Home Magazine The Colouring Book: How to Survive by playing with Art!

In dark times we should dream with open eyes...

We all are in the same boat. No sentence can be more self-referential than this one. And this time it doesn’t come from a Marina Abramovic quotation for a universal message about concepts as equality. This time we really are in the same boat, in the same situation, as Niccolò Moronato drawing clarifies with his “Titanic”, or as painter Thomas Braida would say through his ironic and strident drawing where, in the middle of a dreamlike forest full of sunshine, enthusiastic animals and happiness, the word “cacca”, that in Italian means “shit”, come from trees branches.

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Maurizio Cattelan, L.O.V.E. #001. Courtesy Milano Art guide


That’s one of the reasons why The Colouring Book was born on the very first day of quarantine in Italy, which then spread out to more European countries as Spain, further to the United States. As for the book itself, Curator Rossella Farinotti and Gianmaria Biancuzzi, founder of the web platform Milano Art Guide, well known because of its interesting and vivid Instagram page, from a Saturday afternoon decided to call and reach out many artists all over the world, starting from their own country, Italy, asking them to send a b/w drawing via email, to start a Colouring Book. So the Colouring Book spread and grew day by day, as for the selection too was spreading itself through word of mouth and a lively web that reached almost 250 artists. Every day, for the whole quarantine period, few drawings are uploaded so that people from their home can print them, or use their tablets, and color them together with their family members. 



From left to right: Nana WOLKE, Equs Feminus XI (final scene), #0032; Goldschmied & Chiari, Survival is a full-time Job, #0089. Courtesy Milano Art guide


Carlo Alberto Rastelli, TheWhiteStripes, #0115. Courtesy Milano Art guide





From left to right: Davide Serpetti, Clash of Jam. The Colouring Book Version, #0189; Nicolò Baraggioli, Yellow Climax, #0031. Courtesy Milano Art guide

In this way, the artist community shows its own point of view about this dramatic situation we all are in. Each one in a very deep and personal way. Spanish painter Albert Pinya underlines the importance of some topics that we have to forget or to improve such as “War Plants Water Revolution”. Shanti Ranchetti and Andy Prisney illustrators, who in this drawing collection, tell us about a renaissance and the importance of staying home. Venetian visual artist Maria Morganti is suggesting a sort of calendar to fill to pass the time; Goldschmied & Chiari gave us an idea to survive, since “Survival is a full-time job”; Nathalie Du Pasquier one of her famous shape. The great Italian generation from the 90s as Maurizio Cattelan, Vanessa Beecroft, Mario Airò, Massimo Bartolini, Vedovamazzei, Lorenzo Scotto di Luzio, or younger as Ettore Favini, Giuseppe Stampone, Alessandro Piangiamore, Sagg Napoli are claiming their sometimes political, other times cynical or ironic message. And then artists whose roots are deeply connected to their mother country Iran such as Moshen Baghernejad, Farhad Orouji or Nazafarin Lotfi are pointing at the situation using nature imaginary or ornaments from their culture. American artists as Tony Lewis, Adam Gordon, Trisha Baga, Jake Troyli, the British Jonathan Monk, who participated with a refined drawing dedicated, to a detail from a Giulio Paolini sculpture, painters and visual artists from East Europe as Nana Wolke and Tanya Posternak, the Swiss Michael Fliri and the young Brazilian Francesco Joao send a serene and simple message to be positive. 

So, as Nico Vascellari said and believes: “In dark times we should dream with open eyes”.

Let’s do that. And let’s color and play with the Colouring Book

Cover image: Nico Vascellari, #0003. Courtesy Milano Art guide

Written by Rossella Farinotti

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