While I was in Torino Italy, I had the pleasure of visiting Stefano Faravelli’s studio. Born in Torino, April 10th 1959, he was trained as a painter at the Academy of Fine Arts, and graduated from the University of Turin, were he studied Moral Philosophy at the Institute of Oriental Sciences. In 1987, he worked as stage designer and painter at Guido Ceronetti’s “Teatro del Sensibili”. In 2000 he was presented with “De Contrapuncto Triumphi” at the Galleria Jannone, for which Giorgio Soavi announced him best artist of 2000. His favorite book is “Garlands of Iran” an anthology of Persian miniatures. Artist which inspire him are Durer and Bosch, he loves atlases, encyclopedias and handbooks of zoology. This dual vocation of “peintre-savant” directed him towards the “carnet de voyage”. In 1994 he published “Sindh”, a collection of watercolors painted in India. In 1994 he visited Mali, and painted another notebook which won the prize awarded by the public at the first biennale dedicated to the Carnet de Voyage at Clermont Ferrand. A note book on China followed, then “To India to See the Elephant”, and “Egypt Looking for the Aleph”. In 2010 he published ” Japan, Notebooks of a Fluctuating World”.
Stefano had just arrived from Madagascar, where I had the pleasure of seeing his new travel diary, still not published, so this was a very special treat. Excited by his adventures and discoveries of flora and fauna, birds, insects, amphibians, lemurs, baobabs trees up to 800 years old, known locally as renala (Malagasy for “mother of the forest”), and pristine waterfalls. These magical encounters were recorded with beauty and grace. Every page of his travel diary expressed the wonder and amazement of each subject. His poetic eye, collecting old photographs, stamps, as he incorporates these fragments of history in his work. I loved listening to his process, every leaf mimicked the pattern of a reptile, each tree housed a particular spider. The abundant medicinal plants he found, each seed, shell, feather, and bone had a story. I was transported into a world of mystery, awakening all my senses. I could smell the vanilla beans he was describing, I could feel the morning dew on each leaf, as I caressed the scale of a snake skin, incorporated in his watercolor drawing.
“I have a personal notebook, which records my studies and direct approach to reality, as well as the books that combine my personal work with the demands of more complex communicative and narrative schemes. In this case, the work that I do on the spot, which remains the backbone of the book, enters into dialogue with the work that I carry out in my studio using sketches or photographs, with inventions or interventions of graphical “philology” coming from the books. I always write the texts separately, in a special notebook, and then integrate them into the page later.
My sketchbooks are not intended as a spontaneous demonstration of technical skill, but rather as a narrative account of my spiritual experience of a country. I try to capture a whole world in these books, offering the reader the miracle of travelling without moving. The page must be able to bring about a shrinkage of time and space in order to unleash these later at a narrative and symbolic level. In this sense, the preparation for a journey is fundamental” Urban Sketchers
“I use writing not only in the form of mnemonic notation: for me, the text expresses a thought, which is at the very heart of what is visible. My texts are not only captions for my drawings, but become other images, images that are simply expressed in another way” Urban Sketchers
I am grateful for this special afternoon, as Stefano recounts his journey of love and exploration. His childlike excitement was contagious, his dream like universe leaves you urning for more. Leaving his fairytale world of beauty and fragility, I am humbled by his purity and innocence. Every painting, drawing, and object is alive, waiting for the story to be unfolded and manifested. A true magician, Stefano captivates your imagination, taking you into a journey of sublime delicacy and graceful encounters. His poetic universe leaves you inspired and thankful that artist like him are creating and sharing such brilliance.