AN EARLY START
Christian Cordella was born on 11 March 1973, in Lecce, Italy. He marks the 8th generation in a family of prominent Italian designers. From his early childhood, he showed a strong inclination for all art forms.
- 1982: He painted “S. Francesco e gli animali” (“St. Francis and the animals”) for the Church of Lecce.
- 1983: He participated in his first exhibition, Lecce’s “Pittori in Piazza” (“Painters in the Square”), where he was awarded 1st prize.
- 1985: Upon the invitation of radio host G. Pederiali, he appeared as a guest on the RAI live broadcast I Giorni to talk about the meaning behind the fantastic animals that grace his work.STUDYChristian’s father, a 7th generation fashion designer, encouraged his son’s growth in all of the arts. Christian attended high school in his home town, where he studied Fine Arts. He completed advanced art studies at:
- The School for Comic Strip Artists in Milan
- The Fashion Illustration course at the Marangoni of Milan
- The School of Sketching at the Castello Sforzesco in Milan
- The Theater Design School of the Academy of Fine Art of Brera, Milan
- 1996: The Academy of Fine Art of Brera in Milan (scholarship awarded as year’s outstanding student)
- 1997: Illustration Program at Kingston University in London (scholarship, by Italian government, for top students)
- 1997: Academy of Fine Art of Brera, graduating with highest honors for a diploma in Scenic Design. His graduation project is an illustration adaptation of the theater piece “Death and the Czar”.
- 1985: He provided illustrations for the magazine Cortina Cittŕ, edited by famous writer Milena Milani.
- 1987: He began an artistic collaboration with the magazine Espresso Sud, which continued until 2000.
- 1990: He began a collaboration with the publication L’Uomo e il Mare.
- 1996: He was featured on the cover of the publication L’Uomo e il Mare, and in a special feature insert dedicated to him as one of Italy’s emerging artistic talents.
In 1990, he discovered an interest in Sacred Themes, and was commissioned by the Church of Lecce for a painting. Upon completion of the work, he personally delivered the sacred treasure to the Pope to be preserved at the Vatican.
- 1991: The 18-year-old artist took 1st prize at the National Competition for Cartoonists, held at the Expolevante in Bari, Italy.
- 1992: His comics were included in the “Expocomics” in Bari, Italy.
- 1993: He published his first comic strip entitled “Il ritorno di Casanova” (“The Return of Casanova”).
- 1993: As a competitor in the major “Immaginaria 94″ competition sponsored by the chain of department stores, La Rinanscente, and the Art Academy of Brera, his work finished in the Top 60 from among 8,779 works submitted. His prize-winning pieces are published in the contest catalogue.
- 1995: He is one of the cartoonists represented in an appointment book entitled Datacomics, published by the firm Balocco Editore on the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of the comic strip.
- 1999: In lieu of military service, he spent the year in a middle school teaching art and mentoring gypsy kids. He captured this profound experience with the gypsy world through an illustrated story, “Uomini Liberi” (“Free Man”). The story was approved by the Secretary of State of Vatican City.
- 2000: He drew the comic book “Goccianera”, created by writer Luca Tiraboschi. The book was available in all libraries and magazine stands in Italy. The work was praised on famous talk shows such as Maurizio Costanzo Show and La Premiata Ditta.
- 2004: He drew the comic book inspired by the life of Saint Joseph of Copertino (protector of the American aviation and astronauts) with writer Michele Medda for the 400-year anniversary of the birth of the saint. (Michele Medda is famous as the writer of Dylan Dog and creator of Nathan Never, the most popular Italian comicbook.)
- 1995: He was invited by the city of Hiroshima to represent Italy by portraying through his painting the desire for love and peace in the world, to help commemorate the 50th anniversary of the holocaust at Hiroshima. His painting, “Love and Peace”, still is on display at the Museum of Hiroshima.
- 1996: Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, selected his drawings for the creation of a mural at its EPCOT theme park. He was invited to serve as a cultural representative to demonstrate the styles and techniques of the Italian Renaissance Masters, at EPCOT’s Italian Pavillion in Orlando.
- 1997/98: Upon the request of Walt Disney World, he returned to EPCOT to reprise his role as a cultural representative to demonstrate the styles and techniques of the Italian Masters.
- 1999: His portrait of Saint Filippo Smaldone (patron of deaf- mutes), a work measuring 4×3 meters, is displayed in Saint Peter’s square in Rome. Pope John Paul II presents it as the official image of the Saint to be diffused throughout the Catholic world. The artist received the praise from the Pope himself during a special private audience. This work was later used as an official postage stamp.
- 1996: He is selected as an apprentice scenic designer for the National Television stations “Canale 5 “,” Italia 1″ and “Rete 4″.
- 1997: Collaborates with Maestro Luciano Damiani on the scenic design of theatre piece adapted from Goethe`s “Faust”produced by the “Teatro dei Documenti” in Rome.
- 1999: He created billboards and set design, as commissioned by the human association “Caritas”, for demonstrations in the name of Peace, during the war in Kosovo.
- 1999: He created set designs for the group “Oblivion”, which were used for a jazz and tango contest.
- 2000: He returned to the United States to work as Art Director for an entertainment company in Orlando, Florida, where he created costumes and set designs for Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World, Busch Gardens, and other clients.
- 2004: He collaborated for the making of the Shakespeare tragedy “Coriolano”, starring Allessandro Gassmann, which will tour all of Italy for the next 2 years.
- 1995: He appeared as a guest on the t.v. show Buona Domenica, to talk about his art.
- 1996: His work was chosen for the annual “Salon”, organized by the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera, to appear in a prominent Milanese art gallery to promote the outstanding young artists from the Academy.
- 1996: Noted television personality Pippo Baudo invited him to be a guest on the television program Numero Uno, in a special edition for upcoming young artists.
- 1997: The artist was chosen to participate in the prestigious exhibition ” Salon dei Salons”, featuring works by the top students of the past five years at the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera.
- 1999: He won 1st prize for the best stamp for the 50th Anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights, by the Italian Philately of the Club Lions.
- 1999: He travelled through Albany and Kosovo during the war, with a humanitarian aid group, using his artistic abilities to depict the tragedy of the war. His sketches were published in many different newspapers. In addition, he created billboards and set design, as commissioned by the human association “Caritas”, for demonstrations in the name of Peace.
Christian’s artwork includes commissioned portraits of Lance Bass of ‘NSYNC; well- known Italian actor Allessandro Gassman; Tito Puente, for the namesake foundation in Miami; Jennifer Lopez & Chris Judd; and Cardinal Edoardo Martinez Somalo and Cardinal Salvatore de Giorgi of Vatican City.