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Dito Von Tease


Written by James Ratcliffe
23 Monday 23rd December 2013

I’m known as "il Dito", that’s Italian for “the Finger”.

My complete nickname is Dito Von Tease.

It is inspired to Dita Von Teese, the famous icon of "bourlesque" style … so an expert in disguises!

Her second name "Teese" becomes for me "Tease" to give the idea of an appetizing: a funny invitation to people to be curious about the complex mystery of personal identities ...

And this is the reason way I am specifically an index-finger, indicating and questioning YOU for a reflection about your own identity.


“Behind the finger” there is an art director, illustrator and graphic designer.

I’m from central Italy. Actually I live and work in Bologna, a beautiful city known as “the red, the fat and the acknowledged” so famous for being red-painted and political-left-positioned, for good food and for arts and culture.

I think that growing up nestling in beauty of arts, eating good food and Italian friendly sociality have created the right atmosphere to help developing my creativity. Although sometimes I have the temptation to turn me from an index into a middle-finger and to flee abroad.


I started the Ditology-project in 2009, when I decided to create my account on the Facebook. I wanted this to become a virtual space to be free from oppressive relatives, colleagues and not-very-friends ... so I decided to create an avatar.

In Italian someone could say I wanted to "hide myself behind my finger" (trans. "nascondermi dietro un dito"): it's a metaphor to indicate a not-very-effective hiding place!

My desire to hide myself from real life made me think about people's identity and mine.

So I used the image of a finger to suggest that we all try to hide ourselves behind an image of us we create.

That's my finger: the representation of the changing masks everybody wears in playing life … probably to preserve the fragile individual uniqueness of our finger-print.


The characters I choose to create my portraits are taken from news, historical events, arts, politics and so on.

If our image is “the finger behind we hide”, this is true especially for celebrities, who live of their masks.

All the rest is just my happy hand, creativity, and photoshop.

Every portrait is a small and detailed handicraft, taking from 8 to 16 work hours.


The Ditology-project wants to invite everybody to look beyond the “masks” we use in playing our lives and to go deep to find our unique “fingerprint” … as the police knows!

The basic concept is that our identity is the result of a complex combination of true and fictive, individual and social, natural and cultural and, actually, real and virtual components.

In the "digital age" (digitus is Latin for finger) the finger is the "tool" we use in our touch-screens, mouse pads and keyboard. Thus everybody is "hidden behind his finger" while surfing the internet and especially in social networks.

Often or at least sometimes, hiding ourselves in our digital identity, we fill freer to express ideas, opinions, sensations and dreams we probably don't (can't?) express as clearly in real life ...

More of Dito Von Tease's work can be viewed on her blog and facebook page:

Ditology Blog


Dito Von Tease Fanpage

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