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Mattotti's first Exhibition opens in NYC

Alexandra M. Fanelli (February 09, 2018)
Lorenzo Mattotti’s vibrant and colorful covers for The New Yorker are now on view in an exhibition at the Italian Cultural Institute, which runs from February 6th through March 8th. 

On February 6th, the Italian Cultural Institute hosted the Opening Reception of a remarkable new exhibition "Lorenzo Mattotti. Covers for The New Yorker" which pays homage to the internationally esteemed Italian illustrator and comic artist Lorenzo Mattotti.

Curated by Melania Gazzotti, the exhibition features the original pastels created by the artist for 32 covers of The New Yorker as well as a selection of unpublished sketches and drawings, produced over the last twenty years.

The Opening was celebrated with a glass of Prosecco Doc and was attended by Francesco Genuardi, the Consul General of Italy in New York, Giorgio Van Straten, the director of Italian Cultural Institute, Art Spiegelman, the American cartoonist editor, and comics advocate, and Françoise Mouly, art editor at The New Yorker since 1993 amongst others.

The Exhibition

Displayed in the galleries of the former colonial revival William Sloane mansion, Mattotti’s drawings are grouped in 3 major series: The New Yorker covers, in the first floor gallery, an assortment preparatory sketches and a selection of illustrations for articles on fashion, culture and current affairs on the second floor.

The compilation of the artist’s drawings are a dazzling explosion of bright colors and encapsulate New York’s culture and its most representative scenes.The works are a testament to the great versatility of the artist as well as his creative talent.

“All of Mattotti’s images pack the graphic punch of a poster by expressing a strong idea through a perfectly poised composition” writes Françoise Mouly in an article.

The cover from the November 2010 issue of the magazine, “Rite of Fall,” portrays a group of runners racing the iconic New York City Marathon with the city skyline in the background. This image, in fact, so emblematic of New York City, was chosen as the cover for the exhibition catalogue published by #logosedizioni.

“I often marvel at how an Italian artist who lives in Paris is able to capture the spirit of the world’s most diverse city so perfectly.” stated Mouly in her opening remarks.

About the Artist

Born in Brescia, Italy, Mattotti, attended the Faculty of Architecture in Venice. He began his career as comic artist in the late 1970s. He now lives in Paris.

He earned his fame with his graphic novel “Fires,” a supernatural tale which was published in 1985 and is now a milestone in the history of comics. 

As an illustrator, Mattotti was present in publicantions like Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, The New Yorker, Le Monde, in as well as in classics, such as Pinocchio, Hansel and Gretel.  In 2003 he received the Eisner Award for his version of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

Amongst the elements that influenced Mattotti as an artist, Italy and music play an important role. “My roots lie in Italy and it certainly inspires me. I believe that in my drawings there is all the Italian painting culture. I have always loved the great Italians masters such as Giotto, Piero della Francesca, Paolo Uccello, the Metaphysical paintings and so on. Also the colors and the landscapes are inspired by Italian landscapes and scenery. I am not able to draw Paris even though I have been living there for 20 years.” Mattotti told us in an interview. “Much of my work is also influenced by music, I can’t draw without music. I grew up in a period of revolutionary music, and most of the images I saw came from the music album covers” he added.