About Me. Rick Margiana

I live in Rome, in Umbria and where I can.

I am Italian, I am happy to be so, but I prefer the world. 

I have never had a home. I have had dwellings, assembled and disassembled like yurts, loved and abandoned like stories.

If you explore new reflections, you are ready to depart.

Departing is a bit like dying. I need it for living.

If in your search you bring melancholy, you are building a journey.

A work of art is not to be understood, if it is art, it is she who tries to make herself understood. It is she who establishes dialogue, it is she who provokes. 

Thinking, being, creating, loving. These are the most vital acts, but dying is also one. 

Living while trying to conceal death is offensive to life.

Sometimes aesthetics frescos moments, living means realizing them. 

Intellectual work is a dynamic movement that perpetually rotates from theses to antitheses to syntheses; if it stops, it falls into that static state commonly called ideology. But Hegel has already said this. 

Animals are one of the wonders of planet Earth. Mammals can teach us many things. 

Dialoguing with Felines, Dogs, Bears and Wolves and others can be priceless joy. 

Humans can define themselves as evolved when they are able to understand, love, and respect them. 

A portrait is a stolen biography. I never asked for permission, not even from myself. I have almost always stolen. For love.

If a portrait does not tell, it’s a passport photo.

Art is creation. Art is coming out. An artist is one who, better than others, tries to speak to himself. 

Art is a marriage of depth and synthesis. 

A small work can delve deeper than 10,000 pages of essays. See “Soldiers” by Ungaretti. The precariousness of life in war drawn with nine words. The shutter is a guillotine that separates the moment from me. And makes it eternal. 

A book is beautiful. Even aesthetically. Especially if it has lived pages. 

What I see now I will never see again. 

What I see now, I won’t see anymore.

My favorite phrase? “No matter what the future brings as time goes by”.

Tourism is the apotheosis of ignorance. A deathly cancer that destroys cultures, stories and people. The first metastasis is the stupid selfie showed by a tourist as a conquest.

The difference between tourism, vacations, and travel is essential. I detest tourism. I appreciate vacations. I exist to travel.

A dear friend, Giorgio Milanetti*, told me: “A true journey is like a solitary pilgrimage. It moves with a small bag, with determined steps between life and death”. 

Years ago I sought the truth behind everything. Absolute truths alias certainties do not exist and this, perhaps, is the only absolute truth. 

Stefano Malatesta* went to visit Ella Maillart*. He told me stories about her during a dinner for three. Then “The Bactrian Camel*” came out. I traveled its countries one by one.

My travels have mostly been sensations. Brief searches of distant residues. Lying inside forbidden courtyards, wandering in perplexed hours, immersed in the tea of another table.

Viktor Sarianidi* offered me to walk alone among the excavations of Marguš* (Margiana), “before the sun sets.”

Perhaps awareness is reached when contradictions are appreciated.

When you are born your death begins. Everything else is free. Try to live if you can.

The beauty of a woman overflows immediate and unrestrained on any hour.

The beauty of the female face has always conditioned my life. For me, the rest is just a gateway, an accessory. Isolated it would make no sense. This obsession can deceive me but I cannot do without it.

Museums are mortuary rooms full of clients. Occasionally they should be visited, maybe sparingly.

Technique and art. The small backpack and the passport. Different rooms and a couple of underwear. Then over time, the desire to understand is enough and we are sublimated in memories.

Stations and airports are the slaughterhouses of passions. Farewells are fixed there, often indelible. 

Memories? Towards Kurdistan. My deep sleep with the balcony open to the great rain, at the end of a Himalayan journey. The lost route among the shifting dunes of Adrar*. 

The orchestra of Mompox*. The elegant solitude of Tash Rabat*. 

Emotion of things? The wind that lashes the sea at night. The last glance. Remote borders.

The best way to discover a place is to fall asleep upon arrival. New smells, new sounds, new half-lights, in sleep they begin to dance. Without words, they speak of a new world. Upon awakening, slowly, one discovers oneself an inhabitant for a while.

Nothing is love as much as a farewell.

I do not have to leave anything to posterity. I just try to live.

An intense life I suppose seems only a moment in the last of moments. A banal life will appear in all its length. 

Warriors commit suicide in the splendor of consciousness, the others do not.

We are the illusion in command of nature. With naivety and arrogance we overflow, destroying and torturing, even our own lives. It has been said that we were made in the image and likeness of a certain God!

We will have sex with robots, we will be educated by artificial intelligences, we will be fully manipulated and brutally used. 

Over time we will stop existing but we will remain convinced that we are alive. A cellphone will recharge us. 

Of that world called Art, among a thousand other rooms I love


Edward Hopper – Mario Sironi – Gustav Klimt – Orson Welles 

Stanley Kubrick – Federico Fellini – Fernando Pessoa – Gabriele

D’Annunzio – William Shakespeare 

Dom Mcullin – Sebastião Salgado – André Kertész – Josef Koudelka

Sergei Rachmaninov – Giuseppe Verdi – Astor Piazzolla

Billie Holiday – Paolo Conte – Amy Winehouse 

Ingrid Bergman – Aldo Fabrizi – Bette Davis – Meryl Streep. 

Special feelings for Nanook of the North by Robert Flaherty

The last picture show by Peter Bogdanovich 

The Third Man by Carol Reed 

Sur by Solanas Casablanca by Michael Curtiz

Totò Miseria e Nobiltà by Edoardo Scarpetta 

La cavalleria rusticana by Pietro Mascagni 

Take five by Dave Brubeck Gerry Mulligan Paul Desmond

Idroscalo by R.A.M

*Giorgio Milanetti. 

Full Professor of Hindi Language and Literature at the Department “Italian Institute of Oriental Studies” of the University of La Sapienza.

*Stefano Malatesta was an Italian journalist, writer, and painter.

*Ella Maillart was a writer, an athlete, a great traveler.

*The Bactrian Camel. Book by Stefano Malatesta.

*Victor Sarianidi was a Soviet archaeologist. In 1976, he discovered the remains of a Bronze Age culture in the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan, known as the Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex.

*Adrar. Region of Mauritania famous for its sand dunes, its gorges, for the holy city of Chinguetti, and for the caravan city of Ouadane.

*Mompox. City in Colombia nestled on the Magdalena River.

*Tash Rabat. 15th-century caravanserai located in Kyrgyzstan.

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