Romeo & Juliet

Lorenzo Mattotti
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At the tip of a pencil, Lorenzo Mattotti interprets the story of the two young people who have embodied the very essence of love for centuries, choosing not to recount its tragedy in order to imagine their gestures, jokes and expressions and offer the lovers a happy ending.

The light veil of an alcove – or perhaps a silk curtain, as a subtle theatrical reference – rises to reveal a boy and a girl who, clasped to each other, smile, take hands, kiss and return to look at each other, to hold each other, until they are overwhelmed by passion. Completely immersed in each other, they do not care about their surroundings, but appear as if suspended in a dimension of two, separated from reality, in an atmosphere saturated with sweetness and desire. In contrast, the images that frame them as in a close-up invite us to spy on them (as if we were a third wheel), following them from the intimacy of the bedroom to stolen embraces in palace halls and gardens. Their gestures, their attitudes, taken care of in every nuance, in every minute detail, will lead each of us to empathize or to remember, or perhaps to dream. All this might make one think of any couple, but the clothes they wear and the quickly splashed furnishings bring us back to two ancient lovers, who nevertheless still embody in our imagination the very essence of love.

Interpreting the famous story of Romeo and Juliet, made immortal by William Shakespeare, Lorenzo Mattotti chooses not to tell the whole story but to explore it spontaneously, forgoing the tragic conclusion to allow the two lovers to realize their dream. Thanks to Romeo and Juliet, the author can return to explore what, in his words, is “the most important subject in life”: the magical moment of exploring the other. It can go back to the two boys who are the main characters in The Room (#logoseditions, 2010) and Rooms (#logoseditions, 2016), to their pure, direct, spontaneous love. The two young people then intent on discovering each other for the first time have now become two souls who have known each other for a long time and who, looking at each other, recognize each other. Thinking back to the wonderful costumes made by Danilo Donati for Zeffirelli’s film adaptation, Mattotti decided to clothe the couple in sumptuous period clothing so as to offer, along with the furnishings, a spatiotemporal framing to his story in images. And it is precisely his choice of costume design that leads him to forgo color to avert the risk of falling into the trap of frivolous elegance and mannerism. Thus the artist takes up the style he had already experimented with in the notebook The Room to improvise and capture, at the point of a pencil, the movements, jokes and expressions that come to his mind as he thinks back to the two former lovers, united by a feeling so strong that it fears no obstacle.

With that page left blank between tables inviting you to write down your thoughts, the book is a perfect gift with which to make your loved one happy on Valentine’s Day, an anniversary, or any other time, because love should be celebrated every day. Or a gift for oneself to continue or start dreaming again.