Illustrator Francesca Gastone crafts the image for the poster of the 21st edition of Giornate degli Autori

After the artwork selected for Giornate’s 2021 and 2022 posters, created by Rä di Martino and Anna Franceschini respectively, once again an artist has been tapped to put their personal stamp on the Giornate degli Autori poster, this time with an image especially designed for this year’s event by illustrator and architect Francesca Gastone.

Gastone has always had a passion for all art forms. She started out as an architect working for Italian and foreign firms, first in Sao Paolo, Brazil, and then in Hong Kong. Once back in Milan, she decided to specialize in editorial illustration, collaborating with educational institutions, leading publishing houses and newspapers, including the Milan Polytechnic, publishers Mondadori and Electa, and magazines L’Espresso, Jacobin Italia, La Nuova Ecologia, and Anorak Magazine.

Her technique of choice is collage: analog and photographic elements co-exist within spaces whose twin axes are architecture and a human presence. Currently she splits her time between her own firm, Atelier Fyumi, in the middle of Lombardy’s Parco del Ticino outside Milan, and her shared space Bota Gogo in the city’s Isola neighborhood.

“The works I like best are the ones that don’t provide answers but trigger questions instead”: a poetics that is epitomized by the image that Francesca Gastone has created for the 2024 Giornate degli Autori. A young woman is seen walking a tightrope between buildings, at a dizzying height, over a contemporary city far below. She is in good company, with a flock of herons flying beside her; her head in the clouds, she looks up inquisitively at the observer even higher above her.

“This new image for the Giornate degli Autori poster was quite a challenge,” says Francesca Gastone. “It contains the entire world, with all its shadows and contradictions, but also the upsweep of a heart striking out in a new direction, excitedly, fearfully, eyes set on all the things we can still draw and craft together. Many thanks to the guidance and the vision of the individuals that have taken this path with me, in a spirit of dialogue and trust. Here’s to all the roads that we can still imagine and that can lead to new heights and new places.”

“For this year’s poster,” declares Gaia Furrer, Artistic Director of Giornate, “we were looking for an image even more evocative, if possible, than those of previous years: something that could capture the precariousness of a world torn by worsening conflicts. Thanks to Francesca’s sensibility and her ability to build worlds, we managed to arrive at an exquisitely beautiful expression of our idea, one that is not only a metaphor for contemporary life but also underscores the value of the creative act and the vision of artists and our Autori, who unravel and herald the complexity of the times we live in.”