Thursday, October 22, 2015

Sandro Simeoni – Master of Poster Art

Alessandro ‘Sandro’ Simeoni was born in Ferrara, Italy in 1928, where he attended the Academy of Fine Arts and at a young age he began working with some local newspapers as a cartoonist.

He moved to Rome in the early 1950s where he began his work as a poster designer collaborating with major film companies, both American and Italian: Paramount, Warner Bros, Columbia, CEI Incom, Cineriz, PEA, Titanus, etc.

His activity was very prolific and in nearly 40 years has been produced about 2800 sketches for posters.

The technique of the teacher is to focus mainly on the color, the representation of an idea that catches attention, rather than the portrait of the protagonist; in what proves to be a very versatile artist touching with the originality of all film genres: creates fancy pictures and disturbing horror movies such as The Black Sleep of Dr. Satan , Panic etc, using soft colors and delicate forrms for comedies such as An American wife, transgression and eroticism in the images of erotic films such as Beyond Eden, for western designs shootings and gunmen in action are often shown with respect to the poster A Fistful of Dollars. Says Simeoni, "It took a lot of effort to convince the client to create a poster without horses [the director, loves the design of these animals of which there is virtually no trace in my sketches, ed"; some pictures, which were so fond of Pasolini, then are almost futuristic.  Speaking of Pasolini Simeoni said: "... there was a friendship between us. The Canterbury Tales is the best manifesto that I did for him. By the way the manifesto was kidnapped for three bare-breasted women, and for two behinds, but there are two scenes of which no one noticed, thanks to the way in which I painted: a woman with a man masturbating and another that is taken from behind by another man". 

That is an element that has characterized the artistic life of Simeoni: the relationship with Censorship!  This relationship has always been special, an endless game of "cops and robbers";  the guards, the censors, seize and condemn;  the thief, the painter, using his skills to work around them: "I could play with some of the censorship people" declared Simeoni. We cite a few movie titles whose poster was censored or has been a source of challenge between the Master and the Censors: The Battle of Algiers, To Each His Own, La calda preda, The Canterbury Tales, L’affare della sezione speciale, Joe Hill, The Antichrist, Inghilterra nuda, Deep Throat [See the album “Le mutande della censura”, ed].

The sequence as shown pictures is chronological; This allows you to follow the evolution of the painting technique and representative of Simeoni, his first works, from the early 1950s, to his later achievements in the late 1980s.  A change is evident: the design becomes less affected and the sketch loses details and colors; figures become more essential, stylized.  In some designs dominated by white; in others, the artist uses strong colors, such as yellow or red, on the faces of the characters or background scenes to emphasize the tragedy or violent content of the film that the poster wants to advertise. 

A unique element of the Simeoni paintings are the women, especially when it assumes a significant impact in the manifest. In the drawing of a woman Simeoni pursues his own standard of beauty; the facial features are those of the actress that the artist intends to portray, but the proportions of the body are those of the ideal feminine figure is slender, nor excessive, but pleasantly rounded; is a woman who in some ways is reminiscent of the female representations of our Renaissance painters. This feature is a signature that allows, by itself, to give the Master the paternity of a painting.

It is said (truth or fiction?) That Simeoni was inspired, in depicting these women, by his wife that he was so in love with.

To return to the female figures in his more recent projects are designed with a few strokes, almost only the outline of the body, sometimes on a background almost nonexistent (...... Le calde amicizie, Male d'amore, Il corpo di Diana, Nel paradiso del piacere), but also in this case while maintaining the characteristics of "roundness" and beauty. Women drawn from Simeoni often give off a strong sensuality;  this effect, certainly due to the ideal of feminine beauty of the master, is often accentuated by a particular coquetry, which portrays Simeoni His women: a suspender dress sagging down, casually, down the arm!  E 'is the recurring theme that we can observe in the collection "Details of Women".

Another element of the Simeoni paintings: the characters are often drawn overflowing, spewing from the box that encloses the scene; the surface of the poster seems to be insufficient to contain them, and what gives the feeling about these "and opening" literally from the painting;  This effect is sometimes achieved through a strong perspective with which they are painted characters: an arm thrust forward, a gun designed to be pointed at the viewer... This feature is particularly evident in some designs [...Rapporto sulle esperienze sessuali di tre ragazze] is relevant to the painting technique in countless works of the master: La morte cammina con i tacchi alti, 3 dritti a Saint Tropez,  Permette? Rocco Papaleo, etc.

The posters shown in the album bearing the signature "Symeoni", with some exceptions due to reasons, mostly typography.  The use of the 'y' is explained by the teacher in an interview: "After the poster of ''L'uomo che non sapeva amare', which was used worldwide, Paramount called me often and reading my name in English Saimeoni called me. Eventually I got tired of mispronunciation and decided to replace the 'i' with a 'y' for the Americans Simeoni [the film quoted by Simeoni in his interview of 1964, but prior to that the posters date reported signing with the y ....., ed]. "

Alessandro Simeoni died in Rome in 2007. 

Some interesting facts:

 The master Simeoni has sometimes given in to temptation, drawing some sketches, that resort to images or graphic compositions he ​​previously produced.  It’s 'interesting to see comparisons between certain pairs of accomplishments:

 "Every nudity is forbidden" (1973) and "Sciopen" (1983)

 "Soldiers and hippies" (1967) and "Three straight to Saint Tropez" (1971)

 "Excuse me, do you know the gender?" (1967) and "In the paradise of pleasure" (1970)

 "Panic" (1961) and "Dreamscape" (1983)

 "Beyond Eden" (1970) and "Emanuelle, because violence against women?"  (1977) 

YouTube interview: 

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