Friday, July 30, 2010

Paper View (4): Mattotti


In the Paper View series we watch people draw. Today, we’ve got a big shot: Italian maestro of comics Lorenzo Mattotti!

I’m a big fan of Mattotti. I love his color work (mostly crayons and pastels) but every now and again he goes completely black and white. Some of his very best comics he made like that (the somewhat under-appreciated “Stigmates” for instance), and in this video he once again goes for the starkest black on white.

The clip is in French (with Spanish subtitles),so you already have two shots at understanding Mr Mattotti. If that doesn’t help you, I’m adding a few sentences here, with the highlights of what he has to say…

The New Yorker magazine had asked several people for an illustration for the “Hansel and Grethel” fairytale. These would be presented at an exhibition in a New York gallery.

“Drawing in black and white requires for the artist to be very concentrated to see what’s going on in the drawing.” says Mattotti. “It is very direct, there is only room for the very essence of the drawing. And with these signs and marks, what interests me most is the storytelling, the evocation of a story through the drawing.”

“Hansel and Grethel” has always been one of the fairytales that scared Mattotti the most when he was still a child, but being scared is not something he thinks is bad for children. In fact, he thinks children quite like to be scared of things they see in stories, it fascinates them to be confronted with mystery and fear on paper.

“And anyway,” says Mattotti,”I didn’t make this drawing for children. I made it for myself. For who I was, as a child.”



Find the official Mattotti website here.

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