Carte blanche: the project with 49 artists for Vogue Italia

A year ago, the White Issue – a special edition of Vogue Italia in April 2020 – hit the newsstands with a completely white, silent cover, as a symbolic testimony during the height of the pandemic emergency, as a message of respect and at the same time a wish for rebirth.

March’s Vogue Italia hosts the fruit of an artistic project that came to life then. Valentina Ciarallo, an art historian and independent curator specialising in contemporary languages, involved 49 Italian artists, separated by a total age range of 29 years, asking each of them to reinterpret the cover of the magazine, each according to his or her own feelings, to paint on that page as if it were a blank canvas.

White, which represents the beginning of the vital phase, a sign of hope and trust, becomes a creative stimulus for artists capable of adhering to our contemporary world. Back to vibrant, powerfully visionary, reinterpreted through personal readings. The surface, like a canvas, a sheet of paper or a space capable of accommodating innovative instances, becomes a collective story animated by variety and diversity of languages.

“I wanted to give hope in pain,’ explains Ciarallo. “Because light is always hidden behind storm clouds: you just have to know how to imagine it. The project, dedicated to his 17-year-old son who is passionate about fashion, was born by chance. “It was the beginning of April, I went to the newsagents to buy Vogue Italia, one of the few joys in those difficult times, and when I saw the white cover, so symbolic and yet so open to the imagination, I was blown away. The idea was already there. I took all the remaining copies, about ten, and then begged friends and relatives to buy the ones they could find at other newsagents in the capital. When I had accumulated quite a few, I started to call the artists, proposing that they send the magazine so that they could provide an original interpretation of the cover”. The first to respond was Letizia Cariello: ‘She joined the initiative with enthusiasm and from there I started to believe in it too’.

The project curated by Valentina Ciarallo is published in the March 2021 issue of Vogue Italia dedicated to creativity.