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A Self-Portrait Imagined
"Every so often a friend asks me when I'm going to make my own miniature bookcase --I just can't get down to do it; I'm kind of scared. Self-portraits are difficult. But I should start thinking what would go into it-- my passions, my dreams my desires, my loves, my friendships. These are the criteria I use to build the bookcases for other people, so that they are one-of-a-kind, representing one person uniquely. A bookcase is very good at representing the evolution of a life, better than a painting.
    "If I were to start from long ago I would include the jazz musicians, from Oscar Peterson to Don Bayas --the pictures, the record covers, the books. Jazz has been the music of my life, ever since as a teenager I used to jam with my brothers in Torino.
    "I now live in Milano but I would include a view of the Palazzo Reale in Torino, and books on its history and its baroque monuments. I'm not particularly gourmande, but I would include an encyclopedia of cheese and a book on the wines of Piedmont. Some space would be reserved for the ad posters which I collected for twenty odd years and then sold all at once. One book is certainly the Cosmicomics of Italo Calvino, to whom I was tied by a deep friendship.
     "In my personal bookcase a miniature camper would have a special place, because it was with a camper that I started roaming Europe in search of miniature objects to place beside the books, and so discovered the incredible world of collectors and salesmen of objects."