“All I ask now is your eyes,
look at me, I won’t go back to sleep.”
Amantes, lovers… Eleven snapshots that photograph years, days or just minutes of love between two people, brief liaisons or lifelong loves, ephemeral or imaginary affairs, love stories founded on fidelity or fickle as wine.
Born from the challenge of illustrating 11 different love stories with 8 images and 8 verses for each story, this proof of concept made of extreme synthesis successfully catches the universal essence of some of the numerous incarnations of this feeling, and amazes the reader with the uncommon processing of a theme that is only apparently ordinary. Always pervaded by a gloomy sense of expectation and by a particular attention to diversity, the eleven timeless parables by Ana Juan strike also for the absence of the classical happy ending, for the never expected epilogue, for their capability to take an unusual point of view and to stage characters that elsewhere would be devoted to secondary roles.
With the overall structure always in her mind, as well as the sequential order of the images, Ana shows us a parade of eleven timeless stories:
Faithful love, punctual at every date.
Weekly love, with its secret rooms and its silences.
Fickle love, euphoric and bitter.
Final love, the lifelong love.
Different love, capable of going any lengths but also of causing deep despair.
Distant love, made of tears, stolen kisses and waiting rooms.
Sleeping love, suddenly awakened from its torpidity.
Proud love, that risks to loose everything because of its arrogance.
Short-lived love, that burns like a sunny day.
Unknown love, capable of joining two solitudes.
And first love, the one we all remember, made of quivers, moments of embarrassment and tender gestures.
But in reality, images have the leading role in this volume, where the lovers’ bodies dominate and, thanks to their sculptural 3D dimensions, prevail on the surrounding objects, and often on the spaces in which they move. Expressionist and Cubist influences, hints at Modigliani and at a certain Japanese syncretism are the underlying texture of the love stories, marked by colour casts that become more and more vibrant towards the middle of the volume. A particular vision, signed by Ana Juan, of the people who dream, desire, remember or live love.
The illustrator and author:
Ana Juan is a Spanish illustrator, writer and painter, born in Valencia in 1961, whose books are published all over the world – Spain, United States, Japan etc. She is well acknowledged for her original, melancholic, romantic and sometimes merciless interpretation of reality and its stories. She is well known for her illustrations published in El País magazine and featured on the covers of the New Yorker magazine and of all Isabel Allende’s novels.
In 2010 she was awarded the National Illustration Prize by the Spanish Ministry of Culture.
|Cover||paperback with flaps|
|Dimensions||cm 17,0 x 24,0|
|Sentimenti di carta||D - LA REPUBBLICA||16-10-2010|
|TUTTOLIBRI - LA STAMPA||23-10-2010|