First, I would love to know a bit more about you! You are based between Milan and Rome; where are you from originally?
I define myself as something of a mongrel: My family originally from Puglia. My grandfather was a sculptor of church doors, and moved to Switzerland for work. After winning a Cultural Heritage contest, he went with the whole family to Rome. I was born there, and just three years ago I moved to Milan, which I consider to be the most international city on an artistic level in Italy. When I get nostalgic, I go to greet the sun of Rome.
What first interested you in making art?
Early in my career, art was a psychological need. It was later that it turned into a source of research to represent absolute contemporaneity, and the topic that interests me the most.
Your paintings are concerned with the idea of digital technology and how over time, through updates and changes to these technologies, information is lost. How do you interpret this in your work?
Every day we commit our memories to the computer without knowing that these can be bought, suddenly closed, or damaged by some hacker. The photos are not printed, but they turn to “powder” inside the computer folders. The software update, and we, with the passage of time, are no longer able to read documents created years ago. All this causes a loss of historical memory.
My idea was to take possession of amateur images found on Instagram users, from their shots, paint them and then cover the canvas with the rectangles that change the narrative of the scene, eliminating the initial information.
Why have you chosen an “analogue” medium such as painting to express concepts of digital damage or erasure?
Despite having had a pictorial database from my father, I decided not to deepen it, and I joined the course of Multimedia Design at the Academy of Arts and New Technologies. This decision was crucial for the projects I’m doing. I learned the possibilities and the limits of digital communication, and I decided to represent them with the means of painting, which for me will always be eternal.
That said, I use the paintings as if they were tangible GIFs. The pictorial gesture is being scanned at time day after day. In my research, painting and digital merge forever.
How do you choose the subjects that you paint, which are then obscured by the monochrome additions? Is there a significance to them?
I always prefer to choose people with interesting stories, on whom I can work by removing parts of the scene. At first I do not know that they can take the form rectangles that obscure the painting behind. Fortunately, over time, I can meditate and build new visions.
How important is time in your work? How long does it take to complete a painting?
The most challenging phase takes place before the creation of the canvas. The research subjects, the interesting faces flush with unusual clothes that stand apart from my ethnic vision is the part that I try to go deeper into. The painting then manifests on its own, and the time flies 🙂
What is your studio or workspace like?
2017 has brought me to Milan with a new studio. As soon as I saw the windows, I decided just to take it. In my old studio, I was not able to see the magnitude of the last works. I’m happy with this news! I believe that a change of place can benefit the projects an artist is pursuing.
What do you think is the most challenging or difficult aspect of pursuing an art career?
In the career of an artist, the most difficult thing is, first of all, to remain yourself. Although we always speak of freedom, we are the first to suffer a thousand influences from outside pressure, like the voices of people who advise the most fortuitous path, and an extreme desire to arrive, even early in his career. Besides this psychological difficulty, professionally one of the hardest things is to live a life of Art. Here in Italy, there is not a system that helps Italian artists to emerge. For economic reasons and “appearance,” they always prefer to focus on foreign artists. I take this bastard system as a challenge, and try to give my work all the freshness that they need.
What is some of the best advice you have ever received?
The best advice I have received them by people who have nothing to do with art. I trust those who know my path, and those who wanted to listen to me and understand my choices.
What is the most rewarding aspect of doing what you do, or what drives you to keep creating?
Creating, for me, is to live. It is an act necessary for my daily life. I am a person who gets bored very easily but by creating, I can always experience something new.
Do you have any upcoming exhibitions or current projects you’re working on?
2017 will be a busy year. I am preparing all the material necessary to keep up!
Anything else you would like to add?
Long live talent and pizza!
+ + +