Nicoletta Ceccoli creates surrealist illustrations in a story book style. Each art work contains obscure characters in bizarre situations, all wrapped up in sickly sweet confections and ribbons. There is an essence of sadness in Ceccoli’s designs. None of the subjects smile, laugh or frolic in the typical manner of story book characters. Instead, the doll-like characters of Ceccoli’s paintings wear sombre, serious expressions, appearing apathetic even while involved in strange events. The only emotion that their faces betray is sad resignation. It is this expression that inspires both pity and fascination in the viewer.
Ceccoli’s scenes are often stocked full of strange symbols; insects, fruit and hybrid creatures are posed around the central subject, often disproportionately sized to give a surreal sense that either the main subject (usually a female doll-like character) is incredibly tiny, or the secondary subjects are very large. In one image, a princess is surrounded by fish and frogs who fly by her head as she sist in bed. The frogs have wings, but the fish appear to use their fins to fly. The main subject, the princess in the bed, is missing an eye, but a passing fish makes up for this deficiency by lending her its own eye for the scene. Surrealist art of this kind falls into modern art genre known as “obscure art” – the meaning is not clear and the artist is not telling. Any symbolism or meaning found in the art work is decided by the viewer.
There is a sense of silence in all of Ceccoli’s illustrations. Even when the characters are playing a musical instrument or are involved in an action scene, there is a quiet stillness to each image. It is as if, in Ceccoli’s imagination, the character existed only for the single moment described in the piece before disappearing silently into the recesses of the artist’s mind, never to appear again.
Visit Nicoletta Ceccoli’s website for more information and to view her online art gallery.