Marco Lodola is a very successful artist in Italy

He is also a very warm and caring person with a beautiful family. I have known him since 20 years and he was my witness to my first wedding in 1988.

I went to his wonderful studio in Pavia and asked him to take self-portraits working on his emotions: to choose rage or despair, acting the emotion out and listening to his true feelings inside, letting out whatever emotion came. As usual, I left him alone to work. Afterwards we chose together the work of art, first making a wide choice, then narrowing it until we got to one picture. We used my criteria for the perception of the works. He had chosen despair, but fear and helplessness came out. He had worked on a personal issue which was causing him despair, but when he saw fear, he could understand better how he was relating to that issue. I think that he won't be afraid anymore. When you express a difficult feeling in a self-portrait, you have taken distance from it and accepted it, so it diminishes its effect on your life.

Another thing strikes me of this photo. His hand, like the salute of a soldier, could say: I'm scared and I feel helpless, but I'm going to fulfill my mission, I'm devoted to it, I will do everything I can to solve the problem. This is what I mean by multiplicity of meaning in a work of art: when we make contrasting statements we show our true nature as human beings.

My point in publishing Marco's story is also to show that, regardless of our success and peaceful lives, we all have deep and difficult feelings to deal with. These feelings are common to every human being. Marco's fear takes him close to a little boy in Afghanistan who has lost his father in war.