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In 2001 Hoyland was commissioned to design a mosaic mural for the Rome Metro as part of a much larger project involving other artists, mostly Italian (his friend the abstract painter Piero Dorazio, among them), and including Patrick Caulfield.
John Hoyland recalls:
‘I did two or three designs in the proportion of the thing, picked out the best one and sent it off. I heard nothing. Then six years later I got a phone call asking me to come to Rome tomorrow! We managed to get a flight. I hadn’t seen this thing and I had to be photographed pulling the rope with the mayor to unveil it. It was bloody fabulous! It was a lot better than the original. They put in four yellows to my one, or three blacks. I actually got paid, and I would have done it for nothing! Mine is between the Spanish Steps and the Borghese Gardens, which is like Bond Street meets Green Park. Patrick’s is out on the equivalent of Morden.’
From Lambirth, A., ‘John Hoyland: Scatter the Devils’, Unicorn Press 2009To visit the mural go to Stazione Spagna on Linea A