Vasto Arts Workshops


Vasto Arts Workshops, intensive one or two week workshops in painting or ceramics and pottery alongside local Italian artists / instructors in Vasto, Abruzzo.

Includes workshop, accomodations in a choice of bed & breakfasts, lunch, guided tour, final collective exhibition, wine and oil tasting.

Full info at:


Recent Paintings


The Lost Book of No Returns, 2015, 106 x 96 cm, Luigi Monteferrante. Gallery:


Claire’s Planet, acrylic on wood, 106 x 96 cm, 2015. Luigi Monteferrante


Girls Rock/The Furies, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 105 x 100 cm. Luigi Monteferrante


The Winters, Madame et Monsieur, 2015, acrylic on wood, 106 x 96 cm, Luigi Monteferrante

Above, my most recent paintings, Girls Rock being the last of 2014, and The Winters my latest work, a throwback to my days in Montreal.

Between the two, I have written a 325-page script for a graphic novel, adaptable for cinema, too; and a children’s story, only 50 pages, also a graphic novel.

Neither, however, have been illustrated. The original idea was, indeed, to illustrate them myself. The first was only meant to be a one-episode self-contained story; a second episode followed, then a third, etc.

I debated deep and long about what to do; if I did the art work one script page at a time, it would take me a year.

Did/do I want to spend a year illustrating a story?

The simple answer is: NO.

The main reason is I’d rather spend time writing Part Two; I have a few ideas written down, and would rather pursue and develop a number of characters and plotlines, and so on.

Same goes for the shorter story. It, too, has room for development.

I have managed to find an artist who is considering whether to do the illustrations; she does very nice work, and I think it would be perfect for the job.

But she has to like the script.

So we shall wait and we shall see.

Meanwhile, I am surprised I have started writing again, in a big way; and my visual work has translated and transformed my writing – the scripts, at least.

Now I should spend some time looking and finding a suitable publisher, at least one other illustrator for the children’s story. And a gallery, of course. Even two, or three, but one would suffice, as would a collector who actually buys a painting.

Nothing like cash to measure your Worth, eh? Or at least what society thinks it is.

But my main job is to do the work, so it’s back to the drawing board.

So long.

Full gallery:

Molotov City Blues – Graphic Novel Synopsis




Luigi Monteferrante



Molotov, a metropolis riddled by corruption and crime, where mobsters, bankers, and city officials collude to run the city, clean the streets of the poor, the derelict, the petty criminals, and make themselves rich by manufacturing, distributing, and selling from drugs to body parts, and everything in between.

In the midst of this dark city where the aflluent live well, isolated from the burroughs across the river, two honest cops in a guttersnipe world.

Miles, ace driver, top-notch shooter, is a relic from the Disco Era, the music playing from their patrol car; his partner, Pogo, an unreformed punk.

They patrol the streets where the poor snatch pedigreed dogs from the rich for food, where FUN drugs are sold at concert stadiums to pacify the fans, where protest marches are quickly quelled, where petty criminals are brutally handled or killed by the police, while Banks, Organized Crime, and a new power-hungry Mayor, manage Big Business as a Team, or Consortium, to eradicate any and all opposition or rivals.

A chink: Pogo’s brother, Leonard Pegaso, an ambitious outsider, who owns and manages a transport company.

We ship. Anything. Anywhere. Anytime.

Successful in transporting arms, drugs, vital goods from war zone to war zone, he has now returned to Molotov to expand his business on a local

and national level. He is making waves, growing increasingly ambitious, powerful, so the Consortium makes several attempts on his life after warning Pogo to speak to him, have him cooperate.

But both men are rebels, loners, as is Miles.

Only Leonard is shot, hospitalised, in a coma induced by his niece, Pogo’s daughter Natascha, who has a defense-and-security-related research company in Sweden. Her start-up financed by Uncle Leo, she returns to Molotov to take over his business, keep Leo coma-induced, and further their interests mightily, despite her father’s warnings. Pogo is, in fact, from the same old neighbourhood of the de facto heads of the Consortium: Johnson, Santantonio, Liebovitz.

Pogo and Miles patrol, intervene on crime: the homeless nabbed from the street by Sanitation Dept and sold for body parts, in collusion with the Consortium; students marching for the cancellation of student loans, with police cracking down hard; a teacher made redundant holding up a class;

expensive paintings being copied, replaced, and resold – and here, Pogo’s sometimes-girlfriend, Louise, an artist who runs Lou’s Diner, the cops hang-out, is involved, with Pogo so close to discovering the truth he doesn’t want to know.

There is also a sniper, more than one; some dressed like Pogo, the intention being he will by shot by mistake, or even intentionally, by his own colleagues in a cover-up. And Miles. Big, slow, placid Miles, who reads philosophy, after yet another unjust incident, shoots an arch-criminal, released, unconvicted, by a corrupt jury and judge.

But he, too, folds; throughout, they two cops are reminded they, too, are vulnerable; Miles has a daughter, and two grandchildren; Pogo, his daughter, and brother, Leo, with whom, as several scenes depict, has little reason to be loved by Pogo.

Miles folds, goes along, while Pogo takes beatings, literally and morally, from all sides. Louise he discovers for the art fraud; she has her reasons he seems to accept. Natascha, a power-hungry Young woman he calls a monster, is pushing for the increased militarization of the Police Department, and the Mayor is soon infatuated with her beauty, her brains, her naked ambition. He proposes to her.

Everywhere, the mad dash for money, power, more money; and all Pogo wants to do is play his music, walk the streets, a punk with a badge, and a mission: survival in a guttersnipe run by rats.

Graphic Novel


Most everyone I know knows me as a writer and poet, one who’s been writing all his life, declining other pleasures and work, to focus on his writing.

At the end of 2013, that all changed radically. I started painting. I painted incessantly, from morning to night, day after day.

Not having a real job has, in fact, its benefits.

Over time, I built up a significant body of work, which can be seen at:

A month ago, however, I began work on a comic strip. I started with its two main characters, two cops in a guttersnipe world, and finished an episode.

Then a second, third, fifteenth, twentieth episode – until I finally wrote:


It needed revising, of course, and I  revised and rewrote, and am close to finishing.

What started as a 15-page episode is now a 250 page script.

Once the written script is completed,  what to do?

I ought to illustrate one episode at a time, but this first script has already spawned a second part with characters to develop, subplots to expand, questions to answer.

If only I had infinite time…

Why I went to Art School.

2014-11-29 21.25.32

Why I went to Art School, acrylic on wood, 137 x 87 cm, Luigi Monteferrante

Clearly, attending art school serves a purpose. You learn technique,  history, the lingo, the affrontery, brashness, abuse of being critiqued by peers, and you may not learn how to defend your self, your inner self,  but you learn how to strike back.

No, no. You are not supposed to strike back, counter-attack, volley verbal even physical violence on all assailants, but rather defend your work in a pacific, if impassioned, argumentative, reasonable, even-handed, cordial, gentlemanly civilised fashion.

And beat the shit out of the most ardent critics.

One by one, in the days, weeks, months, even years, as they emerge from the repertoire theatre, the romantic dinner with a fellow intellectual at a bring-your-own-wine trattoria, or schmaltzy diner, or sauntering free of admirers, a glib one or two, after a vernissage, a finissage,  a talk.

You strike flesh, bone, muscle and nerve beneath flesh, bone, muscle, nerve, rage and frustration – oh, the sweet, anarchic, bloodlustful freedom that comes with vengeance!

To talk, discuss, debate, rant and rave, scream and shout, insult, even push and shove – yes, these are fine and good,  acceptable, but violence, ultraviolence?


Well, why not?

Yes, okay. He, too, will write critiques, slag off his peers, laugh at the nonsense on display, scorn at essays describing trash proclaimed titillatingly fresh art of new, up – and – coming, established artists by mediocrities, but also by Professors Emeritus, Distinguished, and their tribe if woolly hangers-on via his own essays, blogs, posts, talks, seminars, conferences, and questions during his peers’ events.

But why rule out the power of physical force?

Why not use the stick when the carrot, one presumably huge and inflatable set floating in the currents of  the Thames, Hudson, and Seine Rivers,  when the carrot proves insufficient?

A club, cane, umbrella, a tome, bottle a well-aimed kick, or slew of bare-knuckled punches, applied like strokes to a brigjt, witty, now darkening, wistful face.

A good-hearted, generous beating as performance art!

A happening which continues when Ignoramus is wheeled into the hospital, tubes sticking from his arms and nostrils, contraptions beeping and blinking, nurses wailing for more blood.

Yes, more blood.

Of course, there’s the Law.

Tell that to Signor Gallerista, says this artist, cutting short, putting on the mask of Caravaggio, tomorrow Chris Marlowe, the day after…

Well, I won’t tell you, will I, in case your sleight of hand has proved harmful, ineffective, or you’ve failed to notice, and now you are looking behind your back in a crowd, an admiring crowd of art school students, peers, artists, journalists, critics, a general public wherein stands, is approaching, a man faintly resembling, can it be..?

End of Part One.


Shipwrecked, acrylic on wood, 106 x 96 cm, Luigi Monteferrante,  2014

Shipwrecked, acrylic on wood, 106 x 96 cm, Luigi Monteferrante, 2014

This is simply how I feel when I am not painting.  A stormy sea, a ship on the horizon that appears to be afloat, but for how much longer?

I feel the same.  Not being in a gallery, not getting attention, not drawing a handful of collectors, journalists, curators is beginning to weigh heavily on me. It takes me longer to jump from bed, but once up, I am fast at work, buoyed by my     visitations, visions, muses, and love of the physical act of painting, the full ritual: putting on an old blue robe, preparing a fresh pot of tea, turning on the radio, filling a cup with water for my paintings, rolling out my tray of paints, squeezing paint from tubes, applying that first stroke onto the board – I am off in a blustery breeze, rain or shine,  on deck to face the oncoming squalls and storms into the unknown, excited, enthralling,  exhausting – my right arm sometimes aches – but ultimately fulfilling.

Now I do sail. A sailor at port is pleased, satisfied to stretch his legs,  talk to people ashore,  have a shot of rum or two, but it won’t be long, he will begin to be assailed by a malaise; the only cure, to board ship, and sail off again into territories,  new and unexplored,  or old and familiar; so, too, I with some recent work.

Excluding Shipwrecked.

Notwithstanding my own malaise, spleen, ennui, listlessness, deep frustration for the above mentioned reasons, to be expected, a feeling shared by many artists, writers, poets, and I happen to be all three, there is at least one other interpretation to this picture.

Look closely, and what appears to be a ship on the horizon, also looks like a turned head; from there, follow the distended body, shoulders,  chest,  abdomen, hips of a body washed ashore.

Wet, tried, beaten and stormbashed, but alive, blood and firewater in his gut.

Ready for a new rumbunctious adventure.

2014-11-28 18.27.28Dancing at The Jive, acrylic on wood, 106 x 96 cm, Luigi Monteferrante 2014

Ever fallen in love with a painting – ugh, no – someone in a painting?



The Pygmalion, a Family Portrait, was not the original title, but on its completion, I sat down exhausted at the end of the day, and glanced at the picture. And then I fell in love with the woman standing on the right. I just couldn’t take my eyes off of her.

Now, as a student, I was decidedly on the side of Plato. The idea of form, the ideal of Beauty, Beauty as Truth, were all so stunningly real to me – me in a class of rough-and-ready DYI Aristoteleans, teacher included. Likewise, Evil, Ugliness, Falsehood – one had no doubts when you saw, experienced, suffered them. When you came across Beauty – a girl, a woman, a novel, a poem, a song, a cityscape – it hit you hard, plain and simple. No lingering doubts, no room for debate, nothing to explain, declaim, describe. You either got it, or you didn’t.

Love at first sight, love at first listen, love at first read.

Let’s skip the first object/subject of love, as it is the last love object/subject, but at first listen, I know it was Elvis and the Beatles, this just barely into elementary school, with the album cover of Elvis in a gold suit, while the latter was a double album with a silver graffitti-like cover, an album I still have.

The first movie I ever saw at a cinema was The Song Remains the Same, by Led Zeppelin, and they were number one on my list of favorites for a short time because then Saturday Night Fever and, more importantly, the Sex Pistols became the huge life-transforming experiences that changed my cultural mindscape.

At the same time, sane time, I loved Fellini movies, went to the Seville Theatre to see art and cult films on a regular basis, and read Jane Austen, George Eliot, Charles Dickens, and the Russian classics also on a pretty regular basis, simply because they did something for me, to me.

They blew my mind. They were objects of beauty – beautiful, intricate, rich, abundant, corpose or full-bodied Language, huge spirits formidably described and depicted, and reading made me a participant, or maybe just a nosy neighbour with voyeuristic tendencies, which every writer ought to possess.

(Oh, and since we’re harking back to those formative years, few would dispute the striking looks of Brooke Shields, in the famous jean ads, or in Pretty Baby, the starlet an obvious jaw-dropping mind-altering beauty.)

Visually, too, the works of Michelangelo, paintings and sculpture, were of Platonic Perfection; whatever it was he wanted to portray, there were no doubts he got it absolutely right -and why he Towers above all else.

Picasso turned things on its head, why he is a great, but there are, too, the small more intimate delights, luminiscent beings in poetry, or lines of poetry, and we each have our favourites.

And then there’s Macbeth, King Lear, Richard III, etc.

Now what do you do? You want to possess this beauty, read it over and over again, discover heretofore undiscovered nuances, the object of beauty like a disco mirror ball – rich, multifaceted, a being beautiful in itself, enrichened by the infinite number of reflections of which it is the source and centre.

You observe it, watch it arise from the painting, imagine a prequel, sequel, an afterlife external to the painting wherein it is trapped, and it is one with you as only a few of the previous paintings are. Most are like discarded lovers,or lovers who dropped you,  or  unrequited love, or brief flickers of love, palliatives against loneliness, or plain sex and a need for intimacy, and bodies, but in The Pygmalian, there is more, something deeper, more profound: the summation of one’s powers, weaknesses, an element of chance, a fate, joy, loss, sadness.

Fortunately, life is grand, life is beautiful and rich because, in the end, we know deep down what makes it all worthwhile, why, in fact, we keep on dancing and painting to our favourite Tunes.

Last Night  a DJ Saved my life

Last Night a DJ saved my life, acrylic on wood, 106 x 96 cm, Luigi Monteferrante 2014

Fictionalism: La Chinoise, Madames Absinthe & Oppio



Fictionalism. A new movement. Its manifesto: fantasy, imagination, lies, mythologies, currents and undercurrents of desire, fears, ambitions, aspirations, anxieties, and the vast range of human emotions contribute to creating the work of visual art. Hm, not much of a manifesto, but rather a description of the process that may or may not lead to the production of a work of art, great or poor that it may turn out to be .

Fictionalism. The set piece, the painting, as a fiction, an alternative history, a meta-history, an unwritten chapter of the life you might have lived, or would like to live, or simply a page in a book, a large page given the size of the above painting – 106 x 96 cm – that the observer enters, plays upon, participates in, loses him/her self in what becomes a different commedia, play.

Fictionalism. It requires your participation. A performance piece. A mental, imaginative one.

Not for the first time, but less frequently than I presumably ought to, I sat in an armchair on completing La Chinoise. I sipped my tea and looked at the painting. I just stared.

The more I looked, the more I was drawn into the picture, into the room, onto the bed, the women. I smelled the perfumes, scents, incense, the body odour. I could hear the noise from the Street outside the wooden storm Windows. I could see the curtains move and reading the ancient proverbs inscribed on the walls. I touched the bodies of the two women, and saw myself with the pale Chinoise lying naked and pearly White on the stark black satin sheets. I tasted the absinthe, smoked the opium. I lay in bed staring into her eyes, stroking her legs, while more liquid gurgled into a glass, and a match was struck. A flicker, then darkness, silence.

I would never leave this room.

Last Rebel, Inc.

Last Rebel, Inc. ,Luigi Monteferrante, acrylic on wood, 106 x 96 cm.

Last Rebel, Inc. ,Luigi Monteferrante, acrylic on wood, 106 x 96 cm.

In my previous life as a poet, I wrote a poem entitled Heroes, the narrator asking where had they gone to, the punks, mods, hippies, rockers, disco dolls. And the like. The poem I transformed to song and it was improved because during the recording I improvised and ad-libbed a few rather inspired lines. The tone, or timbre, were also perfect – a denigrating sneer. My acoustic guitar-playing capacity amounted to nil, but the overall performance was satisfactory.

As for the painting,  we face this Colossus of a building, a Leviathan of a Corporation, and the man depicted has paused before reaching the large dark entrance door; whatever his choice, Last Rebel is the Corporation, the Brand, the Lifestyle. For one, rebellion has long been comodified: from rock & rock to rap, the money is in the merchandise, the collective experience, not the music. Secondly, the true rebels founded the company, laid the foundations to create the colossus, the monster’s appetite allayed by greed: more cash, larger market share, buying out or crushing competitors, the stuff of daily financial headlines.

Their stock in trade is rebellion against the status quo. Were everything fine and good, nothing would ever be improved, invented, changed. We take things for granted, are averse to change, enjoy our routines, are pleased to sit quietly after a day’s work watching TV, or reading a bestselling book, but these rebels, these upstart entrepreneurs don’t sit still. Not one second.  They are dreaming,  scheming, schmoozing,   toying with ideas, gizmos, conventional thinking so as to find a way to get you to dig into your pockets to buy that product or service which you don’t really need.

Open your cupboards – full. Closet? Packed. Desk? Cluttered with PCs, pen drives, flash cards, DVDs – remember those? And we won’t even go into the garage or attic where we have boxes and crates of video and audio cassettes, old skis, skates, roller blades, city bikes and mountain bikes, and a whole lot more.

Quite frankly, I have been fooled into buying stuff I don’t need, but I can safely say I have a lot less junk than most people. And I will include books too, just to assure you I won’t distinguish between high and low culture, hi- and lo-tech.

Last Rebel is making itself richer, me poorer, and the more we buy, the higher they rise in social status, the greater their economic power, while ours diminishes day after day. Pardon me – mine does.  And plenty of people, too.

We conform. We settle down. We don’t want to change. Change might mean disaster. But the Colossus grows ever-more powerful, its scope wider, broader, deeper, and it governs. It governs, and we are governed, pleased with feeding in crumbs, and left alone on the Sabbath.

But all this is fine and good. We can choose and we can decide. We are responsible, sentient beings with a capacity for thought and foresight. We regularly make investments with our limited resources in time, energy, affections, cash.

Long ago, wanting to be a writer, a poet, I chose to cut back.  I needed time, a lot of time to write a novel, plays, poems, and I could not afford regular job; granted, I taught for over 25 years, but not usually on a full-time basis, leaving me plenty of time to writing.

Of course this meant less money, but there were increasingly less things I wanted to buy or do: going to bars, ristos, movies, for starters. Walking, running, swimming, cycling are free. As is talking, but outside a tiny circle of friends and relatives, this past year, since reneging The Word, writing, and turnedbinward upon myself, imploded and started to paint, I speak to very few people. Though married, sometimes it feels like I open my mouth only to eat, sip tea, answer direct questions, fail to respond to a phone ringing.  It can wait.

I  work quietly at home listening to a radio I bought 27 years ago, using wood panels that are far cheaper than canvas.I re-read books, mostly thick classics from Ancient, English, Russian and French Literature, and walk to wherever it is I have to go when, of course, I do have to go anywhere outside the house past the gate. And in emergencies, I do have a large motorcycle.

The Last Rebel, like Government, Bureaucrac tax and bill collectors are at the door, on the phone, in bulletins, emails,  ubiquitous. I stand, ineffectual brush at the ready against intruders: strangers who come calling because they want something from you.

And I say: Sorry, not interested, and turn away from the Last Rebels.

Unless… unless….hey, wanna buy a painting?

ln the end, success is an act of rebellion, success in your own terms, large or small, known or unknown. When the painting is right, you feel it, you know. And little else matters.

And a propos of paintings, the little man depicted owns the building.