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."