when: 20 March – 13 April 2017
where: Dynamo, Bologna
what: solo exhibition
focus: comics ans illustrations by Gramba
Joint Arts curated Delirio Particolare, a solo exhibition of selected original comic and illustration artworks by Gramba. The exhibition covers various characters from his diverse body of work, like Nonno&Cinno, Gatman, Gomitolo e Birra, I Pereroi and le Masse series.
The exhibition opened in March 2017 at Dynamo – Bologna’s Velostazione and then travelled to the town of Medicina in June 2017 during its Street Art Festival.
Gramba, born Alessandro Grambone in 1979, is a self-taught illustrator from Bologna. He tells of himself:
“When I was 8, my teacher told my parents that I came to school only to be with others and clown around. I’ve tried to make it a rule of life.”
This rule of life translates in Gramba’s artworks, which are marked by an ironic, naïve approach combined to a cheeky humour. A deep sensibility and attention towards everyday life emerges after the initial laugh inspired by Gramba’s illustrations. The audience is pushed to acquire, with a smile on their lips, awareness towards elements they usually choose to unsee.
“Rather than a beauty that calls the spectator from afar, I strive to create art which demands that the spectator comes close. Most of all it must be entertaining and fun, and something to be discovered rather than recognized”.
This approach is clear in the Masse series. These are intricate and densely drawn illustrations where Gramba hides the characters inhabiting his imagination. Like a contemporary horror vacui, through this work Gramba tries to
“turn the attention to the small details, leaving the spectator wonder about the stories behind them, and without giving clear directions. I try to be generous in my drawing by offering an overflowing imagery in contrast with the “less is more” tendency shown nowadays in ads, slogans, logos…”
From the duo of Nonno&Cinno (“a tale about someone living at the margin because he has little time to live”) to the lazy superhero Gatman and the junky adventures of the Pereroi, the recurring aspects of Gramba’s work are marginality, tragicomic and surreal atmospheres and the overthrow of positive archetypes.