Gino Forti fisherman - notes for G. Forti, 1992, Nicola A. Manfredi

Gino Forti is a passionate fisherman.

Having the opportunity to print his engravings with him, we often talk about fishing. While he tweaks the plates with shrewd enthusiasm and we wait for printing, I provoke him: because Forti is faithful to cane and wire - the very long Florentine fishing pole that becomes durlindana in his mouth - I, on the contrary, to net and slingbar. We challenge ourselves to the last word and the last adventure. Only once, betraying inks and presses, did we pass from words to deeds and went to the Enza stream, in the summer. The water was so shallow and the fishing spaces so restricted that Forti, accustomed to immense Tuscan rivers, he didn't even want to unsheathe the Florentine. So I've never seen him fish and confirm his own stories.

I've always watched it engrave and print. Etching and drypoint, scrapings and acid burns give life to a calculated disorder of blacks and halftones that fill the images with volumes. A skilled printer of his own plates, with a very vigilant self-critical sense, Forti knows where to leave and remove ink: each copy is thus unique for minimal variations, as required by the best interpretative tradition of contemporary intaglio printing. Admiring his engravings collected for a catalog, in preparation, from 1975 to today, one can see how the attention paid to the blond and dark Bartolini manners has now led him to autonomy and maturity of language. Forti does not remember someone else, he is unmistakably himself, in the animals, in the children, in the figures, in the landscapes.

So who can enjoy this beautiful series of etchings-drypoints dedicated to fishing, be sure, and I with him, that, if Forti knows how to fish how to engrave, then he is among the best.