Florence as all tourist cities is full of street artists. But one day my attention was attracted by one man very unusual. Every day except for the rainy he can be found on the street Borgo la Croce near to Piazza Cesare Beccaria. He sits on the asphalt in a big cowboy hat. His legs are unnaturally bent. A large sheet of paper is also lying on the ground. He holds the brush clutching it between both unruly hands and carefully creates his pictures. Sometimes he looks aside and affably speaks with passers-by phrases in different languages. Some of persons stops to see what he is drawing.
His name is Marian Padure. He draws his pictures by colorizing a pencil outline. Firstly I thought that he was just colorize someone’s drawing made by pencil. But it turned out that he was doing everything himself from beginning to end. How is this possible?! He can do nothing with his own hands. When he raises his hands greeting me his wrists hang helplessly. But he draws! Unbelievable!
The drawing of one picture lasts one or two weeks. Themes of the drawings are very different: architecture, japanese life, holiday thematic. There were pictures especially for Christmas, for Easter… For the last two months he has been drawing portraits. He makes copy of faces of people on the photos and he achieves striking similarity.
Marian was not born like this. When he was a child he liked to play football. All of his current condition is a consequence of the disease. He draws sitting on the street for about 15 years. Robbie Shackelford (director of Harding University, Florence) and the parishioners of the church «Chiesa di Cristo Cappella Demidoff» help Marian and gave him a small electric tricycle so that he could move independently. And now he drives through Florence “faster than the wind.”
I do not cease to marvel at the strength, courage, zeal and always positive mood of this man. But one day he surprised me even more. Marian invited me to the presentation of his book “New Life” which he wrote in three languages - English, Italian and Romanian.
This book is the story of his life. Marian was born on January 29, 1976 in Romania. His book, like his drawings, does not pretend to be a work of art. This is a story told by a man who as a child gradually realized that he is different from others and his physical development is delayed. This is a very personal perception of the child on the fact that he can no longer walk on his own feet although before that was able to ran. This is an autobiographical story about endless and ineffective workouts and wanderings in orthopedic hospitals. This is the story of the first love. This is the child’s view of the problems in his family. And finally the new life that he found in Italy with thanks to new friends.
The book is very kindhearted and once again gives you the understanding that you should not give up in any situation. Everybody should not be lazy and must to move forward without fear of making a mistake.