Curated by Maurizio Baroni e Rosaria Gioia
together with Giuliana Cerabona and Emiliano Lecce
Open: From June 23 to July 2: everyday from 9 am to 6.30 pm / From July 5 to July 30: Tuesday-Friday from 2 pm to 8 pm / Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm
It took his formative years in America working as a drifting laborer, prison and a nose broken in the ring, but also a poet’s sensitivity, to give him that air of sublime indifference, worldly-wise, and the ability to wear madness like the cynical elegance of failure. Robert Mitchum, the most charismatic loser in American cinema, and one of its greatest natural actors, is the protagonist of some studies, rough sketches and sketches by film poster artist Silvano Campeggi, known as “Nano” in the art world.
Born in Florence in 1923, Silvano Campeggi, known as “Nano” in the art world, reveals himself to be a very precocious artist; while still attending the Florence Institute of Art, during the war, he paints, illustrates books and magazines, and specialises in graphic techniques at La Zincografica Fiorentina, a printing press that will later print many of his film posters.
After moving to Rome, he attends the workshop of poster artist Luigi Martinati and soon dedicates himself to film posters. During the Fifties and Sixties he was known as the artist of the stars, creating thousands of portraits of Hollywood greats, such as Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, John Wayne, Sophia Loren, Marlon Brando, Rita Hayworth, Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe. Considered one of the most important graphic artists in the history of American cinema, from the post-Second World War period onwards he worked for all the major studios in Hollywood, drawing posters for more than 3,000 films, including Gone with the Wind, Ben Hur, Casablanca, Singin’ in the Rain, West Side Story and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Today, Silvano Campeggi is still an extremely active artist. Some of the exhibitions dedicated to him have been: the important anthological exhibition at the Medici-Riccardi Palace, Florence, in 1988; a personal exhibition at the Exhibition Palace, Rome, in 1995; the exhibition Sogni attaccati ai muri, curated by Enrico Crispolti at Poppi Castle in 1998; 3000 Times – The Art of the Movie Poster, organised by the Film Society of Lincoln Center, New York, in 2007; Maestro, do I need to get undressed? at Galleria Varart, Florence, in 2012; his participation at the Syracuse International Film Festival, NY, in 2013; and finally, Disegnare sogni: il cinema di Silvano Campeggi (1946-1969), curated by Giorgio Bacci and promoted in 2017 by Fondazione Palazzo Blu, Pisa.