Little Marco embarks on a real “journey of wonders” on Christmas night when, in defiance of the most obvious prohibition, he ventures alone into the snowy countryside, where a storm of shapes and colours will take him through a series of bizarre, tender or frightening encounters. Immortalised by the artist Julian Schnabel in enigmatic portraits and hazy visions, the Snow characters range from the Idiot, who hates to think but loves to play cards, to the Platypus, which no one ever sees but which leaves plenty of traces, and the Snowman, whose Polaroid “holy card” in Marco’s pocket protects him in his wanderings until he reappears at sunrise in the armoured guise of a medieval warrior.
Dario Voltolini skilfully alternates between narrative and figurative registers, punctuated by Schnabel’s otherwise hermetic images. The writer combines these with a fantastic dictionary of objects, music, environments, concepts and emotions that draw bibliophiles and beginners alike into the dreamlike adventure of reading.
Julian Schnabel, born in New York in 1951, completed his studies there, where he attended the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program from 1973. In 1976 he made his first trip to Europe, where he became fascinated by the masterpieces of Giotto, Duccio da Boninsegna and Caravaggio. On a second European trip, the use of majolica in Antoni Gaudí’s Barcelona architecture fascinated him so much that he decided to cover the entire surface of his canvases with a collage of broken plates. In his word he has not, however, neglected more traditional techniques, such as painting on canvas or board, although he is strongly characterised by the use of unusual materials as supports, such as velvet, theatre backdrops, waxed tarpaulins. His figurative repertoire is equally vast, ranging from large texts to portraits in an expressionist key, from the elaboration of religious symbols pertaining to different cultures to the literal quotation of famous paintings.
Dario Voltolini, born in 1959 in Turin where he graduated in Philosophy of Language, is known to the general public for Una intuizione metropolitana, (Bollati Boringhieri), Rincorse (Einaudi) and for his recent book published by Feltrinelli, Forme d’onda. He has written two radio plays for Radio3 and Radio2, the texts by Mosorrofa o dell’ottimismo, Città, Macchinario, Capelas Iperfeitas for the musician Nicola Campogrande and regularly holds creative writing courses at the Scuola Holden in Turin. Here he makes his confident debut in children’s literature, guiding them through the mysterious jungle of Julian Schnabel’s works.