Almost a year has passed since Silvano Campeggi left us behind, and for us it is a pleasure to remember this great friend: we will do so Friday the 2nd of August at the Metropolis cinema in Marciana Marina, as our way of taking part in the initiative “Il gigante Nano che disegnava i sogni" (“The giant Nano, designer of dreams”), during which there will be a projection of the documentary also dedicated to him by the director Simone Aleandri, titled “As Time Goes By”, just like the song made so famous by the film Casablanca, for which Campeggi had drawn the poster.
Among many great things he achieved during his long life (this year he would have turned 96), he granted us the privilege of creating two original drawings for the labels of the perfumes dedicated to Napoleon and Paulina Bonaparte in the year of the 200th anniversary of the French emperor’s exile on the island.
As was inevitable for a drawing made by Nano (this was the nickname given to him by his friends), Napoleon looked just like a movie hero, one of the many Campeggi portrayed during his long, appreciated career as a graphic designer and billboard artist for the greatest Hollywood studios: the images of billboards bringing to mind masterpieces such as “Casablanca”, “Gone with the Wind”, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, “West Side Story” were all born from his pencil, his hand and his talent.
“During cinema’s golden era”, he once declared in an interview, “I was drawing up to 150 movie billboards a year, practically one every two days. Each one of them was printed from 12,000 to 25,000 times”. Copies which are now extremely sought-after by collectors of movie posters all over the world, people who still appreciate in Campeggi’s work the originality of a trait suspended between dream and reality, which was able to convey the personality of stars such as Clark Gable, Audrey Hepburn, Liz Taylor and Paul Newman through his own extremely personal and recognisable artistic universe.
Son of a typographer, his destiny already marked, Campeggi attended the art school of Porta Romana, where he became a student of the great Ottone Rosai and soon a real friend of Isola d’Elba: “He had a house in Pomonte”, says Patrizia Lupi of the free magazine Enjoy Elba, which is also dedicating a wonderful article to Nano in its current edition available on the island, “and within the full, solar nature of Elba he would find the colours of spring and summer, which he would transfer in his paintings and drawings. He was truly a friend for everybody on the island.”
Thus, on the 2nd of August in Marciana Marina, many of the companions of his lifetime journey will have the chance of reuniting: his wife Elena above all, then Paolo Ferruzzi, Beppe Tanelli and Patrizia Lupi, who will introduce Simone Aleandri before the projection of his documentary offering us the pleasure and emotion of revisiting the history of great cinema through the pencil and brushes of a great friend.