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Forattini, Giorgio 1931(?)–

FORATTINI, Giorgio 1931(?)–

PERSONAL: Born 1931 (some sources say 1932), in Rome, Italy.

ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Arnoldo Mondadori Editore S.P.A., via Mondadori 1, 20090 Segrate, Milan, Italy.

CAREER: Oil company sales agent in Naples, Italy, and manager for a record company in Rome, Italy, 1950s; household appliances sales representative, Rome, 1967–69; advertising company art director, Rome, 1970s; Paese Sera, Rome, graphic designer, c. 1973–75; La Repubblica, Rome, satirical cartoonist, 1975–82. Worked as satirical cartoonist and graphic designer for La Stampa, Turin, Italy, 1982–84 and 1999–2005, and La Repubblica 1984–99. Contributor to Panorama and L'Espresso; created cartoons for Italian television c. 1980s; commercial artist for clients that included Alitalia and Fiat.

AWARDS, HONORS: Premio Hemingway, 2000, for journalism; civic merit award, Mayor of Trieste, Italy, 2004.

WRITINGS:

SELF-ILLUSTRATED; CARTOON COLLECTIONS

Referendum, reverendum, Feltrinelli (Milan, Italy), 1974.

Quattro anni di storia italiana, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1977.

Un'idea al giorno, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1978.

Res publica, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1980.

Librus, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1980.

Satyricon, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1982.

Scomodoso, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1983.

Pagine gialle, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1984.

Provocazia, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1986.

Nudi alla meta, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1986.

Il Kualunquista, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1988.

Giorgio e il drago, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1989.

Stradivarius: i songi nell'archetto, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1989.

Vignette Sataniche, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1989.

Insciaqquà, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1990.

Forattini classic, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1991.

Pizza rossa, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1991.

Il mascalzone, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1992.

Forattinopoli: storia della corruzione in Italia, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1993.

Bossic instinct, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1993.

Benito di Tacco: craxi story, 1976–1993, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1993.

Andreácula: andreotti story 1976–1993, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1993.

Karaoketto: PCUS-PCI-PDS: 1973–1994, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1994.

Il garante di Lady Chatterley, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1994.

Va' dove ti porta il rospo, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1995.

Giovanni Paolo secondo Forattini, 1978–1995, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1995.

Berluscopone, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1996.

Il forattone, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1996.

Io e il Bruco, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1997.

Il libro a colori del post-comunismo (political vignettes), Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1998.

Taxgate, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1998.

Oscar alla regia: storia di un settennato, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1999.

Millennium flop, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1999.

Sotto il baffetto niente: la resistibile ascesa del leader Massimo, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 2000.

Foratt pride, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 2000.

Glob, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 2001.

Ciappi: un presidente di razza, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 2001.

Kosferatu: uno spettro s'aggira per le piazze, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 2002.

Oltre la fifa, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 2002.

Hurk, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 2003.

SIDELIGHTS: Giorgio Forattini has been called one of the foremost European satirical cartoonists of his generation. He completed high school, but quit his studies at a university of architectural arts in 1953 to work at an oil refinery in northern Italy and become a sales representative in the oil industry and later in other fields. Following the 1960s student revolt in his home country, satirical cartoons began to proliferate in Italian newspapers and magazines in response to the political climate. Forattini plunged headlong into the movement.

Forattini's cartoons first appeared in the daily Roman newspaper Paese Sera. By winning a cartoon contest run by that newspaper in the 1970s, he secured a position as a graphic designer for the publication. His first satirical political cartoons appeared in the magazine Panorama in 1973 and in Paese Sera in 1974. For the next ten years, Panorama published his political cartoons.

His first permanent position as a cartoonist began in 1975 when he left Paese Sera to join a newly founded daily called La Repubblica as its regular editorial cartoonist. In 1982 he moved on to Turin's daily newspaper, La Stampa, as a graphic designer. That paper published one of his satirical cartoons on the front page, the first time a cartoon of that kind ever appeared on the front page of a daily Italian newspaper.

In the meantime, Forattini worked in commercial advertising for Alitalia, Italy's major airline. His services were also sought by auto-maker Fiat to launch its new model, Uno, and he worked steadily during the 1980s for Italian television, contributing topical and political cartoons to that medium.

By the end of 1984, Forattini had quit La Stampa to return to La Repubblica, where his daily editorials again made the front page. During this period, he also worked for L'Espresso and Panorama. In 1999, he left La Repubblica to once again work for La Stampa. At the time, Forattini was being sued 1.6 million dollars for defamation by Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema because of a cartoon depicting D'Alema wearing a fascist-type uniform that included an armband decorated with a hammer and sickle. D'Alema was the first former communist to become prime minister of Italy, and the cartoon was published during a period of controversy over a number of Italians who had allegedly been associated with the Russian KGB.

This was not the first time D'Alema had sued Forattini. The prime minister, together with Left Democratic party leader Achille Occhetto, were awarded 60,000 dollars from a suit involving a 1991 magazine cover that pictured them as prostitutes accepting money from Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Unlike in the United States, where public figures can openly be satirized, Italy affords such individuals the same privacy protections as they do private citizens.

A contributor to World Encyclopedia of Cartoons noted that the Italian cartoonist's favorite subjects are the "high and mighty in all fields" and that he reviews the "principal deeds (and misdeeds) of Italian politicians." Foreign dignitaries are also fair game for Forattini, however, and he vehemently attacked U.S. President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev during their terms in office. Forattini prefers to "ridicule his targets directly, at times focusing on some physical defect," never resorts to vulgarity, and uses a harsh irony to express his views of the powerful. The World Encyclopedia of Cartoons writer also commented that Forattini's cartoons portray a relatively upbeat and breezy style with a "pinch of optimism and confidence that raises a smile even when reality is darker than the mood of his cartoons."

By 2000, Forattini's books of cartoons and caricatures had sold more than three million copies. Many became bestsellers, and new editions have been published. Il libro a colori del post-comunismo contains a collection of his political vignettes originally published in the weekly journal Panorama.

In early 2005, Forattini was released from his contract by La Stampa because of his controversial cartoons, particularly one that depicted the baby Jesus in a manger, wondering whether Israeli tanks might appear to kill him again.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

World Encyclopedia of Cartoons, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1980.

PERIODICALS

Boston Globe, February 6, 2000, Jeff Israely, "Cartoonist's Target Hits Back: Italy's Premier Sues over a Coverup Sketch," p. A14.

Times Literary Supplement, January 4, 1980, review of Librus, p. 22.

ONLINE

Giorgio Forattini Home Page, http://www.forattini.it (May 9, 2005).

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