Every once in a while, I look at the work of an artist and all I can do is smile.

As I’m tying these words, I’m eyeing the work of Italian artist Adriano Annino.  Smile is the best word that comes to mind.  It’s also on my face.

His work is refreshing.  Large blocks of primary color.  Deep, bold, almost haphazardly drawn lines.  Depictions of everyday life and things that are, of course, instantly familiar.  Familiar and delightful.

Are they drawings or paintings?  Did a child create these? The work is seemingly childlike, but absolutely not.  You must be sophisticated to be this simple.

I chatted briefly with Adriano about his work www.adrianoannino.com.    Here’s what he told me:

“The way of using color is my stamp. Lines and shapes are the phrasings. The space organization is the pace and the relationships between these component’s sensations. My training, also musical (I graduated in trumpet at the conservatory), leads me to spontaneously create connections and to seek the elements sometimes very physical. The color is obviously very important for me because it has the function to be immersed … to capture something truly new and to choose just the moment when we decide that to happen. Diving is the awareness of our eternal existence. In most of my work, color is also a need, an urge, like drinking a glass of water when you are very thirsty.”

Yes, Adriano’s work does have the “look” of cartoon animation.  It’s playful, but he’s dead serious about his work and what he wants to achieve:

“I like the humanization of the cartoon, the game, the color, the simplicity of language. I appreciate the features and capabilities. It allows me to move to a different channel on issues that are more serious and sometimes sealed. Exactly, I like the movement, the dynamism of the form, the perception that something / someone is communicating with us…”

Adriano lives in Arezzo, near Florence.  His home city is dripping with Old Masters and he says he’s influenced by them, but not to the point of wanting to copy what they do.  That’s quite clear.  For me, his work is musical.  It sings and it’s playful.

“I want to have fun in this sense,” says Adriano. “Not to take myself too seriously.  I try to turn everything into play even if the stakes are very high.”

He’s certainly succeeding.  Does his work make you smile?  Take a look ... www.adrianoannino.com