Jago / Pietà
Oct 1, 2021 – Feb 28, 2022
Chiesa di Santa Maria in Montesanto
Roma, Italy

The “Pietà” is a sculpture by the Italian artist Jago and was unveiled on October 1st in Rome’s Church of the Artists. It is displayed in the Chapel of the Crucifix of the Chiesa di Santa Maria in Montesanto. The sculpture is different from the classical iconography of the Pietà; Jago (full name Jacopo Cardillo) represents suffering, pain and deep sorrow of a young man for the loss of a “beloved” young woman whose abandoned body he holds strongly and desperately in his arms.

The idea was born in New York. The first phase of drawings and sketches in clay started in Anagni (his home town) in 2020, during the first lockdown period. The works in plaster and in marble were subsequently created in Naples in his studio in the Church of Sant’Aspreno ai Crociferi, rione Sanità. The church was reopened after years of abandon to allow the artist to create his new work.

On entering the Chapel of the Crucifix, the spectator is fascinated by the artistic version of the Pietà. It is a contemporary Pietà of the New Millennium. The work has various interpretations. The male figure bears a striking resemblance to the artist, but it is not a self-portrait. During the lockdown, Jago was alone and studied facial expressions in front of a mirror in which his face was reflected. The realistic suffering aspect shown by the statue can only be represented so truly if it is felt within oneself, in the depths of one’s soul. The work conveys pain, despair, extremes feelings. The observer perceives the dramatic theme of love and the strong, indissoluble parental bond when losing a beloved person. In an important union between spirituality and art, the work is connected to the project “A door towards infinity” – Man and the Absolute in art, within the cycle “Art and Liturgy,” promoted by Monsignor Walter Insero, the Rector of the Basilica.