The studio Very Seri Lab was founded by a group of emerging artists - Farouk El Sharkawy, Tiziano Crisanti, and Lorenzo Gerletti - who are currently studying at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Milan. In 2019, they opened their studio doors to the public offering multiple services from workshops, seminars, and collaborations with other artistic talents. Their mission was to have a place to work, but above all to offer a place where their community could come to learn about the art-making process and get involved. The basis of Very Seri Lab's concept is to have fun with art and not take it too seri-ously.
Their concept of an open-studio is based on the idea of art as a communal activity, that must be sensible and practical; art is meant to be shared with everyone. Each of the founders has their own unique talents but one thing they have in common is their passion for print-making. This old tradition can be practiced through various techniques such as silk-screen, etching, and lithography. Luckily, if you’re curious about print-making, these guys can definitely share their knowledge with you; the studio is well equipped and has all the tools available to realize your project from different colors inks to a variety of paper - you just have to bring your imagination!
The D.A.R.E concept revolves around being daring, adventurous, radical, and eccentric. Does Very Seri Lab share any of these ideas as part of its mission? Which ones and why?
Yes, these adjectives represent us very well, also because, in order to set up an activity like ours, it’s necessary to put yourself out there and bet on your time. For Very Sery these two are synonyms, as we live in a country that lacks a real, structured plan regarding art.
Community and raising awareness of art-making as a social engagement seems like important factors for you individually and as a group of artists. Why do you think the social role of art is important for a society to have access to?
For us, the social role that art plays is important because it allows everyone to unwind from everyday life and discover a world made of manual work and craftsmanship, tied to a timeless tradition.
I understand that sharing your talents with your community does not stop at just sharing your art - as a group, part of your ideology about the ‘open studio’ is to make it available to others, ideally to make art accessible. Why do you think it is important to keep art - and art-making - accessible, especially during the pandemic?
Because a pandemic doesn’t mean that we have to stop making art, on the contrary, many people found a way out in it. And we hope we’ve been an inspiration to experiment with new ways to create art.
Is there another theme that interests you personally or as a group?
As individuals and as a group we are interested in issues related to various social realities in order to shed light on uncomfortable and difficult problems that we share every day.
How will the future of Very Seri Lab be like? Would you like to expand spatially or creatively, such as collaborating with fashion/music/others?
Hopefully, in the not too distant future, we would love to turn all of that into a creative arts academy, so that we can share our ideas and skills with the whole world.
As far as space is concerned, we changed our location a little over a year ago and we plan to stay here for a long time. Talking about collaborations, we always try to get in touch with as many different realities and clients as possible, as we already happen to collaborate with the music, fashion, and education industries.
Do you have an artist group name, or do you prefer to be referred to as founders of Very Seri Lab?
Very Seri is more than that, as artists we want it to be an independent reality, something like a fourth artist able to nurture their own path individually, always fueling the lab with good energy.
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