Saturday, September 12, 2009

Mattotti's ancient creatures

Lorenzo Mattotti is one of Italy's finest and most internationally renowned artists. Starting with comics in the early eighties, during his prolific career he has produced many illustrated books and graphic novels, covers and illustrations for magazines like Glamour, The New Yorker and Vanity Fair, posters and advertising campaigns. Since 1998 he lives in Paris, where his wife Rina Zavagli recently opened the Galerie Martel, an art gallery specialized in contemporary illustration and comic book art.

Il mistero delle Antiche Creature, with texts by Mattotti's longtime friend and collaborator Jerry Kramsky, was published in 2007 by the always interesting and adventurous orecchio acerbo in Italy and Editions du Panama in France. This beautiful children's book tells the story of two curious young friends who venture into an abandoned garden. There, they make friends with the old keeper of a forgotten zoo, who creates paintings of strange ancient animals. The book alternates pages containing the story's text accompanied by black and white line drawings with stunning full-color spreads of the zookeeper's paintings. With a masterful sense of color and composition, Mattotti brings his lost wild creatures to life in a mysterious wonderland of pastel landscapes, from which they emerge to inhabit the world of our imagination.

You can watch a video trailer of the book (in Italian) showing more of its colorful illustrations here. I invite you to also take a look at the other well made children's book trailers available on orecchio acerbo's website and youtube channel.



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