Andrea Piana

Traces by Valerio Pisano, the artist of the Bic pens

A spellbound world, magical, ironic and amusing, being carried away by the creative powers of Valerio Pisano, painter, designer, graphic artist from Lanusei (Ogliastra), is a unique and exciting experience. 

It is not often that you find yourself in front of a work of art (painting, installation, sculpture) and be dazzled by the beauty of it and at the same time be touched lightly by the casualness and irony of these creations. What happens when we are before these works of art created by Valerio’s fantasy is this: observing for example his project Metal Railing Perfume, one is abducted and enchanted but also amused and strangely dazed.

How can one be impassive observing the fishing guitar (with a built in reel!) or the Coffeeteapot, a forever indecisive object, which drink should it prepare? Also the truncheon with a sucker or the collection of suppositories, mint, granite, lemon or ash wood. Playful and surreal inventions that take you to another universe, Valerio’s personal universe but also one that we have all experienced during our childhood, one that most people tend to forget.      

And it is the memories of childhood that are the central thread of his best known and appreciated works (even abroad): the famous saga of the Bic pens, which saw Pisano dedicating three years of study and graphic representation of one of the most common and well known objects in everyday life. A simple yet brilliant idea: drawing a Bic pen using the same Bic pen as a drawing instrument in a sort of self portrait of this object. “The Bic pen saga began by chance in 2009” explains Pisano. “In a moment of boredom I drew a Bic pen on a sheet of paper using a Bic pen and from that moment I started reproducing these pens in the most imaginative ways. I have produced thousands of them in a constant evolution that I must say is enjoyable to do and is also supported by the appreciation of critics. Now I have started to reap the benefits of my work.”      

“One of the most touching moments for me,” continues Pisano “was in 2011 when I was moving house and I found some of my old primary school books, their covers were full of doodles and drawings that I had done using a Bic pen. Inside one of the books I found my first real drawing of two Bic pens, one red and one blue: I had completely forgotten about that drawing and it was incredibly emotional for me to realize that it had always been ‘me’, and that I had continued to hang out in fantasy land with the same freedom and couldn’t care less attitude.”

His personal website is From 3rd May until 31st May Valerio Pisano will be exhibiting Traces at the Galleria Farini, in Via Farini 26/D a Bologna.