Artist Philosopher

Toni-Lee Sangastiano

Once ruled by religion, Florence, Italy is now dominated by consumer culture and the materialism associated with capitalism, the tourist industry and the plethora of “99 euro cent stores” all around the city center. Small altars and alcoves in public places, once filled with saintly images and prayers lie empty, long forgotten or scribbled with graffiti in world far removed from religion.

 Empty public altars and alcoves were outfitted items purchased from the “99 euro cent stores” using a combination of old master pinhole techniques, street art, and social commentary on branding and marketed ideals. Once outfitted, the filled altars were documented as installations and left for further public consumption. Our misguided adoration of capitalistic consumer culture to fulfill all of our needs, unrealistic ideals and corporation brands has become our new form of worship. We now put our 'faith' in these ideals and the materials we can buy.