I was eagerly awaiting my visit to Capena last autumn because everyone had been talking about Il Gigante (The Giant), a 9-metre tall temporary installation that was officially presented to an awestruck public on 14 September 2018. The statue will remain place throughout 2019.
The statue is located right in Capena’s old town centre – Piazza del Popolo. It is the brainchild of the Hungarian artist Ervin Lorianth Hervé and its proper name is Il Momento (The Moment). The title is said to refer to the moment when artistic inspiration strikes. Others say that that the giant is standing in the present (the wall of the square), looking out over the valley, which represents the future. Whatever your interpretation, it’s been a fantastic talking point and has really put Capena on the map.
The installation is made from polystyrene and was assembled slowly during the period leading up to its launch with the aid of a crane, Hervé’s assistant Daniel Nemiaski, local artists Battista Rea, Riccardo Richmond Betti and Alessandro Athena – and the general populace.
The installation came about as a result of a partnership between Associazione Salgrotta – run by the lovable and indefatigable Fernando (Nando) Urbani who has done so much to breathe life into the old centre of Capena – and the International Art Colony from the Hungarian town of Cered, under the auspices of the Hungarian Embassy in Rome. This agreement and funding from Salgrotta and Würth allowed the installation to go ahead. Capena’s town hall responded by setting up its own Casa Internazionale degli Artisti to promote art in the municipality.