Monday 2:30 pm-8 pm / Tuesday-Friday 10 am-8 pm / Saturday 10 am-7 pm9
In order to become a poster artist for the cinema, “you have to be certain that you are naturally inclined to be a painter; in other words, that you possess a talent for drawing, a sense of colour, imagination, and an understanding of what is ‘beautiful’. […] Then, as a child (and throughout your life) you must start to fill your eyes and your soul with everything to be found in the wonderful natural order of things, or in the greatest works of the artists of the past. […] The film poster artist, in particular, must combine all the qualities of a painter, portrait artist, illustrator, decorator […] and must possess a ‘lavish palette’ of colours and a fertile, preferably brilliant, imagination. With his work, he must succeed in capturing the interest of a special, cinema-going audience and satisfy the tastes of both of cultured people, and the majority who are unrefined (not to mention that of the commissioners, which is often questionable)”
Ballester (1897-1974), pioneer and founder of the Pittori del cinema [Cinema Artists], represents the ideal figure of the versatile artist; he gave rise to what would later be recognised as the art of film publicity creating over three thousand posters. An undisputed portrait artist blessed with extraordinary creativity and calligraphy skills, he was appreciated by the general public and in great demand by the most important production companies and would continue painting without interruption for over fifty years, from 1914 until the early Sixties. The exhibition presents the evolution of his artistic activity, highlighting how, beginning with his elegant and refined early work, Ballester allowed himself to be attracted to the grace of Italian stars, depicting silent cinema actresses such as Leda Gys, Lyda Borelli, Soava Gallone and Maria Jacobini and thereby contributing to making them famous throughout the world. He was a reference point during a period of great vitality in Italian cinema, from the Thirties to the Fifties, also collaborating with foreign producers and illustrating films by directors of the level of Lang, Preminger, Cukor, Ophuls and Hitchcock. From the simple characteristics of his early compositions, Ballester developed and perfected the elaborate and refined pictorial technique which would define the later years of his activity.