Franco Matticchio’s women’s faces are serious and enigmatic, he draws them out of the blue on every piece of paper he comes across, from a letter envelope to the page of a book or the “The New Yorker”.
They are the faces he encounters on the street, at the station, that he observes in his daily life and that accumulate and overlap in his personal visual imagination. Matticchio’s attention is captured by women of inconspicuous beauty, whose impassive expressions are united by a certain intensity and pride in their gaze. Over the years, the illustrator has continued to return to this inexhaustible subject, using every medium: pastels, watercolours, acrylics or even simply an Indian ink pen or pencil, always placing these figures against neutral backgrounds or in bare environments without temporal references, succeeding in subtraction to heighten the intimacy of the scenes and create suspended and rarefied atmospheres.
Over time, Matticchio has amassed a veritable collection of female faces, almost never made on commission and mostly unpublished: a conspicuous body of drawings in which one can find the unmistakable style of the illustrator but at the same time find it hard to recognise that surreal and ironic vein that is one of his main distinguishing features. In fact, when Matticchio finds himself drawing a woman’s face, he only acts as a fascinated and discreet observer of the profound and mysterious complexity of the female soul.
The book, edited by Melania Gazzotti, is accompanied by an unpublished text by Ugo Cornia.
Edited by Melania Gazzotti
Texts by Ugo Cornia, Melania Gazzotti and Rosanna Padrini Dolcini
Book design by Bunker
13.5 × 19 cm
First published July 2019