Detroit Free Press Front Page Obituary for Silvio Barile
The Februrary 28, 2019 Detroit Free Press featured a front page story and obituary for Silvio Barile. I was honored that Sergio De Giusti, Silvios’s long-time friend and fellow Italian-American sculptor suggested that John Monaghan, the writer, interview me for the article. Sergio arranged my first visit, he helped Silvio with such tasks as hoisting his enormous concrete and stone sculptures off the ground, and he maintained a decades-long collection of articles on Silvio and his work (which he has since donated to the SPACES archive).
I had visited Silvio three times between 2017-2018 and was looking very much forward to returning this spring to concentrate on video. He was great fun to spend time with – he called me “Freddy” and gave me free rein to photograph himself and his work. Silvo believed deeply in the importance of his cultural commentary and criticism, and had no interest in selling his work. His former pizzeria had become the “Redford Baroque Historical Institute Of Art”, but despite his buoyant personality, he was poignantly disappointed that it attracted few non art environment aficionado type visitors – his message was intended for all of American society. My work with Silvio was sadly cut short, but briefly knowing him and his irrepressible spirit has been one of the great pleasures of my work.