An architect by training, Peppo Bianchessi is considered the most cinematographic of Italian illustrators. In fact, in addition to having illustrated the latest book by Luca Crovi, he also made a video of it

"I admit it: I like drawing backgrounds more than people." Thus begins Peppo Bianchessi, among the greatest contemporary Italian illustrators, an artist who, from time to time, moves between graphics, painting, sculpture (like those, very poetic , of ImprobabiLibri), video and writing. A statement that, by itself, speaks of its link with architecture, space, the city and man's relationship with nature, also cultivated thanks to travel and his (professional and emotional) knowledge of Japan. All aspects that we also find in the illustrations of The Secret Book of Jules Verne (Solferino), written by the screenwriter and mystery writer Luca Crovi.

"My mother was an architect, and I owe her being raised on bread and "Dada libri", illustrated by Sonia Dalaunay and Bruno Munari , and the memory of our big house when I was a child, wanted by my mother”, he tells Interni on the occasion of the presentation of the book. "Many rooms, very high ceilings, large windows, in the heart of the historic center of Crema, huge rooms that gave me a very special sense of space".

"Then I also enrolled in architecture, but without graduating: after three years divided between the University and painting (I had already done some exhibitions), I chose another path”, he explains. A path that over the years has led Peppo Bianchessi to illustrate books for Donato Carrisi, Roberto Piumini, Aidan Chambers, Melvin Burgess, Luca Crovi, Pierdomenico Baccalario, Anna Vivarelli, to be selected (in 2013) by the Bologna Children's Book Fair for the illustrators' exhibition, to create the drawings for the video China Town by Caparezza, and to publish The night of the whale (Rizzoli) moving autobiographical story.

De The night of the whale says: “I carried this story inside me since the death of my father and it is linked to a city that I love very much, Barcelona, and its roofs, seen from a terrace during a beautiful night spent with a group of friends, I must have been 15 years old. The book is about my father but also about nostalgia for a special moment, when I felt deeply at peace with the world and how, when you grow up, you start looking at things with children eyes, not with those of your teacher".

To his connection with architecture, Peppo Bianchessi also owes the first video made for the University, a work on the Brion Tomb by Carlo Scarpa, "an architect I have always loved for his ability to build more through shadows, light and voids that through matter”, he explains, “together with concepts such as movement, path, journey through things”.

Over time, Bianchessi realizes that he thinks more as a animator than as a traditional illustrator and that his drawings are still images of a more complex action. "How, in "Il Vermo"(Rizzoli) story written by the great Aidan Chambers and illustrated by me in an unpublished format, a graphic novel that unfolds, physically, for 15 meters, like a Japanese roll".

Interest in movement that suggests another childhood passion of his, that for useless machines by Rube Goldberg (that of The better mouse trap by Tom & Jerry , so to speak). "But all books are machines that tell stories, it is no coincidence that we talk about the mechanics of the story or the mechanism of history, machines that make us travel, go far" continues the artist.

And the love for Japan? “It was born more than 20 years ago, when I tried to write a story for Kamishibai (the traditional paper theater) and I fell in love with Japanese art and painting. And of a woman, whom I married. In my imagination, Japan had to be an ordered, rational, geometric world. Instead Tokyo is a big mess, the sky is a tangle of electric cables in the open, there is a lot of traffic on the streets, the houses are small spaces piled with objects".

"Then, suddenly, in the middle of a neighborhood, there is a huge and very quiet park, where you can get lost." For a lover of graphics like Peppo Bianchessi, Japan is "The Empire of Signs": lines and colors of a language that are not known and are replicated everywhere. “What I miss, walking around Tokyo,” he says, “are the landmarks: all the houses look the same and, at the same time, the neighborhoods change constantly. I think it is also for this reason that I never thought of moving there".