venerdì 24 giugno 2011

Interview: Dragolab/Urban Contest

Interview for Dragolab website for the Urban Contest in Roma (2010)

1 // What was the first piece that you created, when and where?

Hmmm, that is a complicated question. As the first work ever I cannot remember because I would consider it to be the first drawing I did in my life, and who knows where or where that was. My first “graffiti” piece I did on a wall under the freeway in Alessandria, I have a photo but I don’t know if it was in ’91 or ’92, it was horrible. As 108 the first work was a series of yellow forms on plastic adhesive that I put up in various spots throughout Milan and Alessandria and then gradually in other cities around the world. It was absolutely an experiment, at the time there was no one making adhesive stickers or posters like that, the advertisements like the Enel cassettes or things like that were all free, it was a natural thing, but I never thought that the “108 Project” would ever become something important.

2 // What was the most recent piece you made, when and where?

The last piece that I created in the public vein was a black form painting under a quasi-abandoned freeway bridge in Alessandria. I am also working on 5 to 6 new canvases in my studio… In this period I am working with black circular forms and colorful inserted angular shapes.

3 // What is the work of which you are the most proud/you feel the most attached to or that has particular significance for you?

Difficult also here: usually I work exclusively to satisfy myself. This always brings me to experiment and to create things that are often incomprehensible to the viewer. Many times these works come out of wonderful experiments, which are important for my personal career path, but do not fully satisfy me. I believe the work to which I feel most attached is a black triangle (like a hanger), which took about 10 minutes, that I made in Saragozza in 2007. That piece came out of nowhere, without thinking, and I continued to make it for years. In that instance, everything was perfect, the destroyed white wall, the sagging, the demolished neighborhood, and the black cats that appeared on top of the wall as soon as I had finished! It was truly something magical. However, the work of which I am the most proud is probably that which I made in Arsenale during the Venice Biennial in 2007 for a number of reasons less magical and more practical.

4 // Which artist or artists do you believe contributed the most to stimulating your imagination?

I could never list the large quantity of artists, animals, trees, and visions contributed to the creation of my imagery. Like I always say, if I had never seen the work of Stak in the mid 90s I never would have started what I do. I owe a lot to him. Then primitive art, rock carvings, and non-monotheistic sacred art in general. Insofar as purely visual artists, I can say talents like Malevich, Schiele, Fontana, Richard Long, and then even if lesser known, the work of visionaries like Redon, Kubin, and Segantini for example. It is difficult for me to get excited about contemporary artists, but sometimes it happens. The larger part of my ideas come from cinema, by the way here I would have to site David Cronenberg, Lynch, and above all Fellini. The same thing goes for literature: W.S, Burroughs and Antonin Artaus… I would say that I need to stop here, otherwise I will go on forever.