I am a realist figurative painter and I have to precise that I am not at all a manga or pop art lover but I like surrealism. So the pop surrealism quoted in the subtitle and the beautiful cover image of the new book of Camilla d’Errico have instantly conquered me. The book is really beautiful, well organized and very rich in content. The painter’s unique style elevates the standard for the pop art genre and strucks for her fantasy. Beautiful, sad or melancholic young girls (or fairies? – they have no sex characteristics) “wearing” animals (owls, butterflies, octopuses, etc) or decorated with rainbows in fancyful variations are the dominant elements of her works. They are beautifully executed and surely captivating.
This genre is at a high risk of kitsch (see the works of Margaret Keane – Tim Burton movie Big eyes or of Francisque Poulbot or other Parisian Monmartre painters of the 70’s), but in my opinion the rich though rather repetitive fantasy of the painter helps to avoid this trap. She actually gives advices as how to push boundaries but she remains always in safe port, creating a big number of variations on the same theme, like commercial painters do.
The richly illustrated volume contains detailed information about how she invents and realizes her works, giving a lot of advices in an informal way and step by step demonstations. As for technique I am surprised she advices mixing watersoluble oils with acrylics, please note that you can’t do this with some brands like Winsor&Newton’s Artisan. She is really generous in explaining her technique (I was not interested in this part as I have my own style and surely will not copy hers). Also she takes a risk giving out her “secrets” as her style is very characteristic and publishing this book she encourages that others make copies of her works. Anyway, it is a high value book if you like her style.by