Ones to Watch: Marco Puccini
Name: Marco Puccini
Inspiration: David Salle
Born in historical Tuscany and currently residing in modern Milan, it was inevitable that the past and present would come together in the vintage-inspired work of Marco Puccini. Faded colours and fold lines assume a retro aesthetic whilst Marco’s cartoony, graphically-created sausage shaped character brings us firmly back into the present.
Interestingly, Marco is also a fan of long-running US cartoon The Simpsons. Whilst The Simpsons might not be responsible for the retro, vintage aesthetic of Marco’s illustrations, it seems the famous cartoon family have almost certainly influenced the creation of Marco’s cartoon character. His sausage-shaped head could easily be cast off in place of Simpson patriarch Homer. However, the comparison stops there because Marco’s sausage-shaped character is firstly devoid of clothes, and secondly owner of a personality far away from the lazy, donut-eating Homer J. Simpson. Instead, Marco’s creation is a blank canvas from which a range of personas can be identified including a DJ, vintage porn star, and pink-haired monster.
Marco describes his style as ‘dinky, worrying and squashy’. There is somewhat of a Wallace and Gromit feel about his work, a tactility and cuteness, particularly in the illustrations featuring the black character, which adhere to the loveable 3D charm that the Aardman animators are famous for. The ‘worrying’ element Marco describes may be ascribed to the other more eerie, adult illustrations in his portfolio:
The two images above seem to represent a more sinister side of Marco’s illustrative work. The censorship bar is raised just above the area supposed to be hidden from sight, and out of that bar comes the body of an evil-faced cartoon figure. His works appear to represent the dark side of pornography whilst maintaining the cartoon/vintage-style aesthetic Marco depicts so well.
Much of your work has a distinctly retro feel about it. Was this a conscious choice? If so, why?
‘I like things that have an old smell…just like smelling old books. Like everyone else, I'm obsessed with images that come from my past... That's why I always like to make stuff with a seasoned aspect...I like to mix the taste of the past with [the] taste of the new...’
And, what is your working process from idea to finished product?
‘I always start with a drawing on my sketchbook, first. Then I put the drawing into the computer and make it vector and, at the end, I use Photoshop to finalize all.’
Are there any works/projects you are currently working on?
‘In this period, I'm working almost exclusively with the video. Both videos are very complicated. I'm working on a project for VOGUE Italy with another designer (Nicola Gobbetto ) and for a video mapping to perform in October at the Louvre in Paris.’
What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
‘I'd like to find a way to relax myself a little bit and devote full time to making drawings. Until now I have not been able to make this my passion, my first work activities.’
Marco’s illustrations create a world in which the past and present co-exist. The fact it makes for some pretty awesome artwork just adds to their visual effect.