INTERVIEW TO ANDREA CERESA
WHEN DID LA CATTEDRALE BEGIN?
So, LA CATTEDRALE was born with Ravo’s first wall in 2019. The building is a former engineering company that was taken over by Paolo Rovelli. The wall painted with Guido Reni’s David and Goliath was specially built and painted before COVID-19. The idea was to inaugurate in 2020, obviously this was not possible, but in the meantime, work has carried on and the second wall, a reproduction of the Taraval, was painted.
HOW DID YOU JOIN LA CATTEDRALE AND HOW DID FINESTRINI RELATE TO THE WHOLE THING?
After the first two walls were completed, it was time to lay the stained-glass, the feature that gives LA CATTEDRALE its name. I came into the game officially, and no longer just as a friend, when I was entrusted with the stained-glass scheme. The project is called Finestrini (Windows): the colours of the glass chromatically accompany from one painting to the other. There is the Guido Reni, which is very dark with David (wearing a red robe) slaying Goliath; therefore, on that side the windows are very dark, verging on purple. On the other hand, coming towards the Taraval, with all the figures coming out of the sea, the blue sky, and the massive pink veil, it makes the tones of the windows lighten from bottle green to yellow and finally to blue.
But that’s not the whole thing, it’s just the first part of the intervention. I then spray painted some of the windows from the outside. I called the work Finestrini (Windows) because I wanted to recall the graffiti on the trains in the way they are seen from the inside, small abstract sections of the whole piece. The intention was to make it a little unclean, in an environment determined by those two paintings praised as beautiful, admiring Ravo’s mastery. I wanted to say that all that beauty, stealing the poet’s words, are “The Flowers of Evil”: if in '94 Ravo had not seen the graffiti on the trains and if I had not painted them; thus, having somehow done evil with the spray, he would not have come to do what he does so beautifully today.
LA CATTEDRALE OPENED RECENTLY, CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT THE EXHIBITIONS HELD AND THEIR ARTISTS?
LA CATTEDRALE officially opened in 2021, but the exhibitions started in 2022 in the Guido Reni room, the one behind the David and Goliath wall. So, on November 19th, we inaugurated GOAT (Olympic Games Year 3022) by ALOHA Project, his first solo exhibition that we worked on for at least six months, if not longer.
From March 4th, 2023, until the end of May, we had the exhibition TESSERAE by Iconosaik, a project by Giovanni Refreshink Magnoli, a local street artist who started with graffiti in the early 1990s and who is Ravo’s crew mate in the Spru crew. The project is about mosaics, but the works are not real mosaics, they’re painted. Sometimes he reproduces classical, Pompeian, Byzantine, and Roman mosaics, but he also paints pop images that are as much a part of our visual culture as mosaics.
ARE THERE ANY RECENT EXHIBITIONS? TELL US ABOUT IT!
On June 4th, we opened an exhibition by Angelo 464, an artist from Bergamo. It’s a pseudonym for the tag of a very well-known writer who has been very active for twenty years, mainly on metal surfaces on rails in northern Italy and beyond. He started this project after he got fed up doing the same thing for twenty years and started to look at his surroundings in a different way and realised that there are colours there too that are somehow important for the environment but are also pictorial from a certain point of view. He started repainting train liveries.
This is the first three exhibitions of LA CATTEDRALE cycle, the idea is to do three or four exhibitions per year.
WHAT ARE YOUR NEXT PROJECTS FOR LA CATTEDRALE AND WHAT ACTIVITIES ARE CARRIED OUT OUTSIDE THE EXHIBITIONS?
My next projects are obviously planning the Angelo 464 exhibition. We usually do one public opening a month and we always try to do some different activities. For example, we did a children’s workshop at the finissage of Iconosaik, while the closing of ALOHA coincided with Vinokilo, the famous vintage clothing market.
As for Angelo, after the summer we would like to present a book called Graffiti Writing by Alessandro Mininno, published last year by Bruno di Venezia publishers, while we would almost certainly like to do a rap evening on September 9th. LA CATTEDRALE is not only an exhibition space but also a creative space in general. We have already started playing electronic music with the guys from This is not with a format called La Cattedrale Elettronica.
DO YOU LIKE STREET ART? WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT IT?
What do I like about street art? Nothing, this is a very dangerous question because there is great terminological and linguistic confusion about these things. Another extremely ambiguous and annoying term is ‘urban’. It is stuff used to catch those who know nothing about it but who are basically fascinated by things a bit “yo yo”, so you try to sell it by appealing to the guilty attraction for the forbidden but without knowing how to do it. It is that voracity of the market that has to make numbers and ends up neglecting attention to quality and fairness. Therefore, mainstream products that fall into this category are often questionable. My goal instead is to represent real culture the way it deserves. Not that there is no such thing as street art and street artists, my problem is the way this category is used in the mainstream. To put it bluntly: Banksy is now one of the least interesting things in this landscape.
WHAT SPARKED YOUR INTEREST IN GRAFFITI AND HOW DID IT INFLUENCE YOU?
Graffiti is a movement that started in the late 1960s, early 1970s in New York, USA and was brought to Europe with a few cult films and one book in particular, Subway Art. Writers simply write their tag (their name) on walls or trains or at least surfaces that are as visible as possible. Being involved in the movement sparked my interest in art, not in the sense that graffiti is art, but in the sense that I found a certain kind of thinking behind it, so let's say creativity generally speaking. That's what I like, and I couldn't say why!
by RA / SB
for DARE CLAN