Marco

Marco Callisto Marco  I was born in Genoa, Italy, in 1939 and live most of the year in the quiet and pleasant village of Bonassola, on the sea of the Riviera di Levante, close to the Cinque Terre.
I have worked for a long time as an entrepreneur in international trade; but throughout my life I have also always cultivated my artistic interests, mainly directed toward maritime arts such as ship modeling and painting. I have built wooden models of ships, and painted sea paintings; I have specialized in reinterpreting the Ligurian tradition of ex-voto painting, with several of my works exhibited in local shrines.
An avid fisherman, I have studied various techniques for reproducing and preserving the beauty and magic of the fish that inhabit the Ligurian Sea: drawing, ceramics, plaster casts; in the end, the method I prefer and find most satisfying is the Japanese method of the gyotaku. This art, invented by fishermen in Japan to show and exhibit their prey to customers, consists of printing the imprint of the fish, using the typical sumi, on rice paper, making all the finer details appear in the drawing: scales, fins, gills, etc.
In my artistic research I have printed fish, but also molluscs, crustaceans and other marine animals; the result is graphically elegant, and makes the morphological characteristics of the reproduced organism very evident. I sign them with my hanko and often like to enrich the black-and-white print with additions of acrylic colours.
I started creating gyotaku for myself, as mementos to share with my family, children, grandchildren and friends. Their success was immediate and word of mouth extraordinary: acquaintances and tourists, including foreigners from all over the world, asked me for new creations to take a fragment of this sea with them.