Giovanni Contardi is a young artist who has combined two passions together. Actually Giovanni loves art, but what he loves most is the Rubik’s Cube and solving it again and again. He shared a new kind of art. He actually creates mosaics with Rubik’s Cubes and the result is really original and out of the box.
Hello Giovanni, tell us something about yourself. How was this passion for the Rubik’s Cube born?
Hello! It all started in 2009 when I was attending the 9th grade and a classmate of mine brought the cube to school and was able to solve it in about one minute. I immediately asked him to teach me how to solve a Rubik’s Cube and from that moment we started challenging each other because we wanted to see who was the fastest. Then I discovered that official competitions of speed existed and the passion grew more and more - I started training with the cube three hours a day.
How did you realize you had a real talent for solving the Rubik’s Cube? Is there any particular situation that you remember?
At the beginning I took part in some forums about the cube in which many users shared their solving results. I observed that my results improved much faster than others, so I thought maybe I was pretty good at this game.
“A good puzzle, it’s a fair thing. Nobody is lying. It’s very clear, and the problem depends just on you” - Ernő Rubik
In 2012 you broke the world record for solving the Cube using just one hand - you solved it in just 9,43 seconds. Is there a particular technique to get to the solution of this game in such a short time?
The answer is perhaps a bit obvious, but training hard is the only way to improve your times. Thinking about that 2012 challenge, luck also played its part since I solved the cube even faster than usual. As for the resolution technique, I usually use a method called “CFOP”, used by the best in the world. Usually for those who want to start solving the cube I recommend learning “the layered method”, but if you want to get faster I suggest using the same method used by me and many others. There are many tutorials on Youtube.
You have revisited the classic use of the Rubik’s Cube because not only you solve it, but you also put together many cubes to compose paintings. So you are also passionate about art, aren’t you?
Sure! I combine two passions in one. I didn’t invent this kind of art, but I was one of the first to share it using social media and with a bit of luck it brought me success and a job that I have for two years now.
“The Cube is an imitation of life itself - or even an improvement on life” - Ernő Rubik
Which artist do you like most represents you?
One of my favorite mosaics is surely the portrait of Dora Maar in the version proposed by Picasso. I am really satisfied with the result obtained using only the Rubik’s Cube colors . If I had to choose a portrait to hang in my house, I would definitely choose that one!
I guess you need a large space to realize a painting with Rubik’s Cubes. Where do you usually work?
I found a huge garage that I use as an “office” for all my mosaics. There I can keep tens of thousands of cubes and everything needed to create a painting and then ship it away. Then part of the office is soundproofed because I also use it to play drums between jobs!
How long does it take to complete a painting?
It all depends on the design. Actually it takes me a few hours to “solve” the cubes I will use for the mosaic, but the design can take up to ten days because I want to make sure I use each pixel in the best way. When customers contact me for a mosaic I usually tell them the processing time is about 21 days if we also consider the installation of a handcrafted panel and all the logistics necessary to complete the order.
“The Cube can seem alive as it heats up in your hand. The fact that each face of the Cube is made of three layers of three blocks has an important meaning.” - Ernő Rubik
Are you working on something in particular right now?
Yes! Unfortunately I can’t reveal the subjects, but at the moment I’m working on 4 different mosaics. Three are for a private customer abroad and one for a very famous brand. Hopefully at the beginning of 2021 I will talk about this important collaboration and will also share it in my profile.
What has been the greatest satisfaction you have achieved so far?
During my high school years I was often judged and laughed at for this passion I had. Due to this kind of mockeries, I stopped playing with the cube for a few years. Now I am happy to have proved to myself and to the people close to me that all the time spent solving this game took me where I would have never imagined.
People define you as the “Rubik’s Cube Chuck Close”. That’s a really nice compliment, isn’t it? What do you think about it?
Definitely! Even though I still have so many things to learn from him, anyway I still take it as a huge compliment!
“If you are curious, you'll find the puzzles around you. If you are determined, you will solve them.” - Ernő Rubik
Follow Giovanni Contardi and his work on Instagram.
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