Fellini Forbidden_eng

Fellini Forbidden

Palazzo del Fulgor 9 July – 6 November 2022

42 drawings on display at the Fellini Museum made by Federico Fellini during the production of the film Il Casanova. The only thematic collection (apart from Il libro dei sogni) in the director’s vast graphic production

Collection | Massimiliano Benedetti
Logo | Luca Giovagnoli
Layout | Barbara Vannucchi B+V studio di architettura
Thanks to | Flos



All of Fellini’s graphic work has a strongly erotic dimension running through it. His proverbial Junoesque women with their overblown features and primitive, animal sexuality are bearers of a mysterious, monstrous power: panther women, Valkyries, giants, leopard women, tiger women and women boxers all inhabit the phantasmagorical graphic universe of Fellini, where only a marginal, subordinate space is reserved to men and their virility.

The 42 small plates exhibited here show the other face of Fellini’s eroticism, the male side, embodied in a sequence of characters that dialogue with their own sexual alter ego, always enormous and oversized, known affectionately with the English nickname, Prick. There is a Prick in a wheelbarrow, and one on a motorbike; there is a Christmas version and a regal version, a proudly telescopic version, and also an unfortunate floppy version; there are also two bold swordsman pricks, and many, many more portraits that make up a super-personal male bestiary by Fellini…

A gift from Fellini to Tonino Guerra and most probably dating back to the mid 1970s, during work on Casanova, Fellini’s “pricks” are a joyful, playful divertissement, free from vulgarity and malice, animated by an overwhelming desire to transform into farse the phallocentric erotic imagination mocked first by Casanova, and then definitively demolished in City of Women.

What emerges from these caricatures is a humour that is both crepuscular and popular, common and melancholy, reminiscent of the dreamy atmospheres in the strips that Fellini drew for satirical reviews in his youth: “Il 420”, “Il Marc’Aurelio”, Il travaso”, “Il travaso delle idee” and “Il Bertoldo”.