My first ever realised book cover was for director Lucio Pellegrini’s debut novel La Linea published on March 2022 edited by la Nave di Teseo.
Reading the book, I was immediately struck by one of the first ‘scenes’ in which seven characters of this beautiful Italian family saga straddling two centuries find themselves in a jeep in the desert on their way to Asmara: “You go into the dazzling sun, dust in your mouth, your eyes burnt out, seven of you in this decrepit off-road vehicle that goes from one pothole to another without braking.”
I thought of a cover as it was a frame of a film; also I wanted the book to be a ‘precious’, shiny object, that would stand out on a shelf. And of course I interpreted the concept of a line (of life and lives which this novel is full of) as the main feature of a dirty golden desert road seen from above.
I’ve realised this is image with a traditional work process starting with stock images, before the rise of the TTI AI-technologies like DALL-2 and Midjourney. Now I would have probably use the AI algorithms to produce many variations on 1/3 of the time based on the idea.
Second cover book needed no work, it’s based on director and writer Elisa Fuksas’s favourite among my iPhonografies. Her book is called Non fiori ma opere di bene (‘Not flowers but good works’) published by Marsilio (2022).
The photo she chose is called End of summer I took it in 2016, in Puglia, in Porto Selvaggio, in early September. We were together, Elisa struggling with the dog, me always with the phone in my hand.
I know why she likes it: a certain composition, a certain palette, the sea, the horizon and the languor, the end of summer as a condition of the spirit, and the silhouettes of these strangers who look like ghosts, who evoke the ghost at the origin of this whole story you are going to read: that of her paternal grandfather Raimundas.
I was there the day the book began to take shape, before it was even conceived as a book. We were at the Verano cemetery, searching for this tomb that mysteriously could not be found. And all the rest is history, because Elisa lives the things she narrates and writes the things she lives, provoking them; a bit like what happens with photos, when you are already searching, they present themselves to you, you just have to be ready to transform a neurophysiological function into magic