"Manichini" by Manfredo Acerbo 1977
I grew up in Italy,studying art there... and I would imagine that I am very influenced by the artwork and artists I knew and saw in my travels through Europe as a child and later as an art student and working artist. I attended the Rome Academy of Fine Art as a young 17year old,surrounded by artists from around the world who were there as post graduate workers,all educated in Fine Art. I was an immature teenager, whom the board at the Academy thought had some talent and promise. I always wonder what they would think today if they saw my work and usual subject matter. I also spent several years in a Roman art school [ENALC] studying advertising art.
My mentor, during this time, was one of my professors, a teacher and also a celebrity in his own right. Manfredo Acerbo was a well-known poster designer.Those days in Italy the major advertising medium was posters...plastered all around the cities and towns.
Movies,cookware, tomato sauce, aperitifs....all advertised on posters. Manfredo was one of the famous designers of posters...did a lot of them for the spaghetti western movies that were so popular that that time. But he was also a fine artist and a good friend of the famous painter Giorgio Morandi, who is well know for his still-life work. I have always loved Morandi's simple design and so Italian palette. I feel close to them both.
The reason I am rambling on about this is that today, the words spoken to me by Acerbo, the words that I will always keep as my reason for doing what I do.....has been speaking to me much! Acerbo advised me, one day after a grueling painting session with a 'nasty" model....."Kati [that was how he pronounced my name] do not listen to this bitter critic ....but always draw, paint from your heart.The model was upset with your work because you captured her soul and she didn't like what you saw. Never loose that ability you have to capture the real subject.You have your own style and never let it be influenced by another artist, by teachers,or critics.STAY TRUE TO YOUR SELF"
Those words have become my mantra of sorts.....I only hope that I can live up to his expectations of my artistic abilities......it all seems like yesterday and yet so far far away.