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Real boom, in Savona's area, of art galleries dealing with reproductions of authors' masterpieces.
From "IL SECOLO XIX", September 16th, 2004

Painter's imitation, what a passion.
People like more and more handmade copies than the originals.

Some time ago, people who wished to have a Van Gogh at home were content with a printed reproduction.
The same happened for Matisse, Modigliani, Picasso. Not nowadays.
In order to have a masterpiece of Impressionism or of 20th-century avant-garde, people make a further effort - i.e. from dozen to thousand Euros - and choose an painter's imitation. Which is a handmade faithful reproduction of the original. Made by an artist who has decided to place her talent at disposal of other artists' genius. And also at the disposal of art lovers' wallet. Around this area it is a real boom. There are specialised galleries openly selling De Chirico and Renoir - such as "Monna Lisa Art Gallery" or "Argento e blu" - some others do not disdain to offer copies, maybe in their backshop, and there is also an extraordinary artist, Maristella Bono, who has opened a shop in Albenga which has soon become the Mecca for the art lovers.
Reproducing past masterpieces is obviously 100% lawful. On its back the painting is certified as "painter's imitation" and in this way it must be shown and sold.
If the artist is dead since more than 50 years, the reproduction is free. If this is not the case, the reproduction needs to be authorised by the rights' holders. But these rules are very wellknown to the professionals in this field.
Maristella Bono has no clear idea about the reasons of such a boom. "To be honest - she says - I really don't know why but since I opened my studio, it has been a continuous crescendo". In her opinion, there are all kinds of purchasers: "The age brackets going from 30 to 65 in pretty large. They usually request important painters, such as Kandinsky, Van Gogh, Matisse. At least in our area. If you move to France, they request Monet.

Maristella Bono

The choice of a painting is made on several grounds: colours, the popularity of the painting or of its author, the place where it will be placed". Some times, however, the tie between painting and purchaser is really close. "There are people - Maristella Bono explains - who go to an art exhibition or a museum, see a painting, even a minor one, and fall in love with it. Then they call me, ask for a quotation, think about it; then they call me back again and ask me to make a copy." Some other times, the copy has a so to say practical function: "There are people who have important paintings at home, maybe inherited, and they prefer to keep them safe in a bank. And so they ask for a copy, in order to continue to enjoying it. It happened to me a few times. I also copied a Modigliani for such reason."
Maristella Bono is a real paintbrush virtuoso, and does not feel diminished as a "copyist"; her activity allows her to work and live with serenity. "And then - she concludes - the painting on the easel is mine. A genuine Maristella Bono's".

Ferdinando Molteni

Maristella Bono - More true than truth, painter's imitations
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