Charity Art Exhibition Celebrates La Dolce Vita

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A new exhibition featuring work inspired by a classic Italian cycling tour, is set to raise funds for The Prostate Cancer Charity. Opening on April 18 at The Frameless Gallery in London, James Straffon's Gran Corsa d'Italia artworks, took their cue from a new charity cycling event of the same name, set to take place later this year. All 10 artworks will go on sale, with the full sale price of the first piece to be sold donated to the Charity. A further 15 per cent of any remaining sales will be donated.

Straffon's art embodies the visual splendour of La Dolce Vita. Set across ten large canvases, these unique mixed-media artworks, take their inspiration from two events - Italy's famous Giro d'Italia cycling road race and the Gran Corsa d'Italia, which follows the route of the famous Giro. Each piece carries an original front page from sport journal La Gazetta dello Sport, some dating back to 1949, set within a mosaic-esque painted background.

The Gran Corsa d'Italia run by The Prostate Cancer Charity, in partnership with Sharp Electronics, offers up to 200 riders the chance to take part in some, or even all of the 2011 Giro d'Italia, and raise funds to improve the lives of men affected by prostate cancer at the same time.  

Accompanied by a pro rider from Rapha Condor Sharp on each stage; the ride offers an achievable glimpse into the world of one of cycling's most historic events, Italy's famous Giro d'Italia. The route, designed to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Italy's unification, sets off from Turin on 29th May, and will follow each of the 21 stages, taking in various highlights - from Sicily's Mt. Etna to the Dolomites.

Mark Bishop, Director of Fundraising for The Prostate Cancer Charity said: "This exhibition is the perfect pre-cursor to what is set to be a truly memorable event. It's fantastic that James is supporting the Charity and the event in such a unique way. Not only are his pieces visually stunning, every one sold will help raise funds to fight prostate cancer. I'm rather tempted myself, so I'd suggest that people take a look before they are all snapped up!"

The Gran Corsa d'Italia ride was conceived by Sharp Europe's Chief Operating Officer and Vice President, Paul Molyneux, who helped raise £80,000 for The Prostate Cancer Charity as part of a 4-man team completing the Race Across America in June 2010. He commented, "The Giro has a real romance, and with this year being the 150th anniversary of Italy's unification, the organisers have chosen a route that takes in all the highlights. What better way to discover the beauty of Italy than through pain and suffering on the Zoncolan!"

Artist, James Straffon said: "Although not quite as challenging as scaling Mount Etna, creating my artworks for the Gran Corsa has been just as rewarding. And with the visually rich heritage of the Giro d'italia, as well as the birthplace of the Renaissance at my disposal, these ten artworks will hopefully provide a broad appeal to both arts and sports aficionados alike."

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in men in the UK. Every year in the UK 37,000 men are diagnosed with the disease. The Gran Corsa d'Italia takes place from the 29 May - 20 June 2011, and there is still a chance to take part in this year's event. Visit www.grancorsa.com for more information.

The Gran Corsa d'Italia exhibition takes place from 18-30 April at The Frameless Gallery, Clerkenwell Green, London. For further information email grancorsa@prostate-cancer.org.uk or telephone 0208 222 7165.