Cédric Pignataro, a young float-artist and his team have built a 41.5 m long Niçois dragon, inspired by a famous float from 1905. A Chimera, brought to life by humans pedaling inside its big mouth…
‘A dragon and politicians’. The group in the monster’s jaws are in charge of the Nice Festivities. In other words, Cédric Pignataro and his staff: “Energia Nissarda”. The Babaou monster is like a Tarasque for Nice, its identity, its history, its torments, its dramas, its resilience, sprung from the genius of this young team.
“We were delighted to create it,” explains Johan Garcia, Cédric’s accomplice. “We drew the model and gave it life from A to Z. Which is not insignificant.”
A monster, 41.50 meters long. It will be a float which the public will talk and laugh about for a long time. Firstly, because it was inspired by the famous “Chariot de la Musique”, made by Jarnac in 1905. At the time, he fit a whole orchestra in between its jaws, which were quite enormous at the time, measuring 8 meters tall.
One hundred and twelve years later, the new creation is very strong. A giant, disarticulated serpent, with several modules which will be assembled and pulled by platforms with wheels. Creation of the floats start with a metal structure which is covered with a layer of foam and then a fabric mixed with a strengthening material is later spray-painted with bright colors.
“It’s all about the coating.” The same type of coating they worked with for ‘Néoconzilla’ in 2008. That’s when everyone acknowledged that this artist, fourth generation of float-artists, had evolved and that he would go very far. Maybe because he has the carnival in his blood, in his DNA.
“I was born for it,” he confided to us in 2008. “During family dinners and at least once a day at home, we talked about the carnival, it was obvious that it would lead me here someday.”
Nine years later, the newest piece is divided between Richelmi and Spada hangars. Cédric Pignataro describes the Babaou’s mouth: “Seven meters long. It will open up to 10 meters high and will carry people dressed up as local fishermen, highlighting the heritage and life in Nice. They will pedal to produce energy which will illuminate the inside of the head with LEDs powered by a dynamo machine.”
Energy… “An excellent theme for technique and creativity.”But in fact, all the past themes have inspired this handsome 37-year-old, who is both discreet and enthusiastic, energized by a sense of aestheticism and completion, reflecting a refinement which comes with experience. His float “The Cyclops” (2011) went to the European Museum of Civilization and the Mediterranean in Marseille. His pieces “The Spider” (2013), “The Eurochoucroute” in 2014 with included an eye-catching Merkel, the Big Brother, a disturbing spy from 2016 and many other expressions of gigantism, have proven to the public that Cédric Pignataro is marked by the spirit of innovation, the immensity of his giants and the respect of a job well done.