Summer embodies a symphony of contrasts, an orchestration of vivid sensations that encompasses flavors, aromas, hues, and sounds in their most intense forms. Within this kaleidoscope of experiences, the artist Olimpia Zagnoli takes us on a journey to encapsulate the August ambiance through her artwork titled “Cocomero.”
Olimpia Zagnoli, a gifted artist hailing from Milan, captures this essence in her new cover art for The New Yorker’s August 28, 2023 issue. In conversation with Zagnoli, we delved into the hues and dimensions of the August atmosphere.
The term ‘cocomero’ carries with it the echoes of generations past, a linguistic heirloom passed down through the ages. It evokes memories of warm summer afternoons, picnics with family, and the simple joy of biting into a slice of juicy watermelon. In a place like Campo de’ Fiori, where the past mingles seamlessly with the present, ‘cocomero’ becomes more than just a word; it’s a bridge between cultures, a testament to the enduring beauty of shared experiences, and a nod to the rich tapestry of Rome’s history.
August stands as the fulcrum of summer, balancing on the cusp of change. It marks the zenith of the season, a crescendo of sensory delight. The air crackles with anticipation, storms sweeping in to cleanse away the accumulated days of oppressive heat. Fruits and vegetables, ripe and abundant, cascade from garden beds, nature’s bounty overflowing.
In this transitional moment, a subtle coolness dances on the breeze, a gentle reminder of the impending autumn. Evenings hold a mysterious threat of fading prematurely, prompting us to seize every fleeting moment. Each second cries out to be savored, to be etched into memory.
In the realm of summer, nature weaves a tapestry of contradictions. It is a time when the sun’s fiery kiss ignites the day while thunderheads gather to quench the earth with torrential downpours. The air resonates with the melodies of birds in the early morning and the chorus of cicadas during the sultry afternoons.
August, in particular, carries a unique mood within this grand spectacle. It is a month of transition, where the lush greenery of July starts to yield to the golden hues of autumn. The flavors of summer fruits burst forth, from the sweetness of ripe peaches to the juiciness of watermelons – and “Cocomero” seeks to encapsulate this essence.
Through her artistry, Olimpia Zagnoli explores the interplay of these vibrant contrasts, inviting us to experience the multifaceted emotions and sensory delights that define the heart of August in all its glory.