The man at the window

Lorenzo Mattotti
Publishing house:
Logos Editions
Date of publication:

Lorenzo Mattotti’s first graphic novel is now republished by #logosedizioni as the start of a publishing journey that re-presents the artistic evolution of the most beloved of Italian illustrators in a new guise. A novel made of words and black-and-white images that appear evanescent and evocative, creating spaces to be filled. The protagonist of the story is a sculptor with “soft” eyes and an elusive personality; from his rooftop window he observes the small universe of the changing city, imagining other lights and distant everyday life. His life is intertwined with that of a series of characters who offer him an opportunity to think and rethink. Prominent among them are three female figures: Irene, the ex-wife to whom he is bound by a tender and unresolved relationship; Aurora, a chance meeting culminating in a moment of passion; and the botanist Myriad, who devotes herself to her greenhouse while waiting to receive the plants her beloved sends her from his travels. Among the male characters are the philosopher friend confined to a hospital bed, the “ripper” who, unable to sustain the impact of the works of art, feels the urge to destroy them, the professor who, out of cowardice, shuns Myriad’s affection. The exploration of these relationships develops side by side with the theme of artistic creation, which, like human relationships, serves not to “bring forth more solidity or other security, but so that more things may brush against each other, and barely rub against each other to create more.” All these tensions take shape in the poetic dialogues signed by Lilia Ambrosi and in the images in which the rarefied fine-pen marks of the figures coexist with accurately rendered urban geometries, while the stroke crumbles, even in the architecture, under the pressure of atmospheric perturbations, and deflagrates in the sequences devoted to nightmares, echoing the style of Jackson Pollock and heralding the Mattotti of Hansel & Gretel and Oltremai.