Brian Rea is one of the most important and affirmed American illustrators of his generation. The choice of Consuelo Castiglioni to involve an illustrator precisely reflects the spirit of the 2012 Winter Edition. The saturated and clean colors, the clear-cut and well defined lines and the references to metropolitan life as an ideal backdrop are characteristics of the world of illustration (and of cartoons) which are also found in the style of this Marni collection. Brian Rea collaborates with Marni in the creation of t-shirts and bags for the Marni Mens and Marni Womens 2012 Winter Edition collection and also contributes to the decoration of the Milan showroom (a number of his works indeed become wallpaper which will remain on the walls of the Milan headquarters for a few months).
The subjects of Rea’s illustrations belong to an almost fantasy world, the result of a poetic and dreamlike vision of reality. Everyday life loses its real dimension to acquire another – more delicate, nostalgic and at the same time ironic. Two people in love embracing each other on various metropolitan backgrounds. Roofs, sidewalks, brick buildings, windows, antennas and billboards are the backdrop of a love which does not give in to the grayness of the city but rather ennobles it. A young girl reads a book together with a strange friend, similar to a giant, another walks in a desert (almost lunar) landscape and meets a penguin with its young one, two boys are sitting on a sofa with a fantasy character, a nice fat little monster… The stroke is always simple and well defined with some rare color concessions (the pink of a sunset, the blue of a window, the green of the stripes of a t-shirt …).
But it is black and white which prevails, giving drawings a special force, in a careful balance of solids and voids. The graphic tract stands out above all. Essentiality and sharpness are the traits of the style of Brian Rea: his rigor and sobriety have an almost childlike, naive tone. Space is occupied by few, clear, precise and rigorous lines which, in their simplicity, have the power to make the commonest objects appear magical. People, animals and cities are drawn with an unexpected naturalness, result, however, of a careful work of removal. Indeed, for Brian Rea, less is more and the cleanness and sharpness of his work is accompanied by a subtle irony, a slight sarcasm which allows him to represent daily reality with a light, refined and truly special touch.