28 January 2014
Visionary Dictionary: Beppe Giacobbe from A to Z is one of those books that are hard to put down. After enjoying one page, you can’t help turning to the next one to be enchanted by a new visual delight. Beppe Giacobbe’s illustrations have the power of haiku, they go right to the heart of things. In his images the atmosphere is rarefied (you can see Carrà in them, but Metaphysical painting, Surrealism and the lesson of Saul Steinberg are all there too). The line is clean, the palette wavers between hunter green, powder blue and a myriad shades of sand. The result is a universe made up of little crocodiles swimming in cups of tea, family portraits on a plate (along with a knife and fork to taste the “delicious relatives”), barbed-wire couches, suitcases made of clouds, desks containing magic mountains. The volume, organized as a visual dictionary, includes contributions from friends and collaborators. Among them, the writer Edgardo Franzosini looks back at their childhood, spent in the district of Porta Venezia, Milan, “a working-class neighborhood, where the prostitutes walked the streets in slippers.” Published by Lazy Dog.