I entered in the drawings…
Ten years, albeit quickly passed, are always a good goal for a competition and are also a stage that lends itself well to some critical consideration.
Also, because examining the watermark it is still possible to read some trends on how things are going in the field of illustration. For example, negatively, a sort of creative constipation that leads to arranging few signs and colors on the sheet which is something very distant and different from the difficult art of taking off and taking off again or the return to complacent excesses of experimentalism. All things maybe generous and sincere and sometimes valuable but that have little or nothing to do with the ancient art of illustrating and which create misunderstandings and confusion around the relationship between the latter and contemporary artistic expressions.
In other words, we remain far from what is the essence and true raison d'être of the "book decoration”: the story, the narration. And, again, the essential dialectical relationship between the story and the figures. For this reason, and it is still a nice surprise, I can only be admired and be amazed at the quality of the authors that, as a jury, we gradually identified and at the road they have independently made once they have completed their master's degree. Prestigious awards, collaborations with important magazines, a creative fervor that extends to other fields of the applied arts, and, of course, to picture books. At the same time it is important to see how these first ten names implicitly dialogue closely with each other, through their plates, in a close confrontation of signs, languages, techniques, experiences, sources of inspiration. Years ago, leafing through vintage year's issues of "La Lettura" I discovered, in the April 1935 issue, an article by Enrico Sacchetti dedicated to the great Gustave Doré.
Sacchetti was one of the most important Italian illustrators of the first half of the 20th century and in this contribution, in addition to the finesse of the critical investigation, he revealed all his affection and esteem for Doré. A fascination born during his childhood when at home he discovered a book that the family had hidden from him: the "Gargantua and Pantagruel" by Rabelais . “And you don’t have to believe - he writes - that I was taken by the fairy tale, the paradoxical mystery of that enormous cup and their gigantic scion intrigued me moderately. What took me immediately was the environment: the medieval village, the wood, the filthy room, the sumptuous hall of the castle, the basement, the desolate plain".
And for him to dwell on the engraved plates, tackling even the most "terrible" or "repugnant" one, it had “the sour taste of a beautiful and risky adventure.
Because I “entered Doré's drawings”. And, then, what better praise around the power of illustration and, at the same time, what better guide and comfort for a young illustrator?