Conceived by Giacomo Balla in 1915 while Umberto Boccioni was at war, Boccioni’s Fist (Il pugno Boccioni) or, to be precise, “Linee forza del pugno di Boccioni” (Force-lines of Boccioni’s fist) is one of the iconic artworks of Italian Futurism. The following year the drawing was featured on the first page of the magazine “L’Italia Futurista” along with the announcement of Boccioni’s premature demise. Later it was chosen as the emblem in the letterhead of the Futurist Movement.
In this work, which evolved through several sketches, a cardboard sculpture and another sculpture made of red-painted brass, the aim of Balla was to represent the movement of Boccioni’s body while he is about to throw a punch, not the body itself. So what we see are not Boccioni’s body parts but rather their curvilinear trajectories. On a symbolic level, the work alludes both to Futurism’s vital leap towards the future and against the constraints of “pastism” and also the idea that there are times in which it is appropriate to resort to physical strength.
We’ve made two versions of this tee, one with the “Futurismo” wording above the drawing, as it was in the original letterhead of the Futurist Movement, and the other one without it.