosting the homonymous contemporary art exhibition at the Poetry Museum Cesare Catania entitled “The Embrace: when art envelops words”, sponsored by Italian institutions, by the Permanent Secretariat of World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, in collaboration with Bipa – International Biennial of Poetry among the Arts, and supported by the American National Hugging Day Association of Rev. Kevin Zaborney.


Only a few days left for the eagerly awaited exhibition of the artist Cesare Catania.


Appointed the only Ambassador worldwide of the International Hugging Day for 2023 (represented by the American association of the “National Hugging Day”, founded by the American Reverend Kevin Zaborney in 1986, Cesare Catania arrives in Piacenza with a personal exhibition, promoting, through Art, an itinerant and international socio-cultural project against discrimination and injustice, a project that tends to do good in an ethical way.


“The Embrace. When Art envelops Words”. This is the title of the contemporary art exhibition that the Italian artist will present in Piacenza at the Poetry Museum starting from Saturday 25 March.


For a month, tourists and residents will be able to admire more than 20 masterpieces of physical and digital art, all in a breathtaking architectural context.  Sponsored by the Emilia-Romagna Region (Italian Regional Institution) and by the Permanent Secretariat of World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates (, in collaboration with Bipa (Italian Biennial of Poetry among the Arts), and supported by the American Association of Kevin Zaborney’s National Hugging Day, the exhibition will give the opportunity to dive into a world of shapes and colors, which represent the artist’s feelings over the last 10 years through some of his most significant works of art.


“The Embrace” B Version in the Poetry Museum of Piacenza


The Embrace Project and National Hugging Day: a strong link between Italy and US


The exhibition THE EMBRACE represents a unicum because in addition to proposing the painting of the “The Embrace” (B Version) by Cesare Catania, it offers the public the possibility of observing live two new versions of the Embrace (the C and the D Version) belonging from an executive point of view to the most recent works created by the Artist, always in silicone and acrylic.


Specifically, the Embrace Project has a dual artistic and socio-cultural connotation. Moreover, the evident social impact of the Project itself is undeniable, aiming straight at the values of inclusiveness and sharing, setting itself the main objective of speaking to people from all over the world through a universal language, Art, and inviting every human being to get out of one’s individuality to open up to others in a real and at the same time symbolic embrace. The Project stems from the artist’s desire to highlight the urgency and importance of bringing people together, from every point of view and above all following the social detachment imposed in recent years by factors external to the will of the individual.


“The Project was born from long reflections on the concept of ’embrace’, word and verb together, which is not limited to materializing in a physical act but goes beyond it by becoming an action: ideas are embraced. Visions are embraced. And in this sense, the hug becomes a way to involve people in artistic, playful and cultural activities in order to communicate beyond any geographical distance and any religious, social, cultural difference. In short, it becomes an intense, practical but also virtual gesture to get closer to the other, to change together and create something new together. A revolutionary act of peace. What better terrain than art to express all this using a universal language? The basic desire is that the Project can also be embraced by realities such as Institutions, Schools, Health Structures and transversal realities to be of concrete help especially to those weaker groups who have been left alone or in any case on the sidelines after the pandemic” he explains the artist Cesare Catania.


The traveling exhibition includes several stops and plans to touch the United States of America soon.


Precisely because of his openness to social issues and his propensity to fight against discrimination in general, Cesare Catania is nominated for 2023 by Kevin Zaborney as “the most huggable person”, therefore understood as the only global ambassador to represent the National Hugging Day.


Cesare Catania during the official presentation of Embrace Project at Palazzo Pirelli – Milan (17th of Novembre 2022)


The artworks on display in the Piacenza exhibition


Among the artworks on display in Piacenza from 25 March to 23 April we find sculptures, cubist paintings, informal art, three-dimensional paintings and digital art. First of all the famous oil on canvas tapestry entitled “The Embrace (B Version)”, painted oil on canvas by Cesare Catania in 2016 and depicting in the strict sense the embrace between a man and a woman, in the broad sense the embrace between two people of different colors. And this is precisely the work of art that essentially connects the Italian art of Cesare Catania and the National Hugging Day of American origin.


The same tapestry was exhibited on 13 October 2016 at the Swiss Institute in Lugano during the International Week of Italian Culture and Language, an event supported by the Embassies of the Swiss Confederation, the Presidency of the Italian Republic, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Italian Consulate. In 2019 the same tapestry was hosted at the Museum of the Royal Palace Museum of Monza.


“The Embrace” B Version (2016)


In addition to other stylistic and artistic variants on the theme of the Embrace, works belonging to the latest “Feelings and Emotions” collection are exhibited in Piacenza (“Presence”, “Shyness”, “Incognito”, The Heart of the Earth F Version) , as well as sculptures in marble dust and meteorite fragments (“ The Heart of the Earth B Version”), informal and hyper-realistic paintings at the same time (“Summer Readings”), futuristic artworks and NFTs, and much more.


“Colour is commanded by the Virtus of the line, virtue and virtuality which forms the abstract but visible state of a grammar of absence, or of assent.” This is how Edoardo Callegari, head of the scientific committee of the Museum that hosts the Catania exhibition, summarizes it in his critical text. “In his works, Catania does not emulate organic appropriations in the pigment, but mixes the virtue of the line. It is not an art of lacerations, but one that deeply welcomes and offers the serenity and virile strength of which it has structured the inexhaustible register of human emotions. It is the art of those who also construct an idea of origin, work on it and then decide to stop and observe it from the “Anachronics” of the avant-garde, because everything is chronicle and anachronistic in relation to the origin. The conception of an unprecedented technique for the creation of works in silicone and acrylic; the sculptural conception of a space where distance no longer exists; the creation of complex engineering works that bring the aesthetics of art into the very structure of the city’s architecture; the innovation in the creation of digital works of art, lead the creativity of Cesare Catania to open his gaze on the contemporary vastness of what a Renaissance renovatio could mean in a world that is no longer just global, but a supersociety.” continues the critic Callegari.


“Presence” – Feelings and Emotions Collection (2022)


Cultural Background: The Artist and his Path


Cesare Catania. Painter, sculptor and digital artist – born in 1979 – he began his career over a decade ago by merging in his works many traditional techniques from oil on canvas to classical sculpture, up to the most innovative contamination of mixed techniques in a provocative meeting of acrylics, oils and fluorescent colors but also silicone, acrylics and steel.


Cesare Catania while sculpting


In his works, painting, sculpture and digital art declined in all its facets syntonically dialogue giving life to extremely original creations imbued with hyperrealism that make Catania an experimental artist in continuous evolution, capable of being both traditional and contemporary, fascinated not only from modern art, architecture, cubism and the great masters of painting of the classical age, but also a profound admirer of that digital culture that led him towards an eclectic artistic production with wide acclaim from both Italian and foreign critics.


His creative skills and his aesthetic taste enthusiastically embrace technology and everything that looks to the future under the sign of innovation. Particular attention deserves the “Catania Technique”, a mixed technique that involves the use of materials such as silicone, acrylic and mineral pigments, giving both the canvas and the sculptures a material effect of absolute visual impact.


Also involved in various philanthropic initiatives, Catania is carrying out, among others, the “Embrace Projetc”, a traveling artistic and socio-cultural project with a highly inclusive connotation, inspired by one of his own paintings from 2016 entitled the Embrace (B Version ) and born from the desire to bring places and people closer especially following a pandemic that has brought interpersonal relationships to their knees, hitting the weakest first and foremost.


The “Embreace Project” has in itself a simple but at the same time strong, audacious message, capable of going beyond any difference and geographical distance: “Let’s Hug Again”


The artist’s passions and inclinations also include scientific disciplines. Graduated in Civil Engineering at the Milan Polytechnic, Catania expresses this technical preparation both in his productions intended for the Metaverse and in his art strongly linked to geometry and mathematics. This is the context in which the creation of real digital works mounted as NFTs is inserted but always inspired by the meanings of the more traditional art of Catania (i.e. “Harlequin in the Land of Giants (B version)”, short film from 2022).


The Location and the Biennial of Poetry between the Arts


The Museum of Poetry, the private institution with a public purpose that will host Cesare Catania’s exhibition starting from 25 March, is the former church of San Cristoforo, now deconsecrated and home to the first poetry museum since 2014. The museum, which was born as a museum institution with dissemination purposes related to poetry and literature, has already hosted exhibitions of other great contemporary artists in the past; the museum takes the form of an incubator that offers the possibility of retracing the history and evolution of poetry, in particular of the Italian one of the ‘900 documented by names such as Ungaretti, Montale, Saba, Caproni, starting from the previous poetry, from Dante to Leopardi, from Goethe to Baudelaire up to the more contemporary one.


Promoter of the First Italian Biennial of Poetry among the Arts (BiPa), which will inaugurate its first national edition in May 2023, the Museum inserts the Catania exhibition as a collateral event to the Poetry Biennial itself. Biennale where Cesare Catania himself will present an unpublished sculpture starting from May 4 in the gardens of the Ricci Oddi Gallery.


“This Exhibition at the Museum of Poetry was tenaciously desired, because it is perfectly linked to a theoretical context, in which art takes upon itself the brutal skinnings of our contemporaneity, to take charge of them and symbolically return them to us, mitigated.” Thus explains the Director of the Museum and Artistic Director of the Poetry Biennale Massimo Silvotti referring to the exhibition “The Embrace”. “’we will host a sort of coagulative process, the manifestation of which reveals all the artist’s sapiential greed for matter. Siliconed, plastered, nailed, walled up and cracked presences. Paintings disguised as sculptures, and sculptures teeming with colours.” continues Silvotti.


The exhibition at the Poetry Museum in Piacenza represents one of the stages of an exhibition that will visit various cities in Italy and around the world.


In this case, the Project of the Embrace has the main purpose of concretely supporting the poetic and literary arts, donating part of the proceeds deriving from the entrance tickets to the Poetry Museum for the aims and purposes of this enchanting and unique institution .


Exhibition details


Cesare Catania’s Piacenza exhibition will remain open to the public from Monday to Sunday, including holidays, from 10 to 19. The purchase of the entrance ticket is allowed both at the museum ticket office and in advance online on the official website of the event…


Basic cost of exhibition ticket: 9.50 euros


Convention: all members of the FAI Delegation of Piacenza, Coop Allenza 3.0 members and those enrolled at the Catholic University of Piacenza will be entitled to a special discount on the basic ticket for the exhibition