The Mario Blog

10.17.2021—7am    Post #19728
When a pandemic lockdown inspires newspaper art

Wnen Italian artist Tatiana Trouvé found herself isolated–like the rest of us–at the height of the pandemic, newspapers became her link to the outside world. She found inspiration on those front pages.

Behold the printed newspaper, which can become the canvas for the artist, as is the case with Tatiana Trouvé , a contemporary Italian visual artist based in Paris who works in large-scale installations, sculptures, and drawings.

I thank my good friend Christian Van Thillo, Executive Chairman of Belgium’s DPG Media, for offering me the collection of Ms. Trouve’s front pages, collected as a work under the title, From March to May. It is a fascinating tour of how the artist felt on different days during the Covid19 lockdown.

In her own words:

When the quarantine was announced, newspapers from countries around the world being ravaged by the pandemic took on new meaning. I began, each day, to draw on the front page of a paper—it was a way of escaping the confinement, and of being connected to the strange atmosphere that was spreading around the globe with the virus. This world tour via headlines and front pages was like a journey in reverse. Suddenly, I could no longer meet the world unless the world came to me, through the newspapers. Governments and leaders around the world should have seen this as an opportunity to reconsider our societal and economic models. But no. This crisis has only heightened my anger at the inequalities we accept daily, and at the contempt we show for our planet.
—Tatiana Trouvé

I was personally touched by the entries and happy to see that 8 of the newspapers utilized for Ms. Trouve’s piece are titles that I have been involved with through the years.

There is not one single theme running through the collection of front pages, except that we can all identify with the loneliness and frustration the artist felt in isolation. Sometimes Ms. Trouve’s art simply offers us a view of a room as if to say “this is my world and I can’t escape it”:

Sometimes we see a dog (perhaps a reference to her own pet and the company it offered her).

There is also the bare tree, the reality of a winter made to feel and to look harsher because of the forced isolation.

I recommend that you take a look at the entire collection, which allows for reflection at many levels: Not one of us can forget Covid19 and its ravaging effects, the isolation which forced upon us, and the devastating loss of life across the planet.

Looking through Ms. Trouve’s pages, we can all relive how we spent our own isolation. For me, at the beach in Florida, with great views of the Gulf of Mexico, but without the freedom to spread my wings and go places. I also keep thinking that, unlike Ms. Trouve, I was not receiving printed copies of any newspaper and was reading all news online. Perhaps a printed newspaper daily at my doorstep would have provided needed company.

The benefits of print are sometimes forgotten in this era of all things digital and mobile. Ms. Trouve’s has reminded us that the physical contact with ink and paper can be therapeutic, and, in her case, inspirational.

More images of Tatiana Trouvé’s From March to May:

Hear the artist explain her work here:

More in this blog about the newspaper as art

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