An exhibition of Altan's artwork featuring Timpa (in Italian, "Pimpa") opens February 8th at Milan's Utopia Gallery (web site in Italian). The exhibition, entitled Francesco Tullio-Altan: Timpa and the Others, brings together over sixty drawings, comics, and images dating from Altan's very earliest to his most recent work and represents the most complete show dedicated to Timpa to date.
In 1975 Altan's daughter told him that she wanted a puppy, and he did the best he could at the time: he drew her one. Since then, Timpa has become Italy’s best-loved children’s character, spawning TV shows, films, all manner of merchandising, and countless imitators.
"I invented Timpa in 1965, watching my daughter, Chicca, who like all children, treated things as if they were living beings. She ran into a chair, for example, turned to it, and said: ‘Naughty!’ In this way, I dreamed up a comic strip in which all things are alive and everything talks.
"I think that children like Timpa because she plays a game that they adore; the game of animating everything that surrounds them. It's a game that makes an impression on young imaginations and creates a strong emotive connection. They identify with her, because she sees the world in the same way as Timpa, who speaks with things as if they were alive.”—Altan
Italy’s leading daily newspaper, La Stampa, wrote about Timpa: “A veritable classic that every home must have on its bookshelves. […] Timpa is a friend to wile away the hours with. […] She speaks with animals, with adults, objects, plants, even with shoes, she observes the world with interest, deep feeling, respect and wonder. Of all the personages created by Altan, Timpa deserves special attention because she continues to attract and fascinate children that belong to widely divergent generations.”
Timpa comic books and strips, games, and storybooks have been translated into French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Hungarian, and the first two titles in the Timpa series—Here Comes Timpa, and Timpa Goes to the Sea—will soon be available in English from Europa Editions.
Details of the show at Exibart (web site in Italian)