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Matteo Pericoli


Architect Matteo Pericoli is Italian by birth, New Yorker by choice, and the cover "ill"ustrator for Beastie Boys album To The 5 Boroughs. For those living in New York, it probably comes as no surprise to find out here that Pericoli's depiction of Manhattan's skyscrapers was not originally contracted nor intended to be the cover art for the Beastie Boys long awaited release. In fact, the Matteo Pericoli's work was originally published by Random House in October 2001 under the title "New York Unfurled."

The original sketches of "New York Unfurled" totaled thirty-seven feet in length when completely unfurled, which explains why multiple folds were required for the To the 5 Boroughs booklet. In an article written by Elisabetta Povoledo, for the Italy Daily newspaper (March 21, 2002), it was stated that as many as twenty bridges and nearly sixteen-hundred buildings were drawn over the three and a half years which it took Pericoli to complete the project. Following the sales success of "New York Unfurled," Pericoli began working on a new skyline piece drawn from inside of New York's Central Park, "Manhattan Within." With the seemingly endless flow of Beastie Boys bootlegs showing up on eBay, don't be surprised if you see this Pericoli drawing pop up on an unlicensed European 12".

For those who are interested, Matteo Pericoli's work can also be seen in "The New Yorker" magazine. It is worth noting that Matteo's father, Tullio Pericoli, also works for "The New Yorker" as a cartoonist. Knowing this piece of information it would appear to the common observer as though Matteo was genetically predestined to become the artist which he is today. That may be so, but all the same, Matteo put in his time and received a degree in architecture from the Politecnico di Milano in Italy (1995). So while many of us were blasting the sounds of "Sure Shot" and "Sabotage" on our car stereo speakers, Matteo Pericoli was finishing up training that would later pay dividends and give fans an amazing piece of Beastie Boys cover art.

Dave Parsons Max Perlich