Gianfranco Fiore was born in Switzerland in 1972. He studied at the Monreale Art Institute and the Accademia of Palermo, where he took a degree in Decorative Painting. Among the narrow ancient streets of Palermo’s historic centre he discovered the world of the Sicilian cart and fell in love: he began frequenting the prestigious workshops of the few master craftsmen still in operation and learned traditional decorating techniques from them. He then opened his own studio in Partinico and, with passion and patience, tracked down damaged carts and restored them with the aim of conserving the carts themselves and passing on the tradition. He initiated a series of collaborations with local artisans, creating marvellous carts for folkloric parades and private collections; he also experiments with applying classic cart decorations on other vehicles and design objects.
Enamel and oil, 60 x 151 x 68.2 cm On the front panel of this refrigerator is the image of Saint George, depicted in the act of slaying the dragon. The famous sacred figure serves an important apotropaic purpose: the saint, considered the protector of knights and cart drivers, is frequently painted on Sicilian carts to fend off adversity and misfortune. The side and top panels feature allegorical figures, cherubs, paladins and kings in profile and fortresses. Geometric and floral decorations from the cart painting tradition of eastern Sicily complete the composition.