Embracing again: the artwork of the 36th Venice Critics’ Week


«We bear on our bodies the scars of the pandemic that has forced us to distance and isolate ourselves, to see others as something to keep away in order to keep safe. We emptied communal spaces, we shut ourselves inside our homes and we ventured out with masks covering half our faces, eyes to the ground, ashamed to show fear. We created our own islands to protect ourselves and to allow those tirelessly working on a cure to succeed.

And now that one step at a time, we are slowly reconquering all that once seemed obvious and taken for granted, we decided to celebrate the most precious thing we were losing while drifting apart: coming together, finding each other, erasing distances and embracing again.

To live and rejoice together once more, reclaiming our bodies, our internal and external spaces, starting with the screening room as celebrated in this image, acknowledging it as an absolute intersection of emotions and experiences. This illustration – resulting from a photograph that captured a moment of pure happiness taken in our beloved Sala Perla in Venice – encapsulates our desire to go back to experience cinema as a moment of sharing and synergy among people. We chose to use mainly white as it is the colour of balance, of life, of the energy that (re)unites all the others; we sculpted it by tracing open and floating lines to draw tightly embraced figures, giving them form with meshes and digital brushes, so as to bring together the worlds that belong to us: photography, illustration, graphics and images.» Emiliano, Fabrizio and Mauro 

Emiliano Mammucari is a cartoonist, writer and illustrator. He began his career in 1998 with the graphic novel Povero Pinocchio, published by Montego, the publishing house he helped to create. In 2013 he released Orfani, Sergio Bonelli Editore’s first monthly colour series, later published worldwide. For the 2017 Orfani: Terra, he also wrote the story. He worked on the drawings for La nuova alba dei morti viventi, a reimagining of Dylan Dog’s first famous publication. In 2018 he published the book Lezioni spirituali per giovani fumettari. In 2020 he drew Zardo, the “rediscovered” graphic novel written by Dylan Dog’s father Tiziano Sclavi.

Mauro Uzzeo has been working with comics, cinema and television for many years now. He scripted the adventures of Dylan Dog, Orfani and Zagor. Together with Giovanni Masi he created Il Confine, a multi-media narrative universe, and they also scripted together Flash Vs. Zagor. He was head director of the creative department of Rainbow CGI and is the right arm of Iginio Straffi in the creation of the Winx Club cartoons. He worked on the special effects of L’ultimo terrestre by Gipi, he directed the animated credits of Fausto Brizzi’s Com’e bello far l’amore, wrote the script for Monolith and Se mi vuoi bene, the latter by Fausto Brizzi with whom he co-wrote the film Bla Bla baby. He scripted the film Dampyr and doubled as a creative producer for the animated series Dragonero. Uzzeo collaborated with Italy’s Department for Equal Opportunities for several campaigns supporting women victims of violence. He participated in the biggest collective exhibition of cartoonists “1938/2018 Eighty years from Italy’s racials laws”. Together with Daniele Bonomo, Paolo Campana, Stefano Piccolu and Fabrizio Verrocchi creates the ARF!, a cartoon festival that in 2020 published Come Vite Sistanti, a collective work of over eighty among the most important italian cartoonists. Throughout the years his works have been awarded at the Future Film Festival, Castelli Animati Lamezia Film Festival and Animago. As recognition of his activities as “cultural agitator”, he received in 2016 the Andrea Pazienza award.

Fabrizio Verrocchi started off as character designer for one of the main Italian software houses in 1999 and then moved on to work as graphic designer and art director, advertising and fashion (BCVa, Sixty Group, Fendi), web and mobile UI/UX design (Agid – Agenzia per l’Italia Digitale, Maiora Labs, RedBit Games, SciamLab) and publishing, mainly comics (Arancia Studio, BAO Publishing, Disney, Coconino-Fandango, Sergio Bonelli Editore, Star Comics). He is the coordinator of the Graphic Design course, department of Comics and Illustration at the RUFA – Rome University of Fine Arts. In 2015 with Stefano Piccoli, Mauro Uzzeo, Daniele Bonomo and Paolo Campana founded ARF! Festival di Storie, Segni & Disegni, Rome’s comics festival, where he is in charge of brand identity and communication.

Download the artwork: click here.

36 SIC Artwork