Embrace Project


The details of the project

Cesare Catania descrive il progetto dell'Abbraccio al Palazzo Pirelli della Regione Lombardia (2022)

2015 - The First Embrace

In 2015 Cesare Catania painted the first version of the Embrace, a sketch made with wax crayon on paper and which is inspired by the embrace of a man and a woman.

2016 - The First Embrace Exhibition

In 2016 The Embrace B Version was exhibited to the public for the first time on 13 October 2016, at the Istituto Elvetico in Lugano, during the week of the Italian language in the world. An important message, especially due to the fact that in addition to being presented at the Lugano training institute, it is also linked to an international Italy-Switzerland context. The international week of the Italian language is an event of the highest caliber: supported by the High Patronage of the President of the Republic, by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Embassies of the Swiss Confederation and by the Italian Consulate
Locandina esposizione dell'Abbraccio all'Istituto Elvetico di Lugano (2016)

Presentation of the Embrace Painting in Lugano in October 2016

Embrace Painting B Version (255x160cm)

Detail of the Embrace B Version. Oil on canvas - 2016

Detail oil on canvas with palette knife

L'Abbraccio al Museo della Villa Reale di Monza

The Other Official Exhibitions of Embrace

Among the other official exhibitions we remember the one at the Museo della Villa Reale in Monza (2019).

2022 - The Official Presentation

The Embrace Project is officially presented on November 17, 2022 at Palazzo Pirelli under the patronage of the Presidency of the Council of the Lombardy Region.
Cesare Catania descrive il progetto dell'Abbraccio al Palazzo Pirelli della Regione Lombardia (2022)

"A hug is often worth more than 1000 words... - as Cesare Catania explains - there are no cold or warm hugs, there are no true or false hugs, there are no hugs of war or peace.... The hug It's universal. When two people hug each other, within whatever culture they do it, they want to express only one thing: love regardless of their age, the color of their skin and their cultural differences." This is the meaning that Cesare Catania wants to give to his painting and to the day dedicated entirely to the Embrace.

Embrace Painting B Version (255x160cm)

Presentazione del Porgetto dell'Abbraccio al Palazzo Pirelli di Milano (2022)

Embrace Painting B Version (255x160cm)


History of Embrace Project: From 25 March to 23 April 2023, the first institutional exhibition dedicated to the Embrace Project was presented at the Museum of Poetry in Piacenza, which at the same time wanted to support literature and poetry. “When Art envelops Words”: this is the title of the Contemporary Art exhibition set up in Piacenza, and sponsored among other things by the World Secretariat for the Nobel Peace Prize winners, in collaboration with Bipa (Italian Biennial of Poetry between the Arts), under the patronage of the Emilia Romagna Region.

“The Embrace” B Version during the exhibition at the Poetry Museum of Piacenza

Il Progetto dell'Abbraccio a Times Square (NYC)

2023 - Presentation of the project in NYC

During NFTNYC2023, Cesare Catania presents his first NFT linked to Hug and his Hug Project to the public of the American metropolis. The context is that of digital art and Catania, considered by the press to be one of the most authoritative digital artists, presents at the American conference the social value of his Embrace project connected to art, both traditional and digital.


From 30 June to 24 August 2023 the Embrace Project touched the city of Venice, thanks to a special Artist Residency of Cesare Catania himself at the historic Palazzo Donà dalle Rose, where the Foundation of the same name is located.

In addition to the Residency – which concluded with the creation of a capsule collection dedicated to the Serenissima – Catania also brought to the Lagoon for the first time a large personal retrospective dedicated both to the theme of the Embrace and to other productions created during his career as an artist.

2023 - Milan Steam Factory

Within the personal exhibition entitled "Unpublished Sketches: where Inspiration is Born", the Italian artist exhibits a section entirely dedicated to the Embrace, precisely to underline the importance of the Project within his poetics and his art Contemporary.

The Artistic Background

Cesare Catania’s Abbracci express the fusion of informal art, cubism, abstract art, geometric sculpture and digital art. The essence of the project can be found in the message that these works of art want to convey, regardless of the technique used by the Italian artist.

“L’Abbraccio” B Version


“The Embrace (B Version)”: now very famous oil painting on canvas by the artist Cesare Catania, created in 2016 and depicting in the strict sense the embrace between a man and a woman, in the broad sense the embrace between two people of different colors. The same tapestry was exhibited on 13 October 2016 at the Swiss Institute of Lugano during the International Week of Italian Culture and Language, an event sponsored by the Embassies of the Swiss Confederation, the Presidency of the Italian Republic, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Italian consulate. In 2019 this impressive tapestry was also hosted at the Museum of the Villa Reale in Monza (Italy)


It is a work of art that has a very specific history and that was born from an equally clear vision of Cesare Catania, intent on giving voice to his dreams and his desire to create something unique in the world to celebrate the importance and the beauty of being united, of all being part of a single great project in which we respect and share. The Embrace Project was therefore born from this desire and this vision, a project in which art is no longer the artist’s ultimate goal but rather the means to give good.


Precisely because of the strength of the message that the Italian artist and his social and democratic art transmit, Cesare Catania is appointed the only World Ambassador of the International Hug Day for the year 2023, a name that comes directly from the American association of the “National Hugging Day”, founded by the American Reverend Kevin Zaborney in 1986. Cesare Catania wanted to underline how the message against discrimination and injustice is the basis of the socio-cultural artistic project called the Hug Project.

In addition to having found the support of institutions and Embassies, the project has obtained prestigious patronage such as that of the World Secretariat of the Nobel Peace Prize winners, given in Catania starting from the exhibition set up in Piacenza at the Museum of Poetry.

The Awards
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