The Italian street artist who took Rome by storm with the images of Pope Francis as superman or playing tic-tac-toe is now creating an art series to illustrate the Pope's Lenten message for 2024.
Each week, the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development will release a drawing and passage from the Pope's message. The first shows Pope Francis with a wheelbarrow navigating a road full of difficulties. But through faith and the Pope's guidance, the challenging road becomes possible.
With the art pieces for this Lent, I want to be able to join the Holy Father in a simple but effective way. With his words, he leads us on a profound reflection and path that aims to help us abandon our bondages until we reach the promised land.
But the journey to being chosen as the artist to design this Lenten series began 10 years ago. Then, Mauro was a street artist who wanted to use his comicbook-style images of the newly elected Pope Francis to help people understand who he is. Today, his reason to continue with the papal pictures has changed.
I try to emphasize some of his great messages that he gives to humanity and I re-interpret them in a comical way but also with a pinch of irony, sometimes even sarcasm, which is a typical Roman style. And I do this to simplify his messages, which can sometimes be a bit complicated for some people, especially for the very young. My language is easily readable even for a 4-year-old.
And after a decade of making his artwork dedicated to Pope Francis, the Vatican as officially approved his work.
I now have official confirmation that he remembers me. He knows of my existence. Our relationship is made from the images I create and sometimes he sees them briefly. So it's a relationship from a distance,but nevertheless we can say that there is still a bond because I know that he sees what I do.
Now, Mauro has gone from being called the “rebel artist” to one officially sanctioned by the Vatican.