He Strikes Again

The Trevi Fountain’s waters turn red.
The Trevi Fountain’s waters turn red. Wikipedia

Graziano Cecchini is an oddball to be sure. An anarchist prankster who picks off-the-wall justifications for his stunts, he has been quite active as of late.In October, Cecchini strolled up to Rome’s famed Trevi Fountain and dumped a vat of dye into the pool while onlookers snapped pictures of the water turning bright red. He left a calling card of sorts behind—a pamphlet attacking the excessive spending at the Rome Film Festival. A flimsy excuse, but no harm was done. The colored water didn’t stain any of the fountain’s surfaces and order, in the form of clear water, was soon restored.

Last Wednesday in Rome, Cecchini unveiled his encore. Arriving at the top of the Spanish Steps with huge bags in tow, he and his cohorts spilled half a million colored plastic balls down the steps. Cecchini mentioned that the event cost him $30,000 to coordinate, and that this act was also a protest. This time, of the treatment of the Karen people by militarist groups in Burma. Read more about it.

It isn’t clear if Cecchini’s justifications are blather or heartfelt, but in our artistic climate where predictability battles with myopia, at least he is an “artist" who leaves his mark.

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