- Ciça FittipaldiIllustrator–Brazil
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Maria Cecília Fittipaldi Vessani—Ciça Fittipaldi—was born in São Paulo in 1952. She studied classical ballet between 1958 and 1971, and she danced with the São Paulo Municipal Theatre Company (from 1966 to 1970). Then, at the University of Brasília, she worked with contemporary body expression and studied Architecture and Fine Arts. She accomplished her MA in Arts and Visual Culture (2005), at the National University of Goiás, researching the indigenous feather art and its presence and influence in contemporary Brazilian art from the 1980s until now. In 1975, she started to work with the Brazilian Indigenous theme when she lived among the Nambiquara people. Since then, she has kept contact with professionals and entities working with this matter and with Brazilian Indigenous communities.
Between 1980 and 1983, while living in Goiânia, in the center-west of Brazil, Fittipaldi illustrated for the O Popular newspaper and worked at TV Anhanguera, telling stories for children. Having moved back to São Paulo in 1984, she published her first text for children, João Lampião (Paulinas Publishing House)—in which she points out traditions from the state of Goiás, which was, up to this moment, unknown in the rest of Brazil. Since then, she has created texts and illustrations for children's books besides creating plastic arts, painting, and drawing; working as a designer; and making institutional campaigns, visual identities, and posters for enterprises. Currently, Ciça Fittipaldi lives in Goiânia and teaches drawing, illustration and book design at the National University of Goiás.
Ciça Fittipaldi believes in art as something to be lived:
I think that books, literature, and visual images for children allow me the aesthetic dimension, as some thing to be experienced in the coming and going between my cre ative work, the book as a proposition, and the readers and their multiple readings.
Her illustrating process is based on empathy, as she tries to connect worlds and to create a dialog between text and image. All of her works are notorious for being well-researched, with methods learnt with anthropologists and Fittipaldi's experience as a professor. For her illustrations in books that retell stories of African people, she collects as many iconographic materials as she can, a real immersion in their realities. About this work, she says,
African sculptures were my formal basis, but the drawings are very choreographic. The absence of depth is replaced, in the composition, by a scenic arrangement of the elements and a body language from the characters that ties them to the dance universe. This work, that has transported me to such a rhythmic, musical, and dancing world, allowed me to see and to make conscious and intentional relations between dance and drawing that worked in my gestures, in my persona, and in my aesthetic action since childhood. [End Page 44]