BUSINESS AND ART SYNERGY. United by Jack Kerouac


Zita Tallat-Kelpšaitė

Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.

Jack Kerouac, On the Road


On 2 December last year MA*GA Gallarate Museum of Modern Art in Italy, hosted a grand opening of the prestigious Kerouac Beat Painting exhibition. The exhibition introduced a collection of 80 J. Kerouac’s paintings and drawings, which belong to Swiss collectors and brothers Arminio and Paolo Sciolli, owners of Il Rivellino Leonardo da Vinci Art Gallery.

Kerouac Beat Paintings as an exhibition and a solid publication

The opening of the impressive exhibition, attended by Roberto Maroni, Governor of Lombardy, and numerous other representatives of politics, business and art from Italy, Switzerland and other countries, attracted crowds of people.

The curators of the exhibition – Sandrina Bandera, Alessandro Castiglioni and Emma Zanella – leisurely guided the crowd of visitors from one painting to another like through a complex labyrinth of J. Kerouac’s works, reflecting the tradition of visual arts not only in America, but the entire era, telling stories of the origins of the works that have immortalised a number of historical personalities of that time and their relation with the multilevel creative life of the painter, artist and musician, whose paintings up till now were available only for the visitors of the largest museums of the world, such as Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the National Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the ZKM Centre for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, until probably the largest share of the painter’s heritage, that had been lying around in his home in Lowell (Massachusetts), was purchased from his inheritor John Sampas by Arminio and Paolo Sciolli, owners of Il Rivellino Leonardo da Vinci Art Gallery in Locarno (Switzerland).

Together with the impressive exhibition, which will be open in Gallarate until 22 April, the fans of Kerouac’s talent received an excellent publication Kerouac Beat Painting, compiled by Sandrina Bandera, Alessandro Castiglioni and Emma Zanella, featuring all of the painter’s works at the exhibition, an introductory note of Dario Franceschini, Minister of Culture and Tourism, as well as a professional analysis of J. Kerouac’s works.

Peter Greenaway’s project Kerouac On the Road

The guest of honour at the opening of the exhibition was the famous British film director and artist Peter Greenaway, who introduced several drawings of the On the Road topic and received huge acknowledgement and praise. He initiated the Kerouack on the Road international project, which could be implemented at the EXPO 2020 that will take place in Dubai, the United Arab Emyrates. The global EXPO will feature the topic of “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”.

The director, scriptwriter and artist Peter Greenaway, who has created such cinema masterpieces as Prospero’s Books, The Pillow Book, Drowning by Numbers, Darwin, The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, The Baby of Macon, Eisenstein in Guanajuato and numerous others, invites to connect minds and joint effort to create a piece of art, based on new technology, which could be exhibited at the Museum of Malpensa Airport and in 2020 – the global EXPO in Dubai. P. Greenaway’s project Kerouac On the Road is very appealing to transport and innovations fans, thus we can confidently recommend it to our readers.

Let’s do it for the sheer WOW effect!


A suggestion for the Malpensa Museum Exhibition.

We place Kerouac’s On the Road car – or a car exactly like it – converted from combustion engine to electric engine – on an appropriate turntable in the centre of the space. We fill the car with appropriate Kerouac detritus. We make sure all car-lights and windscreen-wipers and left-right indicators and horn function well. We fix all these functions to a computer programme lasting 15 minutes.

We surround the car on four sides with the largest screens possible. We manufacture software for all four screens. This software depicts the Kerouac journey as seen through the windscreen. If possible, this film is archival to the orginal time of the journey and if this is not possible – a small sound and picture crew can be employed to film parts of the journey in the US. We edit the film with music contemporary to the time. And we film selected sections of the long-roll manuscript and edit them into the film where appropraite.

We add an extra factor which is more expensive. Namely – four cameras are employed to work simultaneously – mounted inside the car looking to the front through the windscreen, through the back window, and looking right and left through the side windows. When these four pieces of film are played simultaneoulsy in sync – they will reproduce the sensation of the car-ride passengers inside the car.


We expand and elaborate the above. We build the car as above and place the car on a discrete rail-track that suits the environment, perhaps with several bends and curves – even changes in elevation – perhaps with a function that includes reversing. We offer a programme for 15 minutes. We create - if possible - changing speeds and adjust the projection screens that surround the car accordingly, enabling stops and starts, even parking situations. Make the studio-space light system function for night-time and day time, dawn and dusk.

All this relies on close and fascinated participation with a car mechanic excited by the problems and solutions.

We pre-record voice-over readings from On the Road – by an actor playing Kerouac (sound only) and edit them appropriately. Even more sophistication: we include viaducts and tunnels in our rail journey.

If Kerouac’s house can be reconstructed on the museum site make sure the track in whole or in part runs around the house – perhaps even backs into and out of the garage. We light the interior of the house and make the light system inside the house function for night time and day time, noon time, moon-rise, dawn and dusk.

Most exciting of all. To deliberately experiment with brand-new technologies – we use the non-driver-car technology to make an art-work. The first of its kind.

We exhibit the new technology self-consciously – we dispense with rail-tracks and use contemporary technology to make a driverless car follow a route – following all the above parameters. This provides an opportunity for some exhibitionist propaganda. Benefitting our car-savvy financial partners who will be delighted.

We need large financial help.

We need a whizz-kid mechanic who knows about the new driverless car technologies.

Let’s do it for the sheer WOW effect!

Threads of ideas that connect us

The event in Gallarate was attended by three representatives from Lithuania as well: Romas Jankauskas, Commissioner of the Lithuanian pavilion at EXPO 2017 in Astana, Artūras Lukševičius, Director of HoPro innovative technology company, and the Publisher of JŪRA MOPE SEA international business magazine, who came to the exhibition with a brand new issue of the magazine, featuring a rubric of business and art synergy, introducing the Kerouack Beat Painting exhibition.

Among else, in the Publisher’s word of that issue I wrote: “First published in Lithuania in 1972, J. Kerouac’s On the Road was a breeze of freedom from beyond the Iron Curtain. Back in the days of my studies youth circles considered it unimaginable to not have read it. Infused by cheap red wine, we dissected each mile taken by the characters of the book. We lived with them on the road in our cold dormitory rooms and at the same time felt free.”

Back from Gallarate and Locarno, where I have visited Il Rivellino art gallery, I received a letter from my friend journalist Jana Gulbas from Riga, who had spent most of her life in Kazakhstan.

Having just read the latest issue of the magazine, she wrote: “...for years I’ve been noticing a fantastically strange phenomenon of the world of ideas uniting people, who sometimes don’t even know each other, but share the same ideas, by some invisible thread and connecting points. I write this because one of such proof is a story that started back in 1973. I went to a country summerhouse with my friends. We’ve spent there two sleepless days drinking huge amounts of coffee and reading one book aloud. That was a pile of quite worn Inostrannaya Literatura magazines, borrowed by one of us for only a couple of days. After a discussion that it would be unfair if only one of us would be egoistically blessed with this reading, it was decided to go to a country house, where the twelve of us would stay in our sleeping bags on six mattresses of the summerhouse and read aloud, passing on the reading relay from one another. Our group consisted of journalists, film directors, even a physicist and an astronomer. Yet that day all of us had become a team that had stayed On the Road for quite some time after that.

We savoured each of Jack Kerouac’s quotes. We felt being a part of the astonishing mystery that you always must set your goal: “You guys are going somewhere or just going?”.

The following lines became my “university” for a long time: “They danced down the streets like dingledodies, and I shambled after as I’ve been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones, who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!”

With the ones, who are mad to live

For the occasion of the exhibition opening the ancient and mysterious family home of the collectors Arminio and Paolo, built in the 15th c. Lugano and reminiscent of a treasure chest, hosted a long reception, the purpose and greatest value of which was being with those, who are mad to live, mad to talk, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, desirous of everything at the same time and burn in the fire of creativity, so much cherished by Jack Kerouac, the creator of the Odyssey of the Beat Generation.

It is a wonder that he still has the power to unite those that are mad about being On the Road.



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International business magazine JŪRA MOPE SEA has been published since 1999
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The magazine JŪRA has been published since 1935.
International business magazine JŪRA MOPE SEA has been
published since 1999.

ISSN 1392-7825

2017 ©