Collection: Emanuele Taglietti "Hand Job"

Artworks by Maestro Emanuele Taglietti, master of erotic covers.

This exhibition presents the work of Emanuele Taglietti and looks back at his career as a church decorator, set-painter for Federico Fellini or Ettore Scola and, of course, at the most provocative phase of his 70-year career: the years between 1973 and 1988, when Taglietti painted over 800 colourful covers - somewhere between erotic, dark and kinky.

Maestro Emanuele Taglietti is one of the most important representatives of a generation that shaped a genre that in retrospect is called “Sex & Horror" or “Fumetto Sexy". In a time before there was photographed and filmed porn, a large industry served a worldwide market for adult comics.

Especially in Italy, with its long tradition of painting and craftsmanship, many thousands "Fumetti" were painted, printed and distributed by clever publishers like Renzo Barbieri .
Of course always with the warning: "Solo Per Adulti" - "No children please".

The demand for adult comics boomed, hundreds of painters, authors, graphic designers or printing technicians produced on an industrial scale what today's customers find somewhere between HBO and Youporn.

Most artists who worked in this industry were often quite young and the workflows were not ideally planned, everything also took place in semi-darkness - because these comics were taboo. This created a space - and a need - for improvisation and free working. And so a unique visual-aesthetic language emerged.

Talents like Milo Manara, Alessandro Biffignandi, Averardo Ciriello and Emanuele Taglietti mastered the centuries-old technique of tempera painting from an early age, working as art teachers or for cinema before dominating the sexy comics market worldwide for more than a decade. After about 15 years, the boom was over and the industry changed. With the rise of VHS cassettes at the latest, painted sex no longer attracted anyone.

Over the years, Emanuele Taglietti has experienced several phases of public opinion about his work. Years when Barbieri's comics were at the front of the shop window and the more prudish years when the Fumetti could only be sold in opaque bags. Perhaps again, somewhere in the country a local state prosecutor felt provoked, reported a complaint and the comics had to be scrapped. Individual covers were sold freely for years when suddenly a church representative from somewhere reported to his superior and again there was trouble. Again and again, Taglietti picked up finished panels in Milano to edit them for the reprint. Maybe put on a bra? Would that do? Didn't the church's indictment decidedly address the frivolous attitude, the dirty disposition of the protagonist? What would a bra change?    

In addition to the question of censorship, Taglietti fits very well into our times: if it succeeds in provoking, it can be a step towards a debate about the representation of sex, feminism and the image of women, the question of male-gaze. Topics to which Taglietti - and we as recipients - may contribute a little.
An integral part of this exhibition is the dialogue and the search for positions on the ongoing gender debate.
Or is it actually eroticism, seduction, the game between lovers, that plays on an ideology-free ground?

Those who do not feel provoked by the works can hopefully enjoy the technical mastership - and Taglietti sees himself as nothing else: an artist - but also a diligent craftsman who can paint things that many people like to see. He does not shy away from debate and he emphasises his firm feminist position. The female attributes, no matter by whom they are lived now, should take a much more important position in our world!

Short film about Emanuele Taglietti:
https://vimeo.com/381451356
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  • Emanuele Taglietti "Sexy Favole - Martino"
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  • Emanuele Taglietti "Karzan"
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  • Emanuele Taglietti "Il Castello"
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  • Emanuele Taglietti "Katia - La Guida"
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  • Emanuele Taglietti "Ulula - Bambino"
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  • Emanuele Taglietti "Zora - Lo Schiavo di Dracula"
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  • Emanuele Taglietti "Vipera Bionda - Il Tagliatori di Teste"
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