Andrea is first of all a sharp observer of the world, before being a good drawer. The poetic of unreality can spring only through the observation of reality. Any line in his drawings moves on the ridge of phantasy. Phantasy and reality are two sides of the same coin, a useful and ancient combination. In Andrea's imaginary parade you will never find those animals that can easily be met elsewhere; moreover, in case you have the chance to spot an animal you already know, e.g. a dromedary, it is The dromedary who swam in the pelican's beak. The nice little rabbit here is a Buffalo hunter. Of course you have never had the chance to meet Donkeys in push-up or Glued equines, nor have you ever imagined that there is a lion, named Nico, with a gorilla's head. Very rapidly we find ourselves in a marvelous array of imagination, meeting bizarre characters in a parade of fantastic animals. His predilection for animals is accompanied by a deep knowledge of their characteristics. The drawer becomes zoologist by listing with extreme accuracy the scientific names of the animals. For instance, in one of the environments illustrated by Andrea you will find the most studied dolphin, the most skillful in performing acrobatics outside water, the Tursiops truncated, also said Tursiops or dolphin with the bottle nose. In case it comes to your mind to ask him why he is so passionate about animals, be prepared to a conversation diversion, with the artful mastery of an illusionist, and to listen to jokes and riddles. All this because you should never ask a magician where the rabbit he has just taken out of his cylinder was hidden.

Andrea was born in Rome, on 17th July 2000.

He showed the first sign of his being a special kid when he was around 2 years of age. From that time onwards he started retreating to his own world. From that point on all therapies and all the efforts of his family, when possible in synergy with school, aimed at bringing him back among us. Andrea has reacted positively to therapy and now he is  a quiet and cheerful boy, kind towards everyone. He is really keen on animals- he knows their genera and species and their characteristics and habits. He started drawing on Christmas Eve 2002, when he received as a present an IKEA children's blackboard and the first thing he drew was the moon. From that moment on he has never stopped. He attends the Liceo artistico “Ripetta” in Rome.

Andrea's mother


[1] J. L. BORGES, M. GUERRERO, Manuale di zoologia fantastica, a cura di G. Felici, trad. di F. Lucentini, Einaudi, Torino, 2015.

[2] Ibidem, p. 4.

In the Prologue to the Manual of fantastic animals, Jorge Luis Borges focuses on how for a child discovering a dromedary or water or the stairs is more or less the same thing. Children look at the tiger with wonder, revealing an atavistic attraction. Plato, according the Argentine writer, believed that the child has already seen the animals, even the most ferocious ones, in the anterior world of archetypes. As a consequence, his discovery is merely an act of recognition. Going on in this investigation, Schopenhauer stated that the child looks at the tiger with no fear since he is well aware of the fact that he and the tiger are made of the same essence. [1] Fantastic animals, creatures of the human imagination, come from the myth, from an immemorial time when human beings and animals were one and the same thing, when the barrier between phantasy and reality was very thin. The fantastic population is as big as the need of human beings to shape reality with imagination. Borges writes: "we ignore the sense of a dragon,  as well as the sense of the universe. However, there is something in its image that pairs with the imagination of human beings and therefore it appears in different epochs and latitudes”. [2] The image of the dragon is indeed present in the collective imagination of many different cultures, from west to east, and, although we do not grasp its sense, it results in a necessary monster. Phantasy is necessary to men to create such unbelievable creatures, something that has no time nor place. Those who use phantasy, at least when they are using it, expand the world. There are real animals on the one side and, on the other, there are Andrea's animals. In this very moment he is probably drawing, using his phantasy, his imagination pairs with collective imagination, as a player playing his instrument in an orchestra and he does it in his own way. In his Notebook he describes the characteristics of his animals and tells their stories with irony and surprising paradoxes in a way similar to a fairytale but with no moral intentions. The illustrations that graphically describe them are not to be seen as a visual representation usually found in Bestiaries. In conclusion, there is no intention apart from the disinterested intention of the imagination to create wonder, to make familiar things look extraordinary, as if we were children who for the first time meet a wolf and maybe the latter is in his bathrobe and slippers or as if we met the Mammoth Bus eating chocolate ice-cream in a café.

Jasmina Mulalic