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At Nao a little boy named Pino Deodato knows the art and falls madly in love with it, he feels that he will do great things. He moved to Milan where he attended the Academy of Brera and here he got in touch with some exponents of Milanese art, becoming then assistant to Giangiacomo Spadari. In the 70s, the art is completely linked to politics and Pino begins to present his works in Italy and abroad.

In the 80s the artist works with the Gastaldelli Gallery exhibiting in many public and private spaces such as Il Milione, Cardi and Klerks. Since the 90s Pino’s art is characterized by a magical realism that, inspired by the dimension of memory, gives rise to real metaphors of life.

In his journey of life and art, Pino tells the story of each of us with a kind poetry open to the fantastic and wonderful.

polychrome terracotta by Pino Deodato
Far he sees, 2019, polychrome terracotta, 18x20x10cm, photo credit Maurizio Longhi

How accurate is the expression “art is the child of its time”, in your opinion?

I find it true, obviously. Art is indeed the child of its time, even though there have been recurring cycles throughout the history of this discipline. Among the many examples, is the famous Transavantgarde, a revival of 20th century’s art in its entirety.

Your work tell the story of a man, of a landscape. What is the message that your pieces convey?

When I first started working as an artist, I had always thought that it was landscape that influenced the subject: for example, when I was painting Tarzan, the character himself only existed because of the context he was placed in, without which he wouldn’t have been created in the first place. The landscape played a crucial role. Then, the man became the protagonist and what’s behind him became less important: it is just scenography, background. And this is how it’s been until today.

Do you think that the concepts of old and new exist in art?

Yes, of course. The two sometimes blend together, depending on what the artist wants to say, and we go back to the past to depict the present.

polychrome terracotta - by Pino Deodato
There's nothing more we can do, 2018, polychrome terracotta, 30x45x9cm, photo credit Nicola Gnesi

One track mind - Pino Deodato
One-track mind, 2019, polychrome terracotta, 30x6x8cm, photo credit Maurizio Longhi

Given your experience, is there an exhibition that stuck with you?

My first exhibition at Gastaldelli art-gallery in Milan, in the early ‘80s. It was one of my biggest dreams and it came true. I remember when I was a student at Brera Academy Fine Arts in the ‘70s, I would look at its windows and imagine my works displayed there.

What piece of advice would you give to young artists studying to get into the art world?

The first thing would be to study art, not only the contemporary one. After that, with a light heart and almost forgetting what you have studied out of necessity, focus on the message you want to convey to the world. It needs to be an original and true-to-yourself kind of message, one that doesn’t steer clear of your way of being. When someone feels like there are stories that need to be told, then it’s the right moment to do something. One must feel this intimate need, otherwise it’s useless.

In your experience, how much has the Covid emergency damaged art?

Covid has done a lot of damage to the art world, if only because it made physical contact with everything that is vital for art impossible: gallery owners, collectors and art fairs to begin with. On the other hand, it made it even more necessary to use tools like social media to keep in touch with the audience. I was lucky enough to keep working even with some limitations and sacrifice.

Pino Deodato
There's nothing more we can do, details

Pino Deodato - My land
My land, 2020, mixed media, 18x18x30cm, photo credit Giuseppe Laguzzi

In what percentage is that child from Nao, who used to work with clay and create his first paintings, still in you?

He’s still 100% in me, and it shows in everything I do. My subjects, for example, are autobiographical, a legacy from my memory. The experiences I had in my childhood and adolescence as an art school student were fundamental and have shaped my poetics and my way of making art. My little men figures do acrobatics, spins, defy gravity: they are the adults who did not forget they were children.

Follow him on instagram here.

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