Fortunello is an imaginary Dada character created by Italian actor Ettore Petrolini (1884-1936). Based on slapstick comedy, parody and nonsense, Petrolini’s semi-mechanical performances as Fortunello have grabbed the attention of Italian Futurists. Marinatti has described this character as “the most complex to analyze among Petrolini’s masterpieces.”
Pessoli uses Fortunello in an animated movie titled Autorittrato Petrolini. The piece is based on a 1915 short film by Petrolini acting as Fortunello. To create this artwork, Pessolini has projected the original movie on a piece of canvas, painting over the running images. Drawing with a large range of tools and techniques—oil, acrylic, tempera, stencils, airbrush, pastel, paint roller and rags—he has painted every single image from the thousand ones in Autoritratto Petrolini. Every frame in the movie corresponds to a change in the painting photographed by the artist. There is no other post-production; the animation simply results from the editing in a sequential order.
Born in 1963 in Cervia, Italy, Alessandro Pessoli lives and works in Los Angeles.