Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Lorenzo Mattotti

[click the images for links and/or larger versions]

Last year Chris drew my attention to some brush and ink drawings by the Italian artist Lorenzo Mattotti, thinking they resembled some of my own work. Intrigued, I ordered a copy of one of the few of his comics available in translation, Fires.

A naval officer, Lieutenant Absinthe, is haunted by strange visions concerning the island off which his battleship is anchored, and these have violent consequences. But Fires is all about the visuals rather than any structured narrative. I'm not entirely convinced by some of Mattotti's more mannered, vaguely Futurist-looking drawing, but his use of colour is outstanding. Mattotti cites Werner Herzog and Andrei Tarkovsky as influences, and I can certainly see the connection. Parts of Fires are slightly reminiscent of Tarkovsky's Stalker.

"When you see a film by Tarkovsky or Herzog - the green, the leaves, the clouds - you can't believe it. How can you explain these things in a comic? Is it possible? That was the challenge."

More Mattotti:

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