Mattotti and Intimacy

I love these warm, intimate, romantic illustrations of ardorous lovers by Italian illustrator and graphic novelist Lorenzo Mattotti. The simple, striking compositions are defined by three objects–a man, a woman, and a mattress–in various configurations. The two figures connect both physically, with their limbs tangled or hands touching, and emotionally, gazing deeply into each other’s eyes. The monochrome images contain deep shadows which engulf the figures, who seem to melt into each other. The color canvases meanwhile are built out of bright and defined blocks of cheerful color.

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These images resonate with me right now as I’ve been going through a pretty intense process of reflection–figuring out what I want out of the intimate relationships in my life and being honest about what is even possible relationship-wise at this stage of my life.

If you’re young in a big city it’s easy to find lust, shared interests and kinks, dumb reckless adventures, even intelligent conversation and good advice. Just post your face and a few sentences on the web, or hang out at a hipsterish cocktail party long enough.

Those things are entertaining enough. What I really want is what I imagine the Mattotti lovers have–trust, security, mutual support, and admiration. They help and support each other in meaningful ways and they would do anything to make each other’s lives better because they believe in and value each other so deeply. They can say, do, or be anything in each other’s presence.

And the best part–they can lay in bed all night, all morning, and all day and never feel like life is passing them by, because in that moment all the good things in life exist right between them in that bed.

Visit for more brilliant work. Pay attention to his masterful use of color and balanced compositions.


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