edited by Barbara Meneghel

At the beginning, in the Arabic culture, the word 'Harem' meant 'forbidden'. Not allowed, of course, at the masculine gender, as it was a community composed only by women.
A female nook which evokes oriental fascination, exotic sensuality and erotic atmospheres, with something mysterious and inaccessible which an exclusively female situation usually implies forward men.
Something similar to this atmosphere can be found in the last series of works by Fabrizio Musa, realized for the newborn NYC restaurant Per Lei.
Works which open an entirely female dimension, iconic celebration of contemporary beauty without any exception allowed to the exclusiveness of woman. Of woman and of her image.
Studied continuously from the very beginning of western art history (only western art, I mean. Islamic culture, for example, forbids the representation of female face), and yet still far from the iconographic saturation of our times.
Rather, interpretable and continuously renewable depending on the coordinates of space, time and cultures, depending on historic and sociologic context.
In this way, we can see a gallery of pictures variable in sizes, in which freshness, immediateness and genuineness of young women are the protagonists. The common stereotypes of female beauty - that's true - are perfectly respected: but this fact does not imply the presence of pretended attitudes, of really erotic aspects, or of aesthetics falsifications of reality like the advertisement does. The models pictured by Musa, on the contrary, are caught in the spontaneous moment of a gesture, of a smile, of a movement.
Fixed most of the times in the foreground, they look like they're ignoring the photographer objective and the artist's eye, thought they remain extremely, sensually female. The evident cinematographic mark, not new in the expressive language of Musa, reminds to a series of frames, playing between the black/white, and a very pop- colour.
Technically, you still find at the basis a perfect balance between digital art and painting work: the transposition of the photographic shot on the canvas contributes more and more to the effect of dynamism and movement of the image, avoiding any possible risk of affectedness.
And the similarity with Warhol's works of the icons of cinema and advisory, does not take away anything to the originality of an interpretation that is much more moved, fresh, dynamic than the fixed one of the Pop Art. In that case, the advisory plastification, very ironic, the mirror of a society more and more hedonistic.
In this case, the recovering of a soul of the subject and of the picture.
In balance between being a person and being a character, the women of Fabrizio Musa fill up with their image a new restaurant on the 71st street. And they make of it a small, charming harem in the very centre of Manhattan.