Mario’s figures were rounded, squat and goggle-eyed. His lines – thick and yet amazingly fluid – created human figures that were paunchy, solid, and decorated with small, exquisitely-funny flourishes. The irony was gentle and inclusive of us as children. All of it was memorable and enjoyable not because of the text, but because of Mario’s jewel-bright visuals! I wish I knew art better, so that I could discuss his work more eruditely. All I can do now is speak of the sheer joy his work brought.
As I grew up, so, surprisingly, did Mario. His figures grew longer, darker, more serious. It felt almost as if his style was evolving with me – which of course wasn’t true. It’s just that his lines were so distinctive that no matter how his treatment changed, you could always tell it was him. It felt good to have at least one artist whose work could be recognized without having to squint at the signature.
The truly amazing thing about Mario’s work is just that: no matter what he’s drawing, his style remains distinctive, though the treatments – and therefore the end results – vary. So whether it’s the delightful mural at Café Mondegar, with its joyfully hilarious caricatures; or a restrained, poetic, scrupulously-drawn series of tiles on
PS: We've been unusually and uncomfortably busy - which is why we haven't posted in so long! Sorry!