I love Andrea Mancini

By Michaela Doonan and Elena DeGeneste
Photo by Lisa Proteau 

Arts and Places: From Renaissance Florence to the Contemporary Metropolis students let us in on Andrea Mancini’s talent and inspiration. 

Local Florentine Andrea Mancini is the featured artist for TuttoTuscana 2018, this year dedicated to the 1960’s. Mancini’s artwork is specific to watercolors, although he is experienced in other media. We met him on a sunny morning in the mixed media studios of FUA, where he teaches and delights his students with his passion and expertise. As he told us, he attended the Florence School of Fine Arts, studying animation and visual art. A big inspiration for him is American Milton Glaser. In fact, this is the reason he went to the Big Apple in the 80’s to go study with the creator of the iconic “I love NY”, and specialize in graphic design. The inspiration for his work has also come from Italian artistic tradition, Florence, and the way of living of its people, made iconic by the movie La Dolce Vita (directed by Federico Fellini, 1960.) He explains that La Dolce Vita is not only a film, but a lifestyle that was adapted and yearned for. The film is greatly responsible for shaping pop culture in Italy, and bridging the culture of Italy and the US during the 1960s. Furthermore, in 1964, the International Art Event of the Venice Biennale showcased Italian and American pop artists together, and awarded Robert Rauschenberg with the first prize. To pay homage to this idyllic moment and relationship between the two countries, Andrea Mancini decided to work on the movie La Dolce Vita for the exhibition taking place in New York.

The works that Andrea Mancini will present highlight the most iconic scenes of the film and are captured in such an elegant way. While showing his watercolor artwork to us, Mancini explains his method of working: he must plan ahead before he starts his work, but once he begins, the process is quite quick. For example, he must decide where the light is in his piece, so to exploit the natural white of the paper, and then creates shadows accordingly. He states that he never adds white pigment to his work since he only uses the color of the paper. Like the photography of La Dolce Vita, the majority of Mancini’s works for the exhibition at TuttoTuscana 2018 is black and white with pops of color to accentuate the mood of the picture. He uses red to symbolize the passion of a kissing scene between the two protagonists of the movie.

Although Mancini is quite humble, when he talks about his works, you feel a sense of accomplishment and the excitement he possesses. Having been an artist for many years, Mancini has had time to perfect his craft. Throughout his life as an artist, Mancini has been influenced by those who have come before him, as well as by contemporary movies, photography, and advertising. His language and style are contemporary, but the Renaissance as a source of inspiration for his undeniable style remains vital.

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