My critics pieces
Veronica Picelli - Pixel, manga and Rock'n'roll by Guia Cortassa
It was 1814 when the Japanese painter Hokusai, in order to define his ironic and free drawings, coined the term Manga. The new word was generated by the union of “man”, funny, and “ga”, image, and meant an out-and-out pictorial genre, made of extravagant and vane sketches, of much older origin – even dating back to 1200 – but never codified before.
A meaning postponing hardly traceable, and the word “Manga” soon becomes synonymous of “comics”, acquiring a sinaesthetic value, adding to the image code the series and timing one and thus becoming “Sequential art”, a definition created by Will Eisner in 1985.
Veronica Picelli regains, with her pictures, a centenary tradition: by taking possession of the typical stylistic methods of the contemporary manga, she gets the Japanese comics back to their origins, to that waving painting which made master Hokusai immortal. The heroines of the shojo manga, attractive Nipponic young girls, queens of a light literature genre well defined in the comics universe, become the protagonist of a new painting, icons locked up in a macro-pixel cage, floating behind the surface studded with geometrical forms drawing their physiognomy, leading the image to its extreme stylization, and finding again the classicism of the slow mosaic composition. Smashing the boundaries of millenary and remote traditions, Japanese art and Mediterranean technique combine between them, in a fresh and contemporary cross-over.
Not only the young shojo, but also the puppets of famous Mecka, robot star of renowned Anime – or cartoons, if you prefer. The Mecha – Anglophone translations of the Japanese term – break the cells of the regular faceting to appear further, go beyond the drawing border, strong with their mechanical power, to reach and save us.
What you see on Veronica Picelli’s canvas are generation symbols: whoever was a child in the 80’s cannot but recognize the heroes of his childhood, and the very famous icons marking that decade.
The Big Babol, omnipresent in each and every rucksack, enjoying great favour in the pictures of the young painter, fragmented in the checkerwork typical of her language, as well as the bitten fruit of Apple Computer, already become one of the stereotypes of the logotyping, or the coloured Mentos candies, cult emblems thanks to the tribute given them by Foo Fighters.
By putting together the typical chromatism of the Venetian painters, the fine drawing of the Tuscan school and adjusting the tradition of the Italian renaissance art tradition to the signs of contemporariness, Veronica makes the painting up-to-date and fashionable, using the canvas like a monitor, melting optical and pixel art, thus creating a new classic. The precise and clean colour, the chiaroscuro created with depth play of the geometric grid, the regular mark make of Veronica Picelli the flag carrier of a new possible Italian art: made of a renewed representation not stale, of a great refinement and technical skill, but, above all, able to depend upon the pictorial tradition without denying an eye for the actual time.
This way, the heroic women of the classic literary tradition, strong and responsible for their own destiny, ready to fight against the averse fate, put on the look of the comics Japanese divas, to turn again into models of the present. Medea, the vengeful wife, Circe, the tempting enchantress, mischievous and stylish, bewitch, charming and magnetic as well as merciless and determined. And they open the way to all the fighting women of the new Era. Women who make of passion, life, music, art and struggle their own existence; who never stop believing in what they do, ready to sacrifice themselves for their ideals, never willing to hang their heads. Young, beautiful and smart. Irresistible. Like Veronica Picelli.