A machine’s life
Ironic, witty, funny – Riccardo Manzi's cartoons collected in Vita da macchine depict the modern life of people in the 1950s, consisting in daily routines and mechanical gestures that made them just like machines. One of the cartoons shows a person observing a piece of machinery, very complex, full of gears, whose external shape is however similar to their own: the cartoon is indeed entitled “La somiglianza” (“Likeness”). The machines in the cartoons talk in numbers, help people perform their daily activities: comb one's hair, play cards, communicate, and also find “the scent of life”. People who observe machines and machines that observe each other, facing each other, entities that try to know each other but are seemingly unable to communicate with each other. Manzi was a great cartoonist as well as painter, and at the end of the 1940s Leonardo Sinisgalli, the “poet-engineer” who at the times was chief editor of the Rivista Pirelli magazine, asked him to contribute to the magazine's illustrations and the company's visual communication concepts. Thus, iconic advertising campaigns were born, such as “A occhi chiusi” (“With eyes shut”) for the “Cinturato” tires, an ironic take on the theme of safety.
Vita da macchine (A machine's life)