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“AN ARTIST IS WHAT HE/SHE IS”GIO PISTONE


HOW DID YOU APPROACH STREET ART AND GRAFFITI?


It was the 1990s and I was in my first years of classical high school.

Studying was very hard and far from everything I loved: art and music.

I suffered from a lack of freedom, but I read a lot and looked around with curiosity. That's how I started to notice graffiti in Rome.

The tags seemed like a secret language that I absolutely had to understand and slowly I became part of that world. To get to know it.

When I was in my fourth year of secondary school, during an occupation, a girl crew came to do graffiti in my schoolyard, they were called 00199. Of course, they immediately became a myth for me. I know them now, we are almost the same age; in those days, I was a child, and they were fantastic women and artists.


Genesi di un incantesimo Lugano 2020 photo by IGOR GRBESIC

I never used spray cans in those years; paradoxically I use them more now, I’ve always been allergic to speed. I really appreciated those who did graffiti even on trains using speed sprays, but it was not for me. I preferred to draw on paper in my own time and then stick my posters on the street.

Then quickly this too changed, and I switched to the paintbrush, my faithful companion to this day.

I love its slowness; I think doing a wall is like meditation.

After many years, I still like to paint on the wall, but it isn’t my priority. I try to do at least four walls a year and I always choose something that interests me in some way between festivals and direct calls, but only in warm seasons.


Sogno Lucido-BoCs Cosenza Residenze d'arte- 2015 Cosenza

WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF STREET ART?


I don't like definitions because they “cage” different ways of acting. So, I can only say that for me, regardless of whether it’s legal or illegal, it’s art in an urban context.



StreetArtMuseum SanPietroburgo 2018

AUTONOMY AND FREEDOM, WHAT DO THEY MEAN TO YOU?


Autonomy because when you are called upon to interpret someone else's vision for money, your thinking is subjected to supervision and changes with regard to the goal set by the client. The vision of an artist is in this case directed.

Obviously, many of us work for advertising; I’ve done it too, but it’s difficult for an artist to express himself/herself if he/she is constantly working for others. You need your own uncontaminated thinking to know yourself by working.

Art is ahead of its time, inventing new worlds; advertising follows trends.


ERDÖ - Here4 2019- Cavallerizza Irreale- Torino

So, it’s fine to work for others now and then because artists also must live, but your vision must be sacred, remain unique, and follow a path that goes hand in hand with your own existence.

Freedom is indispensable, and artists often have it innately and inescapably.

The so-called art schools, for example, sometimes teach what to do or not to do. Certainly, for some disciplines, such as ceramics, fresco painting, and oil painting, it’s impossible not to have fundamentals, but after learning them, you must also experiment without constraints, because new paths can be taken and as Rodari used to say: by making mistakes, you also invent.

Freedom to make mistakes, freedom to express yourself, freedom of thought always.


Su Malloru- Scultura 5m Cemento Campidarte 2017- Ussana Cagliari

IN YOUR WORKS WE OFTEN FIND MONSTROUS BUT AT THE SAME TIME GENTLE CREATURES. HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE THEM?


As I said before, I can't really define things.

I would say it's my personal way of seeing reality and characters, whether they are human, animal, or a mixture.

Various planes, various facets, the knowledge that we are all somehow unique and different monsters.

Beings that often show their rough side to protect themselves from others. My creatures are sharp, and a little stiff, but hide a delicate side, perhaps I always portray the different parts of me. Animal, vegetable, and shaggy parts with soft stuffing like hermit crabs.



Universo - Murales Campidarte 2017- Ussana Cagliari

Feronia - Parco Marturanum - Barbarano Romano 2021

WHAT MESSAGE DO YOU WANT TO CONVEY WITH YOUR WORKS?

The direct message interests me less. I have my own vision of life, of politics, of society and I talk about it through my stroke. They are veiled, not explicit considerations that refer to symbols, stories, and fairy tales; therefore, often what I tell myself is not understood, but it certainly conveys something and that is what interests me. What vibrates for me will also vibrate for someone else, even if in reverse.

Since I rarely give my version of the story, the personal vision of the beholder, who shyly tells me what it means to him/her, is one of the factors that give meaning to what I do.

The more versions I have, the more I think I’ve done something shareable.



La Mandarra - Appartengo Festival Stigliano 2019

WHAT SHOULD AN ARTIST DARE?


An artist is what he/she is. An artist is what he is.

If he/she has a bursting personality, he/she will dare to be blatant. If he/she is less outgoing, he/she will do it in another way.

The fundamental thing is intellectual sincerity. The awareness and strength to be yourself in a world that tries to push individuals to be all the same, successful, and rich.


StreetArtMuseum SanPietroburgo 2018

But making art is something else: of course, it’s extremely pleasant to be appreciated, but making art is not born from this need, it’s something deep that you often have from birth.

It’s a highly personal vision of reality that cannot remain within us but must explode.

From my point of view, living different experiences is very useful because the abundance of information generally suggests more ideas. However, some artists never leave their rooms and have incredible worlds to narrate. Therefore, there is no rule, there is no recipe, and there isn’t just one way to live.



by RA/RC

for Dare Clan



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