In "The Encyclopedia of Impossible Animals" Mazzoni creates surreal art from Italian culture

Photograph via Marco Mazzoni

With butterflies accentuating an ominous, eyeless face, Marco Mazzoni shows a very prominent artistic style and mastery of pencil. The butterflies and flowers in his pieces were the recent completed series in the Roq La Rue gallery in Seattle, but the most up-to-date series Mazzoni began is called “The Encyclopedia of Impossible Animals” that flaunts animals morphing into obscure creatures.

Mazzoni exemplifies perfection in the execution of his work. Each piece flows beautifully with warm browns and neutral yellows, using reds and blues for emphasis on certain parts. In “The Songwriter,” Mazzoni illustrates a bird with several strings hanging from its mouth. He uses blue to bring attention to the bird’s wing and uses red to draw the eye to the feathers on the top of its head. The application of detail in every piece is incredible.

An experienced artist is the only artist that is able to demonstrate the amount of detail in these pieces; Mazzoni has experience. He is selective of his medium and paper.  

 “I work exclusively with… only one kind of pencil [Faber Castell Polychromos] and only one kind of paper [Fabriano F4 smooth, 400g]” he tells writer Megan Wolfe.

With his tools in hand, Mazzoni derives his art from Italian culture and fairy tales.  Italian tales, passed on orally through storytellers, drive him.

 “I have simply taken the ancient tales from Italy and Italian culture, and transferred them onto paper. We have a lot of narrations about witches, women and plants.” Mazzoni said.

The “cogas” and “brujas” from Italian bedtime stories always have the power to change the life of men. Mazzoni does a beautiful job in capturing the essence of these tales on paper in his art. Maintaining its beauty, this series is still under construction and the art evolves in every piece. He says that he sees every day as a new one and that tomorrows activities are unknown. Soon fantasy will flourish in Mazzoni’s home of Milan.

- Cole Cazort, Photo Editor

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