I've had a very nice press invite to Brussells in early June for Huberty & Breyne Gallery's new exhibition of the work of Milo Manara. Sadly, making international commitments that soon is probably tricky given the UK government's restrictions on international travel. And Belgium's for .that matter as well. Still, get to admire from afar… and there will be an online exhibition as well, from the 4th of June.
An Italian comic book writer and artist, he specialised in erotic retellings of classic literature, as well as modern-day sex comedies. He has later moved into more serious works such as Il Caravaggio but was also picked up by Marvel and DC for X-Men and Sandman stories, as well as a series of Marvel Comics covers, including *that* Spider-Woman.
During the lockdown, he created a new gallery of images of women, working during the pandemic, which found him a new audience, and his new work is, partially, influenced by that and continues his lockdown artwork themes in more extravagant fashions.
For this exhibition, the designer invites the visitor to discover the itinerary of a confined but committed author. Milo Manara gives us, among other things, drawings made during the confinement periods of this last year. Through many of his drawings, he pays tribute to the sectors most affected by the crisis: health, local shops, maintenance workers, to name a few.
"I live in the countryside, so I experienced the first confinement quite well. I was able to move and above all I was able to continue to draw. I was well aware that I was luckier than a lot of other people. This luck did not prevent me from feeling in solidarity with those who suffered the most and who were close to this disease ".
It is more particularly towards the world of culture and its actors that Milo Manara turns: from the representation of a threshing machine to an allegory of the party, through the cinema technicians to reproductions of paintings by greatest painters.
Éditions Feltrinelli gathered a first series of twenty-five drawings and published a portfolio, sold to finance three hospitals in Italy.
"This series of watercolors includes twenty-five drawings, they are thoughts. They say, "I think of you and I say thank you. We posted a new drawing on social media every two days. I very quickly started to receive messages from all over the world to thank me. Doctors, nurses … "
Subsequently, all of the drawings were auctioned by the Huberty & Breyne gallery for the benefit of Civil Protection in France, Belgium and Italy.
"I believe that we have collected a total of around 70,000 euros, which has been fully redistributed. It is a great privilege for someone who knows how to draw a little to continue to be able to give in thoughts and to receive tokens of gratitude. And I got a lot of them, including from Japan and China, and I kept everything! "
A second series of drawings, all published on the artist's Facebook will be presented to the public during this exhibition. The connoisseur will also have the pleasure of finding some older works such as illustrations of the very famous Parfum de l'Invisible, published in 1986 and 1995.