Like other members of the A.I.A.P (Italian Association of the Friends of the Nativity Scene) of Naples, for Antonia Santoro (born in Casagiove, 19 February 1963), working on a nativity scene is a passion inherited from his father, who used to work on nativity scenes with devoted gestures and great care. His work renews and renovates a family tradition, as well as the artistic Neapolitan handicraft tradition. In fact, in a nativity scene you can find the roots of the people that worship the nativity.
Antonio Santoro is a self-made artist who links the art of a nativity scene with other forms of expression: “I started making art spontaneously and I have never been to an art school because my father wanted me to be an accountant. But, little by little, I started experimenting with art and nativity scenes in my free time.”
Experimenting, going beyond the limits, breaking free from the “standards” of a technique takes confidence and bravery, and Santoro managed it with style! He introduced polystyrene and polyester in his nativity scenes: “I found resistance from traditional nativity scene artists, but once they saw my creations, they were satisfied of the result”.
Thanks to the great passion for creativity and art, nowadays, Antonio Santoro is working on the creation of architectural nativity scenes, as well as on the restoration of ancient furniture, paintings, clay and wooden statues. In addition, he is currently designing glass sculptures, artistic items and jewellery.
Antonio Santoro’s artefacts have been on display for a lot of regional and national exhibitions since 2008. Then, in 2014, he became member of the Italian Association of the Friends of the Nativity Scene and took part in the annual nativity scene exhibition in San Severo al Pendino, as well as in the regional ones in Salerno and Polla (Sa) and in the international ones in Lipsia (Germany), Barcellona (Spain), Cracovia (Poland).
Antonio Santoro is also interested in the dissemination of the nativity scene tradition, in fact, for four years he activated a nativity scene workshop for adults and young people during the “Creattiva art event” in Naples. In addition, he is President of the Art Association “Artando”, which promotes art and culture in all its forms and expressions.
Antonio Santoro always keeps in mind the emotional and evocative strength of nativity scene creations, which can unify different people, gathering them around family memories, religious faith and cultural traditions.
We can fully appreciated how Santoro feels about his artistic production in his words:
“When I separate from one of my creations, I feel sad, as if I had lost a child, but I find consolation in thinking that my artwork will be admired and appreciated by many… whilst SOME will be moved by my art.”