iuseppe Borrello, painter, engraver and master of figurative arts, has dedicated his life to study, research and experiments, thus mastering the Renaissance concept of “drawing” meant as a pictorial work. Considering what Vasary says, “Painting is drawing”, the artist managed to develop a new painting technique, by which it is possible to obtain paintings simply replacing the traditional brushes whit the modern biro-pens.

Borrello can create chiaroscuro effects that are more impressive than those obtained whit countless signs, extremely this and homogeneous, giving an impression of lightness. Such signs are put close to one another, without interruptions, so as to cover the surface of the sheet in order to reflect the light, penetrate the transparencies and receive the shadows in a world of new, beautiful figures. Such figures seem to be moulded in a material which is ethereal and concrete at the same time, expressing an intensity that changes radically the substance of drawing.

Actually, the pen is a graphic instrument used by the artists of all ages such as Pisanello, who was born in Pisa in 1395 and died after 1450, Parri Spinelli (1387 – 1453). Since it is a hard instrument, it cannot be cancelled and leaves clear and uniform lines. Its use had been limited so far to the creation of dotted images.

In any case, the biro-pen requires a great ability in the planning of the drawing as well as an extreme precision in the execution of the work.

This is why the biro-painting is considered as a very difficult technique, because the artist, after having mentally analized and visualized the outline, must reproduce it on the sheet without doing any mistake and be very careful about the way be modulates the signs adjoining are another so as to obtain a finite images.

The greatest difficulty for the artist is that of creating the picture on his mind in order to be able to reproduce it in one go on the sheet. Borrello presents a different way to conceive the pictorial work along with a double innovative drawing method, with the introduction of a new use of pens and ink in the noble universe of painting as a result of today’s industrial technology. This is even more striking if we think that such instruments had been used so far only to create geometrical drawings and sketches.

Therefore Giuseppe Borrello is the link between an antique and prestigious form of figurative art – the drawing – and the application of modern instruments – the biro-pens – together with new methods of work (the art of creating a painting by drawing).


Milano, 11 Aprile 1997
Rosaria Barone