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Mi Mundo / My World
By Margaret Failoni

Margherita Branciforte was born in Venice but grew up in Rome, Italy, surrounded by the women’s movements and the political upheavals of the late 60’s and 70’s. Those were the years of the cantautori or singer-songwriters as well as the birth of the new figurative movements in the plastic arts such as the Transavanguardia and the Pittura Culta which became so predominant on the one hand and the internationalism of the Arte Povera movement on the other. Those were exciting times inductive to creative growth. Growing up in a household of intellectual salons with artists and musicians part of her daily life, it was soon discovered she had talent and therefore, her choice to become an artist was not surprising. Branciforte learned music with her guitar always at her side. At an early age she started to compose and sing while attending Rome’s prestigious Academia di Belle Arte. Music was relegated to the background for a while, while she pursued a career as a painter, gaining success early on, especially with portraits. Widely traveled, Branciforte’s clientele grew, from Rome to South Africa and the United States and most recently, to Mexico.
Branciforte was an only child and when her mother and stepfather moved to San Miguel de Allende, the artist followed, not wanting to distance herself during her mother’s later years. Important commissions including sixteen large panels depicting Venetians scenes for a five star Venetian hotel followed, while continuing her very successful portraitures. But the music was never forgotten. Some of us were lucky enough to enjoy evenings of music with Branciforte, listening to hauntingly romantic songs of love and yearning, both in English and Italian. Most recently, the artist has been commissioned an album performed with local musicians and consisting of ballads, boleros and some with sexy Bossa Nova beats.

After a very successful show in an important Mexico City gallery consisting of portraits of well known personalities in the capital’s literary and society world, as well as magnificent semi abstract landscapes, an exhibition of Branciforte’s work was requested by the Florencia Riestra Gallery here in San Miguel. A body of work consisting of painting and sculpture has been created for Branciforte’s new show, depicting the dichotomy of her two worlds; the subject matter on the canvases as well as the sculptures is music. The paintings are created in vibrant color and the light, deft brush strokes so typical of her work. One painting in particular charmed me: one of her dogs is running off with her paint brushes firmly clutched between its teeth, guiltily looking over its shoulder. 

Cocktail opening on
Thursday February 18th
The Florencia Riestra Gallery
Aurora Design Center