Wednesday, May 29, 2024

The city of Tullio Pericoli: “A title? Milanese no longer use turn signals. It was a sign of courtesy”

The Milanese no longer use their turn signals. It was a sign of kindness. The painter and draftsman arrived in the Lombard capital in 1961 from the Marche region: “The city has changed. The M4 has transformed the landscape outside my windows.

A painting serves no purpose. Thousands of books on the walls, hundreds of pencils around the drawing table, hundreds of brushes and tubes of paint next to the easel. The journey from my hometown in the Marche, Colli del Tronto, lasted a day and a night.” In Milan, the sky was more yellow, the walls more yellow.

It was 7 in the morning: I was struck by this yellow”. I thought: how kind they are. In reality, it was just people placing the masses of immigrants arriving in Milan”. I did not have a predetermined destination.

I collapsed exhausted on the bed of that smelly room, and broke the stem of my glasses”. She was struck by the yellow. There is not just one color. The sun, when it is present, ignites it in a variable way, acting strongly on the walls.

Especially in the morning and at sunset. The new skyscrapers have brought new colors. The color of Milan is a flow”. I had a few tens of thousands of lire, my drawings, in the style of Mino Maccari and Otto Dix, and a letter of introduction to Gian Carlo Fusco”.

I began to illustrate the stories of Gadda, Calvino, Bassani, Primo Levi. Manuscripts arrived with handwritten notes from the authors. They were exceptional stimuli. I welcomed them with an open heart, sincere, as I have always done, like a true provincial, with all the more or less important people I have met”.

I was hungry for ideas, proposals, people. I later felt that the welcome was for practical, functional reasons”. I am very attached to the landscapes of my land”. The door was always open.

I used to go and contemplate it almost religiously, once a month. One day in 1997 I found the scaffolding of a construction site and the mural destroyed. It was painful. An extraordinary work ended in dust”.

The M4 has transformed the landscape in front of my windows. I now live in Milan very little, I look at it from here, as if I were looking at an aquarium. I have seen the excavations, the work, I observe the movements of the people. A new landscape is repositioning itself in my mind”.

A painting serves no purpose. The purpose is the pleasure of creating. The painterly gesture contains mysteries. And the discovery is continuous, surpassing the previous one every time.

Discovering talent would be like closing the door to this mystery”. It does not allow digressions, it makes you think about what you have excluded. For the landscape, you think of the horizontal form, for the portrait, the vertical one. The square is perfect, and its perfection is a prison, from which you want to escape, but it can be an added stimulus.

I think of it as a fragment extracted from the whole”. Using the turn signal is a gesture of pure kindness; if you don’t do it, you won’t be fined. It’s just respect. It seems to me the little detail that represents people increasingly focused on themselves, thinking only about what they have to do, where they have to go.

And they are a little less kind”. If you want to stay updated on the news from Milan and Lombardy, sign up for the free Corriere Milano newsletter. It arrives in your inbox every morning at 7 am. February 5, 2024
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