Paola Michela Mineo, is not only an amazing and talented artist but is also my lifetime best friend. We have been knowing each other since we were kids, shared laughs, tears, fights, ideas and amazing trips. She is one of the unique people of my life and today I want to feature her amazing exhibition on my blog. 

Coxy and Paola Mineo at the exhibition "Impronte Sfiorate" in Milan (2014)
Coxy and Paola Mineo at the exhibition “Impronte Sfiorate” in Milan (2014)

The exact day I landed in Milan I went to see her latest exhibition “Impronte sfiorate”. I won’t translate the title in English because I think it would lose its real meaning, but I’ll do my best to transport you into the feelings and the emotions that I’ve felt while walking through the rooms of the performance.

For the first time in Italy and Europe, Paola has revealed a world that is unknown to most, the world of detention of the ICAM (Istituto a Custodia Attenuata per Madri), a Correctional Facility for Mothers. Paola has used the “Touch Art” for many years. “Touch Art” is an artistic expression in which she explores a relational and a spiritual connection through a sculpture – that is molded onto the model’s body – which becomes a second skin and, at the same time, an armor and the physical proof of a transition.

“Impronte Sfiorate” consists of 6 installations where Paola has reconstructed through sculptures, images, sounds, smells, videos and photographs, the profound and sensorial journey she has lived discovering the characters, the bodies and the souls hidden beyond each woman she has touched and transformed.  The audience is challenged to take part in the same journey and relive the intense emotions experienced in the course of the artistic process to the extent of creating new and personal ones.

I loved the journey and I would definitely recommend to anyone who is in Milan in the next few days to stop by the gallery and live the experience on their own skin. Sharing these women’s feelings while Paola was transforming them from prisoner mothers to co-stars in a performance of contemporary art moved me and made me feel deeply free.  It gave me the certainty that a better world exists even if sometimes one is forced to travel down into the Underworld to find it. 

The photo gallery posted below contains a few pictures from the exhibition Those are just a glimpse of a world that must be experienced in person. 

The exhibition will remain open at the Spazio Oberdan in Milan until October 5th, and will travel afterward to bring this wonderful message to other Italian, European and hopefully American cities. 

Last but not least, if you wish to experience the “Touch Art” on your own person and become the subject of an artistic performance, you can get in touch with Paola and let her lead you through a journey within yourself. I did it and would do it again over and over!

I tear off the hanging face you try to conceal with your hands 

You shall reveal yourself as soon as I touch you 

And I shall take you with me in my memory 

Exploring a better small world

– Paola Michela Mineo –


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