Titta Fasciotti was always a mystery. From his choice of subjects – Xhosa women at a time when very few European artists were painting natives, to some of the inscriptions in his paintings, to the stories surrounding his death. The man was a mystery. But one thing is undeniable to everyone who has been in the presence of a Fasciotti painting; this man captured the beauty and life in a subject very few people gave a second glance to and with very minimal intrusion, made it awe-inspiring.
Some argue that the ability to see this beauty came from seeing through the fresh eyes of a foreigner since he was natively Italian (born in 1927) and between 1944 and 48, had studied at the Accademia Di Belle Arti, Carrara in Betgamo Italy under Professor Achille Fune. In 1948 he left Italy and resided in South Africa, where gained the in-depth understanding and affinity for the subject whilst under the mentor-ship of W.G. Wiles between 1952 and 1955.
Titta’s paintings focused on landscapes, still life, seascapes and figure studies in a series of mediums such as Oil, Acrylic, watercolour, ink, wash, pencil and charcoal. Most of his scenes were derived from life in the rural and Cape, he also painted the Karoo and other African tribal scenes.
The artist participated in a series of group international exhibitions in 1953 in South Africa, Austria, the USA, the UK and his native Italy. However his first solo exhibition in Johannesburg, South Africa came in 1963 and was the first of an eventual 31 solo exhibitions.
Very much like the man, his paintings are elusive but once encountered, both the name and the artist are unforgettable.