An Artist and a Gentleman

The passing of Stefano Navarrini, refined graphic designer and illustrator.
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In an editorial office, the graphics room is a place with its own charm, where department heads and editors-in-chief bring their mock-ups to be translated into newspaper pages. It’s not as simple as you might think. Who’s in charge, the graphic designer or the editor? The former, who is more attentive to the balance and proportions on the page and the connection with the other pages of the helm – surtout l’élégance! –, the latter to measures, to “political” hierarchies and above all to the impossible objective of fitting everything into a limited space. There can be tiring negotiations with graphic designers who, in addition to professional skill, also require a good dose of patience and self-control towards colleagues who sometimes just don’t understand the importance of a well-designed page. One which enhances the contents, and which in fact cannot merely be a sum of texts… That room can become electric, and very noisy, with swearing and shouting. Never with Navarrini.

We got to know him well at Europa, the beautiful daily newspaper directed by Stefano Menichini, where Stefano Navarrini was a graphic designer, but also an illustrator. He had a great professional talent, both with the pencil and with his ability to interact intelligently and calmly with his workmates, even in the case of the most bizarre requests (I confess that I’ve made several of him, even recently, with our magazine ytali.com, to which he generously offered – or rather, I underline, gave free of charge – his precious professional help on several occasions).

The logo of the international version of ytali.com is by Stefano Navarrini

For those who haven’t done it yet, I recommend a visit to Navarrini’s web site. It will give you an idea of the extraordinary career that distinguished his life, punctuated by collaborations with the most important Italian newspapers, recently often with La Stampa, and with publishing houses. Above all you can appreciate the originality of his art, elegant in its richness of implications and subtexts and allusions, with predominantly mild colors, thin lines, metaphysical connections. An artist “loaned” to journalism, and also an artist of life, who was very reserved and yet generous with funny and irreverent, ironic and self-deprecating images and jokes. He made a sequence of posts on Facebook that could be considered the narration of a successful loser, the vicissitudes of an artist who, in the typical difficulties in a country that is cruel to freelancers, was rightly aware of his value and the high professional and artistic consideration he enjoyed, in our milieu and beyond.

At the funeral in the church of San Gioacchino there were many friends and colleagues with his partner Antonella, the director and many editors and collaborators from Europa, and a long-time mutual acquaintance was there; Luciano Ragno, one of the leading writers for Il Messaggero, when the Roman daily was still a respected newspaper. Luciano remembered his friend and colleague with very beautiful words, which we would like to share with our readers here.

An illustrator and graphic designer, he was art and irony. Extremely reserved, he had great outbursts of friendship, real friendship, the kind that lasts over time.
I had invited him to accompany my articles about Health in Il Messaggero for his elegant and refined pen, and above all for his sensitivity in downplaying news that often does not offer serenity.
He had a great gift, one that made him loved, and which everyone always recognized in him: irony. And he conveyed in his illustrations an invitation to smile without laughing – an invitation that makes you think.
As a boy Stefano Navarrini decided what his future would be when he saw his grandfather Navarrino Navarrini in La Spezia while he was making illustrations. That precious teaching became highly successful work in prestigious newspapers: “Venerdì”, “Mercurio”, “La Repubblica”, “Il Messaggero”, “La Stampa”. And then the covers of many books. And the graphics for important editorial works. And press kits for scientific conferences.
And then there was Stefano, my friend. Discreet, reserved, affectionate. And above all generous. We were always in contact until the end on Facebook. Never a complaint, always a joke.
Always a “ciao Luciano, a presto”.
A hug, Stefano, and thank you for your art, your irony, your smile, and your generosity. And your friendship. Now you are illustrating Serenity with your magical pen. Don’t forget the irony. Up there they really love folks who can make you smile.

Stefano Navarrini

Translation by Paul Rosenberg

An Artist and a Gentleman ultima modifica: 2024-07-02T09:54:43+02:00 da GUIDO MOLTEDO
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