Hometown Hero: Bologna Illustrator Andrea Antinori Wins Big

In Feature Articles by Porter Anderson

The Fundacion SM International Award for Illustration goes to Bologna-based illustrator Andrea Antinori, with a €15,000 cash prize.

In Bologna Chilren’s Book Fair long series of awards, Bologna’s own Andrea Antinori hears from a jury that his “mastery is unmistakable. Antinori is second from right. At left are Deanna Belluti, who is with the fair and Elena Pasoli, the show’s director, and at right is José Manuel Cidad, executive president of SM. Image: BCBF

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Jury: ‘We Recognize a Great Mastrery’
Another award report as Bologna Children’s Book Fair comes to its conclusion today (March 9).

This book fair and Fundación SM set up the special Fundación SM-Bologna International Award for Illustration in 2009 with an intent to unearth, nurture, and support new talents in illustration.

Open to artists aged under 35 whose work has been selected for the Illustrators Exhibition, the prize for the winner is €15,000 (US$15,849), which is intended to provide the winning illustrator with the peace of mind to create during one year, an illustrated book that will be published and launched for international sales by the Spanish publisher SM.

The original illustrations will then be presented at a solo exhibition at the following year’s edition of the Bologna. This year’s winner has been announced this week.

And it’s a hometown win for a guy from Bologna.

‘Vibrating Graphical Expression’

One of Andrea Antinori’s works showcased in Bologna’s 2023 Illustrators Exhibition. Image: BCBF

Here’s what the exhausted Bologna organizers are telling us: “Andrea Antinori lives in Bologna. He studied graphic design and illustration at ISIA (Urbino) and at the Escola Massana (Barcelona).

“Since 2013, he has been working as an illustrator with publishing houses in Italy and abroad. In 2021, 2020, and 2017, he was selected for Bologna’s Illustrators Exhibition. In 2017, he won the Italian Andersen Award in the category “Best book 6/9 years” and in 2019 the “Best international picture book” award at the Shanghai Book Fair with La grande battaglia.”

‘It All Looks So Light’

One of Andrea Antinori’s works showcased in Bologna’s 2023 Illustrators Exhibition. Image: BCBF

The  2023 jury behind the International Award for Illustration comprises:

  • Monica Bergna (Alboroto Ediciones, Mexico)
  • Lara Peces (SM Madrid, Spain)
  • Nina Wehrle/ It’s Raining Elephant (Illustrator, Switzerland)
‘Well-Defined Weight and a Clear Intention’

One of Andrea Antinori’s works showcased in Bologna’s 2023 Illustrators Exhibition. Image: BCBF

And what they’re saying about Antinori’s work is, “Antinori’s drawings are compelling.

“We could easily relate to the funny characters with their strong personalities and humor. It all looks so light but we recognize a great mastery.

“The limited palette of shapes, colors and a few lines create a vibrating graphical expression, reminding of electric city lights. The setup is not accidental, each element has its own, well-defined weight and a clear intention.

“Eachof his illustrations expresses a clear intention for all kinds of audience. The decision was unanimous and the jury is sure that Antinori will continue his career following his own voice even more radically.”

One of Andrea Antinori’s works showcased in Bologna’s 2023 Illustrators Exhibition. Image: BCBF


More on Bologna Children’s Book Fair is here, more from us on children’s books is here, more on publishing and book awards is here, and more on world publishing’s trade shows and book fairs is here

More of our coverage of the 60th anniversary edition of Bologna Children’s Book Fair:

Bologna’s 60th Edition Draws 28,894 Visitors
Hometown Hero: Bologna Illustrator Andrea Antinori Wins Big
International Women’s Day: PublisHer’s Bologna Stand
The Best Children’s Publishers Prizes of the Year at Bologna
At Bologna: Abu Dhabi International Translation Conference
Elena Pasoli and Jacks Thomas on the 60th Bologna Book Fair Opening
At Bologna: Spain’s Publishers Report Growing Children’s Exports
Nicholas Yatromanolakis on Bologna’s Market of Honor: ‘The Modern Face of Greece’
IPA’s Events Lineup at Bologna Children’s Book Fair
‘AI’ at Bologna: The Hair-Raising Topic of 2023?
At Bologna: PublisHer Will Have Its First Trade Show Stand
At Bologna: The ‘Taiwan Stories Market’ Program
Pre-Bologna Rights Roundup: ‘Buy Ukrainian Book Rights’
Children’s Rights Edition: A 16th Bologna Licensing Trade Fair/Kids
Bologna Book Fair Names Cross Media Award Winners
Bologna Focus: Italy’s €283 Million Children’s Book Market
Rights Edition: Bologna Book Plus’ Rights Programming
Bologna Book Fair: 2023 Ragazzi Awards
Bologna’s 60th Book Fair: Illustrators Exhibition Winners
Greece Is Bologna Book Plus’ First Market of Honor

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.