Italian artist and illustrator Titti Garelli spent the first twenty years of her professional life working mostly in advertising; it was only in the 1990s that she started to exhibit her own distinctive art in exhibitions and galleries. She is very much a product of the Turin art scene, having trained at the Turin Academy of Art, where she studied under the guidance of Sergio Saroni, and she now has her studio in the city and teaches at the Academy of Fine Arts in Cuneo.

The arresting quality of Garelli’s work is immediately apparent, with its juxtaposition of classical and very modern themes and techniques. Her artistic world consists almost exclusively of women and young girls, though men have occasionally made an appearance. It is a fantasy world, though the fantasies are often very close to reality. In the early 2000s she worked on an extensive series entitled Ragazze Cattive (Naughty Little Girls) – her little girls offer a counterpoint to cuteness with their streetwise attitude; you can see the whole series here.

Brother of Italy, 2000

Titti Garelli’s current project is entitled Regine Gotiche (Gothic Queens), in which classical portraits of regal figures are given a new life in ultra-realistic doll-like settings.

The Legend of the Pomegranate, 2019

As she writes of her work, ‘Contemporary culture gives us the opportunity to interact in real time with ancient worlds that are slowly disappearing. In my art I humbly aim to make them coexist through the juxtaposition of styles and aesthetic experiences.’

Titti Garrelli’s website can be found here, with information about her current projects and forthcoming exhibitions.

Example illustration