Local Boy, Pinocchio | SACI College of Art & Design Florence


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Local Boy, Pinocchio

Illustration by Roberto Innocenti, a member of SACI’s Artists and Designers Council

Famous around the world, the story of Pinocchio is closely intertwined with Florence’s history and has influenced the work of many SACI artists throughout the years.

Who hasn’t heard the story of Pinocchio and the lesson of telling the truth? The cultural icon Pinocchio is one of the most renowned fictional characters in children’s literature. But the famed story is also a local fascination that is closely linked to SACI and continues to influence students’ and faculty members' work. Carlo Collodi, the author of the original 1883 book, The Adventures of Pinocchio, was born just a few blocks away from SACI, at Via Taddea 21, which explains his local fame and the wooden Pinocchio toys and puppets crowding shop windows around Florence.

Collodi’s beloved story has been reinterpreted many times over the years in books, film, and art. Even SACI students and faculty have used Pinocchio in their artworks. Illustrator Roberto Innocenti, a member of SACI’s Artists and Designers Council, also illustrated an important edition of the book.

Numerous exhibitions are currently on view around the world to celebrate the story and the release of the 2019 movie rendition. In the new Center for Prints, Drawings, and Photographs at the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art of Indiana University, works by noted painter, sculpture, and printmaker Jim Dine (a SACI Artists and Designers Council member) are on view in the exhibition Jim Dine: Pinocchio, Geppetto, and Other Personal Metaphors. This inaugural exhibition, which includes the artist’s gift of his 44 plate Pinocchio series, can be seen through May 10, 2020.

In Florence, there are multiple Pinocchio exhibitions to see. ENIGMA PINOCCHIO: From Giacometti to LaChapelle - an exhibition dedicated to Collodi’s Pinocchio, the symbol of Tuscany - is on view at the Villa Bardini through March 22, 2020.

“From Giacometti to LaChapelle, from Munari to Paladino, from Calder to Ontani, from McCarthy to Venturino Venturi, Pinocchio has not only left an indisputable mark on the collective imagination, but also the arts….the exhibit at Villa Bardini explores the enigmatic puppet’s many sides. With an emphasis on the contemporary, the show moves further and further away from Pinocchio’s representations in books, and instead focuses on how visual artists have oftentimes chosen him the protagonist of their imaginary universe.”

At the Textile Museum in Prato, just outside of Florence, the exhibition PINOCCHIO in the Costumes of Massimo Cantini Parrini, from the 2019 film by Director Matteo Garrone starring Roberto Benigni, can also be viewed through March 22, 2020. The exhibition presents over thirty costumes created for the film Pinocchio by Matteo Garrone, the latest extraordinary work by the costume designer, Massimo Cantini Parrini, on display for the very first time.

And if you still haven’t gotten enough Pinocchio, you can visit the Tuscan town of Collodi and its famous Pinocchio Park!

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