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Friday 8 January, ArsTratto(Ria), Mike Snyder presents his work at i Dü Matt, Via del Chiostro 65, Gavirate (Varese), Italy

Mike Snyder, the artist, and Alberto Frigo, the organizer, debate.

The occasion: the first of series of dinners dubbed
ArsTratto(ria). Art in a trattoria, if you like, with a
reference to Ovid, of course.

Seventeen people were scheduled to arrive at 20.00 to see
the works — three paintings as well as eight b&w illustrations for a
biography of Jim Morrison in graphic novel form, due for
publication in early 2011.

The place: the Trattoria i Dü Matt, in Via del Chiostro, Gavirate,
in the province of Varese. I dü matt? The two crazies? who you calling crazy?

Anyway, which two?

Let’s stop being crazy all of us, and get back inside.
It’s pouring with rain and freezing cold.
January in Italy is like that.

We have a special menu tonight: risotto,
followed by polenta and braised veal, red wine,
water and coffee, all for 15 euros.

The normal offering is equally appealing: the
weekday lunchtime menu is just 10 euros for pasta,
main course, as well as water, wine and
coffee. Make a note, must come back.

Lovely golden-yellow decor by Alberto, whose
paintings are out the door.
Mike’s are in the dining room, ready to be hung.

That’s chef Aimone on the left, admiring
one of the artworks. Mike goes to unwrap
some more, while Monica looks on.

The mise en place, with the logo Alberto designed

Ceiling-height sgraffito illustrations, designed and executed
by Alberto, who’s now checking in with chef Aimone in the kitchen.

Two of the artworks: a small painting that
forms part of a larger work, and a vibrant
illustration used originally for a press ad

Alberto and Monica discuss the impending hanging

Mike hanging the Croc illustration

Film poster executed for a UCLA film studies undergraduate

The artist observes his work

The photographer snaps pictures,
Jim Morrison in the background.

Getting ready to eat, with the Jim Morrison illustrations behind

After the risotto, the polenta and spezzatino.

Re-arranging the works for the weekend, the paintings stayed,
the Jim Morrison illustrations didn’t

A matter of some debate

Agreement reached

The end of the evening. Time to say goodnight and Alla prossima!