When a marriage ends, it’s pretty heartbreaking for all involved. Rafael Mantesso was left feeling pretty abandoned when his wife walked out on the marriage taking the cookware, furniture, photos and house decorations with her. Fortunately, she did leave the dog behind – a man’s best friend – but that was pretty much it.
Left alone in an empty all-white apartment, it was almost destined that Mantesso produce something spectacular to fill the blank canvas that now surrounded him both emotionally and physically. His bull terrier, who his wife had named Jimmy Choo after her favorite shoes, provided him with the inspiration to pick himself up, move on and make the best of the situation.
Rafael’s best friend began taking snaps of Jimmy around the house and when he one day collapsed in a glee-overdosed bout of exhaustion, Mantesso took a marker to the wall that he rest against and created a new world. This was the moment he felt his long-dormant inspiration for drawing, for art, for life – returning.
The series is intended to be fun and tongue-in-cheek, portraying Jimmy dreaming of shoes, relaxing with a Martini and even donning the decks. The illustrations are certainly eye-catching and the juxtaposition between the bold pops of colour and the crisp white walls honestly depict Rafael’s personal journey from total nothingness to this rejuvenated self, rediscovering a former passion and zest for life.
Out of all the worldly possessions one can have, none can quite equate to the value of a loved pet – and if that’s paired with a passion such as art, well that’s just a bonus. Enjoy the rest of the photo gallery.