Monday, February 28, 2011

you kiss me once I kiss you twice

"You kiss me once I kiss you twice", sings  Phoebe Cates - Paradise, a song I always liked.
B is for bacio, which is the way we say kiss :) Do you remember your first kiss? I do!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

bubble #4

In these days, digging through my forgotten stuff to my parents' house, I found some old tapes. In the 90s, when there was no internet or mp3s, the only way a teen had to collect music for his/her walkman (yes, once there was an ipod-free world) was buying records or being ready to rec a tape patiently waiting tuned on the radio. Our playlists were made by cutting pieces of music from the various sources and it took so much time. To be honest, it was one of my favourite ways to spend it.
At 15 I was addicted to U2 and my mixtapes were full of them. I had all their vinyls then, one day, I lent some to my bff Irene to be transferred on tapes and never saw them again (precisely: The Joshua Tree, War, Rattle and Hum, The Unforgettable Fire and Achtung Baby. October and Boy are safe in my library, thank goodness). Things that happen! However, I am sure they will come home, some day.
Well, stuck on a magnetic tape, I recovered this gem. It has always been one of my favourites and has an all-power time machine effect that brings me straight to that gorgeous, unforgettable 1993. Enjoy!

U2 - The Unforgettable Fire (1985)

Friday, February 25, 2011

igor and boris

Here's to you two of my three minnows: Igor and Boris. They live in a transilvanian castle in my kitchen, to be more precise, the Young Frankenstein (or Frankenstein Junior, for Italy) castle. Since my room mate and I are addicted to that movie, we named our blackmoor fish after Igor, played by the stunning Marty Feldman: we could not do otherwise, because they are the same, with those bulging eyes! :) (don't tell them, but Igor is my favourite indeed!). He is a sociable fish and comes often near the bowl rim to say hello with his little hump. What hump? :)
Boris, instead, is a goldfish named after the star of an italian hilarious TV serie called, exactly, Boris. Moreover, Boris sounds perfectly transilvanian :) He is, despite himself, the troublesome: in fact, he occasionally dies and resuscitates. The first few times we saw him afloat on his side we worried and were sure he was died in one hour but, unexpectedly, the morning after he was always there, spry as usual. So we got used to this bizzare behaviour!
And you still miss the third fish, the ferocious one who lives alone in another bowl (coming soon).
What could I do, if not draw them? :))
Here they are. For now I sketched only. Stay tuned to see the final result!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

my friends and me

I always loved drawing my friends' puppet version. My school books and diaries were full of vignettes, sketches, strips and what have you. In this old work, it was 2001, you meet (from left above): Ale, Virgi, Sara, Robbi, me, Silvia, Manu, Fra and Manu. When finished, I printed every single character, put it in an Ikea plain frame I decorated differently each and gave it to the matching friend for Christmas :) The original painting is framed under my loft bed in my room.

Technique: gouache, ink.
Suggested soundtrack: Cyndi Lauper - Girls Just Want To Have Fun

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

masters: giacomo balla

As for music, when some artwork catches my attention so much to steal my heart too, it is love forever :) At the Art School, obviously, the Art History was our bread and butter and throughout my life I fell in love with thousands of pictures that sometimes changed my life, suggested my hand and inspired my soul. I consider all this a big part of my fortune that I want to rediscover with you. And also to refresh my memory!

This is the first jewel I want to show you:

Today computers and digital cameras get us used to anything and this could seem a common picture but 20 years ago, when I first saw it, I could not believe my eyes. Think about how could it be when was painted, in 1912! 100 years ago. Just a man, his mind and his hand. Simply sublime. Not a brush stroke out of place: you just can see it move. I have no idea if he used a camera and then copied from a photograph, but anyway for the time it surely was like science fiction.
Chapeau to Giacomo Balla, who was one of one of the leading figures of Futurism and was obsessed by the motion. All futurists were obsessed by dynamism, but I think Balla was the only one who actually caught it. Futurists were a bunch of mad visionaries with megalomaniac tendencies and they were, in fact, fascists. But as talent has no race, colour, substance, frontiers or nation, nor has political orientation. At least for me.
The title of this painting is La Mano del Violinista (the Hand of the Violinist), as you can see :)
It lives at Estorick Collection, London.
Here are many other artworks by Giacomo Balla.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

bubble #3

There are moments in a dj's life that are impossible to forget: the "I just found a treasure" moments.
If you want to know how it feels to be a pirate who just found the biggest treasure of the Seven Seas, become a dj hunting new records! You will sail boundless waters looking for gold glitters on the sea bed and, when you least expect it, you will see a little light calling you from afar! Becoming bigger and brighter and louder and even more exciting :) One of these moments to me was when I found this jewel from 80s italo disco. Strange I did not hear it before 2002, but so it went! Since then, my dj's life has changed: I play it almost every single time, everybody loves it. YOU will love it! I still cannot stop playing it.
Last summer in Berlin, digging in one of my favourite shops in Kastanienallee, I found the 7".
Pure and simple joy.

My Mine - Hypnotic Tango (1983)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

farfalla, episode 3

We left our bicycles run away under the moonlight.

And the moon fades into an ass! Whose is it?
Meanwhile, press play here: Irene Cara - What a feeling

A dancer! She starts to move and then does some steps.

She dances light as buttefly...

But a voice over shouts to her to stop. It seems to belong to a choreographer...

The mystery thickens!

(to be continued...)

Monday, February 14, 2011

alphabet preview!

As some of you already know, I am working on an alphabet. It is a totally independent and self-promotional project. I import the sketch in Illustrator, redraw it and then fine-tune using Photoshop (for the vintage effect). I made it in my mother tongue, so the foreign readers may learn some italian :) As you can see, A is for albero, which is the way we named the tree.

The song for the tree is a popular italian children's ditty from the 70s, that I sang millions of times, its name is Ci vuole un fiore. It sings "to make a tree it takes a flower" and some other cute hippie rhymes about the miracle of nature :) Cute song and happy memories!

farfalla, episode 2

Where were we? :) Let's do a bit of episode one's summary:

Someone was sitting at a table in the dim light

He was drawing something about butterflies and he got an idea!

Later, in the night...

Some bikes were resting near a fence.

What was the connection? 

Suddenly, 3 odd fellows climb over the fence...

...and jump beside the bikes

CLANK! Some nippers cut a chain...

...and some bikes run away in the moonlight.

What is happening here?? :)

Suggested soundtrack:

Queen - Bicycle Race

(to be continued...)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

bubble #2

I am a disco dj, everybody knows. I love synthesizers, I shiver for space sounds, I jump around the dancefloor and shout (I cannot whistle) like a drunk hooligan when I hear a hypnotic bass but my heart belongs to 70s progressive rock.
When I was 16 all my friends were crazy for Take That or Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Hole and all that contemporary cool 90s stuff. I had PFM, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Jethro Tull, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple. My friends teased me indeed, but I did not care at all :) I loved brit pop and some grunge too, but I already had the groupie pop moment of my life when I was 9: I had enough. I needed more. I was very far on my musical path, it was time to rise upstairs :)
I am glad I met prog in that moment of life when emotions are hundredfold and a single chord can blow you away, so it stuck in my mind like fire and every time I put one of my vinyls on the turntable I fly back there, in that huge, faceted, dreamy bubble that prog is to me. Now that I am grown - and my ears are more refined than hungry - I even better see all that beauty and enjoy it all.
In the wake of Poseidon may be my favourite from King Crimson. At the moment it is. Enjoy.

King Crimson - In The Wake Of Poseidon (1970)


What I am saying in english means "Me as well sometimes get pissed off!" - "Winston, bring me a beer" (becksina is the diminutive way I call Becks' beers, my usual drink). Winston is my imaginary butler, something like a crash between MuttleyIgor and Dr. Watson. Whenever I need help, I call Winston: he brings beers, does the dirty work, answers the phone, takes out the garbage, drives the car and writes my gags. I never heard his voice, so I guess he is dumb. Or maybe I forgot to draw his mouth. Anyway, he is much more helpful than it seems.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

bubble #1

Whenever I find a new (or old) song to love, it is like jumping into a bubble and float around. Some bubbles pop soon, some later, some are still floating with me for years. When I am inside the bubble, I cannot stop playing that song and I would share it with the whole world!
Some take root inside me and melt with the feelings of the moment, the memories, the colours, the smells. So it will be enough to play them again to get into the bubble and go back there :)
The highest bubble ever in my life came in 1983. I was 5. I cannot remember when I first heard it on the radio but it was the idol of all the kids at the kindergarden. Patty had an older brother (high school, we did not even know what it was kind of) who got the tape! Holy brother! Some days she could bring it at school, so we played it all the time :)
But where was my tape? I did not even know how it was called, who the hell was the singer? Someone said she was Olivia Newton John... we were addicted to Grease, so any unknown femminine voice was ONJ, no matter anything. But I knew how was her voice and it was totally different. Well, I don't know how, but one day daddy bought a yellow-labelled tape with my song inside! My life changed, that tape went almost demagnetized by my psychosis but I had a bubble which I am still in :)
The highest, brightest, stronger bubble I ever floated in.
Its name is Moonlight Shadow 

Mike Oldfiled - Moonlight Shadow (1983)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


She is Margot. As I said in my first post, she is not a dog: she is a Trudy puppet who did well and so was turned into a puppy.
In this drawing she was 4 months old and in that period, it was the year 2000, lived a while with me, before finding her natural born mommy, Roberlina. She left with the promise to give birth to a green-eyed brown girl just for me. She exactly did it two years later. I am not joking. Her name is Mina, and you will meet her very soon.
As Pongo, she was drawed for an illustration fair. The original drawing is jealously kept safe by Robbi in one of her coffers :)
Technique: graphite and coloured pencils.