Fausto is 72 years old.
He wears dark trousers and a striped shirt, and he adjusts a red cup of Coke on his head that he removes when he is in front of a camera. He has gray hair and white beard. Over his eyes, there are some rounded and wooden glasses that enlarge his look at the other side of the glass. He speaks through whispers and laughs every two words. He walks with short steps and bends his back, and whenever he sees you gave him some money, he leaves for a second the place he occupies inside of his own piece of art to shake your hand and thank for the gesture.
Fausto has a museum in the middle of the street, outside, in the city of Rome. His works are hardly noticed by those who look without seeing. They are all along a wall and their titles are written in pieces of sharply-cut cardboard. In all of them the receptor is a key element, because his signature is in fact that mix of warm surprise and unexpected astonishment that explodes inside of you when you understand something. The emotion that he provokes as the spinal column that joins all his Art.
If he sees interest on your eyes, he starts a conversation with you. “But, how do you do it? How do you came up with these ideas?” I heard that my voice asks in a poor Italian. “The idea simply appears on my head. And then I only have to do it”.
Because of the way he looks, the “donation box” at the end of the wall and the kind of material that he builds his works with, Fausto seems a beggar. “Look my name up on the Internet”, he says as a goodbye, giving to us a marker for a book that he designed by himself. And that’s how you find out some hours after that you were totally mistaken because his works are international known. The artist that, once more, plays with you.
“Would you mind if I take a picture of you?”. My Italian is not good enough, so I’m not able to explain to him the unavoidable need that hits my breast from inside and that shouts me that I have to enclose that moment into an image.
“Sure. It’s 30 Euros”.
“It’s a joke! Come on, go for it!”.
And he removes, full of vain, his cap, and he poses for the picture next to his Art.
So here you guys have him. Fausto delle Chiaie, with 72 years old.
With his white beard, his attentive look, his wooden glasses and his striped shirt.
*Credit to the picture to Inés