Papa Palmérino Sorgente, the Pope of Montréal
Here's more photos
of him and his art and here he is on YouTube
in action and also on Google Video
. More photos embedded in Flash in the Made in Montréal page
for him. He's a bit dour in those but here he is smiling
, straight out of Pixar's Geri's Game
. I met this guy in the fall of Y2K while visiting “La Ville Aux Cent Clochers” / “The City of a Hundred Belltowers”. Flatluigi's recent post
reminded me of him.
He's a cool, talkative, and cheerful, if not entirely there, artiste
of the grassroots genre. As you can tell by the frame of that first photo the Bedazzler
was made for this man.
It was quite confusing to try to carry on a conversation with him in my limited French until I realized that he didn't speak that language. (Or maybe his accent was so heavy I couldn't understand him.) According to the amusing anecdote on this page
(in French) Papa Palmérino is a Kosovar. Though elsewhere it shows he emigrated to Canada from Italy.
The YT video doesn't really do justice to what it's like being in his little shop, Le Musée de Papa Palmérino, but the Montréal Mirror says it best
If religious collectibles are your thing, this place may be your little slice of heaven. The place is chock-full of Jesuses--statues big and small, crucifixes, key chains, mugs. Seems Papa is quite the Jesus fan, which makes sense, considering he believes himself to be his brother. Ask him to show you framed photos of himself mounted on a cross (I didn't ask if these were for sale). Papa Palmerino sells a wide variety of other religious doo-dads including rosary beads, candles and rings he claims cure arthritis. Even if the ‘Second Coming’ isn't quite the motif you're going for in decorating your house, this place is worth visiting for the browsing and... uh... conversation.
(Not sure if that's clear, but he actually has photos of himself mock-crucified, loincloth and crown of thorns and everything.)
I don't know if he's still truckin' because he was 85 years old in 2003➚
. I guess his shop burned down a couple of months after I met him!
, Jona Pelovska
, seems to have made a documentary about him. Her MySpace page
says “in post-production.”