fig.1. Leonardo da
Vinci, "Studies for
female hands"
t is at the beginning of the 16th Century that Leonardo Da Vinci draws the Angel "from the impalpable smile" with a silver point (fig.1) - or perhaps with a golden point - kept in the Royal Library of Turin and other works that confirm what Cennino Cennini had said in 1300 : drawing is the milestone of Art. It is an autonomous genre, a divine speculation, which turns into painting as soon as it is decided by the artist. Giuseppe Borrello, moved to Turin where he has lived since 1979. A talented artist capable of using different techniques, he turns his signs into colour by means of silver, golden, titanium and platinum points and a special paper prepared on purpose (fig.2). Thanks to a process of natural oxidation Borrello obtains amber-coloured tonalities where the silver point has been used.

fig.2. Work tools
fig.3. "Carmen", 1992,
monochrome pen
This is the origin of a peculiar group of works such as "Carmen" (fig.3), a nude whose lifelikeness is due to the particular shadows, or other showing old people's heads where the lines, the beards, the tufts of hair and the anatomical details reveal the love for the Flemish Renaissance, or sleeping models, or a beautiful child who epitomized innocence.

The portrait of "Uncle Castore" (fig.4) is obtained instead by using a palladium point.

Giuseppe Borrello - son of a sculptor-was born in Sant' Agata di Esaro (Cosenza), a place which is often portrayed by the artist with its paths,

fig.4. "Zio Castore",
1990, metallic points
  fig.5. "Deposizione"
1983, monochr.
decrusted walls, small staircases and narrow windows standing as witnesses of hidden presences beyond the walls of the old houses.

Like all the people from the South, the painter is deeply fond of his family. This is why many of his relatives can be recognized in his big cartoons - mainly showing religious subject-painted with the biro technique. These works are antique and innovative at the same time and express the artist's passion and desire to turn dreams into reality.

fig.6,7. Pisano's (left)
and Giuseppe Borrello's
"Strage degli Innocenti"
In the "Deposition" (fig.5) (1983, cm 100x70) we find again faces dear to the artist that represent a throng of feelings, symbols and careful naturalistic quotations. In a landscape where the bare trees are dominated by a ray of hope, we can see the cross, the staircase and the apostle who is lowering Jesus's
fig.8. "Apocalisse
, 1982
corpse after his last breath of life before the pious women whose faces can be guessed behind the veils of Flemish memory. "The Slaugther of the Innocents" is a tragic representation. The image of the slaughterer who lifts the little child holding him by the foot reminds of Giovanni Pisano's paintings (fig.5 and 6), whereas "Apocalypse of the Year Two Thousand" (fig.7) could be the title of the work presented as "Untitled" in 1982. It represent the ipact with the great city, its misteries, its moral and physical shadows, the sense of loneliness that originates from it. Lonely and desperate are especially the women painted here, prostrated before an altar dominated by the shining image of Christ or lying abandoned on the steps of a church brightened by metaphysical lights.

fig.9. "Fabiola",
1994, polichrome
  fig.10. "Mario Soldati"
1992, polichrome
fig.11. "Mia figlia",
1982, crayons
  fig12. "Medusa",
1993, polichrome
But the biro technique is easily translated into colour; that is the way the image of "Fabiola" (fig.8) is created, a maiden with an amber - coloured face, wrapped in a glittering mantle, whose eyes the artist has created "Medusa" (fig.9) - a modern interpretation of an antique subject - the portrait of Mario Soldati (fig.10) and "My Daughter " (fig.11), a pastel showing a sulky little girl with a woolen cap on her head.

These are only fragments of the wide production of Borrello, who was already labelled ten years ago by the Mondadori catalogue as "the only well-known artist capable of using a particular stroke of the biro pen." This is a modern means of expression that lets the artist create paintings which taste of antique.

Exhibition c/o Artecornice Turin, 23 March 1996, G.G. Massara