by Salvatore La Lota di Blasi, ph. Dario Andreoni

When satire becomes art in Pisa it can only be at the hands of the cartoonist Nicola Gorreri. The “ 50-year-old youngster”, as he likes to describe himself, is an artist from Pisa who discovered his love for art as a child when his father took him along to see his plays in vernacular. And it is with the vernacular that Gorreri finds the drive for his artistic inspiration. The illustrated vernacular with what will become his ironic and elegant style reaches out to exalt never to exasperate a trait: with this style the artist creates “gracious cartoons”, ironic and cutting, never vulgar or disrespectful. The technique used: water colours. Gorreri has illustrated books, brochures for Teatro Verdi in Pisa, art exhibitions also personal. He gave a coloured soul to “Park Mushrooms” by Bandecchi and Vivaldi in 1991; to “Don Mario’s sonnets” of the vernacular writer Don Mario Stefanini in 2009; and yet again “Coriandoli” by Dina Paola Cosci in 2011 and to “Ròbba vecchia e —ròbba nova” (Old stuff and…. New stuff) by the cavaliere Galletti Raspolli in 2012. In 2015 seventeen of his watercolours were exhibited at Caffè dell’Ussero in the exhibition “Mostra degli studenti Pisani a Curtatone e Montanara”. Pupil of the artist Bruno Pollacci, Nicola Gorreri perfected the nib pen technique thanks to the teachings of his artist friend Alberto Fremura. “I met Fremura when I was little,” says Gorreri, “with his illustrated book in 1976 which has always been a bible for me. Destiny then made me meet him again as an adult at Torre di Calafuria sharing perspectives and pictures with him.” An extraordinary friendship started then because Gorreri caught Fremura’s moods and secrets. It became an art interpenetration which stimulated the cartoonist from Pisa to ‘target’ priests, politicians and even the Pisa football players. Nicola Gorreri also met Nano Campeggi. Both found themselves adjudicators in an art contest. Another beautiful friendship was born seeing them both tied to an ‘inspiring muse Helen’. Nicola Gorreri’s however is a little 12-year-old girl with the same passion for drawing and who has followed him up to now becoming his foremost passionate critic. It’s his daughter, Elena, who joins us with her mother, Mary. Elena smiles at us, thinking of how much love her father has handed over to her even through long artistic silences: necessary moments, because an artist, isolating himself can put all the alchemy of a feeling in a work of art, fascinating for many but puzzling for many others.

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