Lorenzo Petrantoni created Extraordinary Women of the XIX and XX Centuries, an exhibition at Fratelli Bonvini in Milan, based on “different personalities and lives—unique women who have left their mark on history, often fighting against prejudice but never alone.” These women are aviators, mathematicians, doctors, actresses, writers, revolutionaries and engineers. Some are more or less well-known, others totally forgotten, but all are figures ahead of their time who can “teach us a lot today.”
I asked Petrantoni, a practitioner of micro-collage and master of narrative-cut n’ paste, to explain the theme of this show, which runs From April 20–May 28.
Tell me about the focus of this amazing exhibition.
It is an exhibition on 30 illustrations of almost or completely unknown women who have accomplished heroic deeds. For each heroine, I have illustrated and briefly described their story by incorporating it into the graphics of the illustration.
What inspired you to create this show?
Their stories are too good not to be told. I didn’t want them abandoned inside dusty books. It seemed to me correct to highlight them with the hope that they might gain some interest also because in some cases they are part of our existence.
How did you make the selection of your subjects?
In my research I discovered so many fascinating stories. I tried to differentiate them by theme and status, trying to make the selection universal and without any ideological bias.
How long did it take to make these intricate collages?
A lot of time, because first there is historical research, the creation of a short and essential summary, the illustration, the photographic research, etc.
[It’s] a project that was born only out of passion in the evening time slots without any commission.