Andrea Ruffoni was born on Isola dei Pescatori in 1925 and on the island lived his early youth. Andrea was a man of culture, well-read, interested in the artist trends of his time.

He moved to Paris, and in 1960 to Vienna, where he maried and has a child. He lived in Vienna for 7 years, but always went back to the island in summer. Vienna is one of Europe’s avant-garde cultural, political and artistic centres. There he met writers, philosophers and artists who were to become international points of reference, like the writer Peter Handke or Joe Berger theatrical personage, the painters Franz Ringel and Peter Pongratz, Ernst Fuchs, or the sculptor Walter Pichler. Andrea also worked for Fuchs and it was there that he began to work with plastics and plexiglass.

The island was a place for Andrea to return to, where everything he had experienced abroad could be reprocessed in solitude. He led a retired life, an absolutely spartan lifestyle. He always refused every show, critic or art historian. He did not like the art market, on the contrary, when an important collector offered to buy his entire oeuvre, Andrea was set against it: “What would I do with the money? You just spend it and have nothing in the end.”

Ruffoni died on his island in 1990, following a serious ilness.

You can visit his grave in the little cementary on the island. On the tomb a sculpture has been placed: the tree of life. The tree however is seriously injured, lacerated by a deep wound. Through all his work the artist confronted the pain of the world, the destruction of the earth, the superficiality of humans who lack understanding, jet he had a bit of hope : the young people. “The young people are the only ones who can correct the grave errors of the previous generations. I can see here and there that they’re starting to proceed along those lines”

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