Two distinct points of view to celebrate the master of comics loved after World War II by crowds of kids for his irreverent sign made of worms, salami, weird characters and fish bones. The centenary of Benito Jacovitti’s birth will be commemorated in October by two exhibitions grouped together under the title ‘Jacovittissimeevolemente’ in Termoli and Rome, the two cities dear to the artist. From 7 October to 25 February 2024, Il Macte, the Museum of Contemporary Art in his hometown, will present ‘Tutte le follie di Jac!’, curated by Luca Raffaelli. The MaXXI, the National Museum of XXI Century Arts in the capital, will respond with ‘The Uncontainable Art of Humor’, curated by Dino Aloi, Silvia Jacovitti with Giulia Ferracci from 25 October to 18 February 2024. Thus the fantastic world and Jacovitti’s playful and biting inventiveness are once again taking shape for the general public. Benito Franco Giuseppe Jacovitti (Termoli, 1923 – Rome, 1997) made his debut at a very young age as a comic book author until he became one of the great reference names of the genre. From his nib and his tables came characters who have become famous in the popular imagination, such as Cocco Bill, Zorry Kid, Jack Mandolin, Tom Nosy. Jacovitti published strips in Il Vittorioso, Corriere dei Piccoli and Corriere dei Ragazzi, and drew the cartoons for the Vitt Diary, which accompanied generations of Italian schoolchildren for more than thirty years, from 1949 to 1980.
The two exhibitions – created with the daughter of the cartoonist, Silvia – tell in a complementary way the world animated by the sharp and grotesque ideas of the cartoonist. The anthological exhibition at MaXXI presents the one hundred characters that marked the cartoonist’s long career. The Termoli appointment explores the technical and linguistic inventions that have made “The fishbone” a recognizable style and Jacovitti an inventor of unforgettable signs and characters.
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