Monday, 4 August 2008

Interview with 108

q)What is your name?

a)My name is 108.

q) Where do you live and work?

a)I live in a small, post industrial city in Piemonte called Alessandria, a grey and dead city where the best thing is the fog. I used to live for some years in Milano but that was even worst. So I'm back here. I have a studio here where I work on canvases, make music and everything else, but I work everywhere they want me to make something... in the last year I'm been around the world for 50% of the time.

q)What is your creative process like?

a)Usually I walk in the streets, but if it's possible, I prefer to walk in the woods, in the hills and in the mountains. I think too much and I read a lot of stuff... then I think again. The best ideas come from dreams (I have especially nightmares) and from very quick visions. So I start to draw. Sometimes I draw automatically, after days maybe months I find a good shape (usually very simple shapes with a lot of known or unknown meanings inside) and I start to work on that shape/idea.

q)What is your favorite medium?

a)I don't have a favourite medium. I always been in a city so the most natural medium was a wall or the grey electric boxes in the streets. I used paints, adhesive vynil sheets, spray paints... When I can I like to work with woods and stones between the forests, just for me, or I like to make experimental music with computer or with acoustic simple instruments... I don't know. I like to make sculptures with everything and in future I hope to make some videos (I made just some experiments).

q)What is your current favorite subject?

a)In the last 6 months, (I think) I had a fixation with this "egg-like" black heavy shape. It's a shape that I like so much, I don't know exactly why... I'm finding a lot of meanings in it, but I like especially the simple shape and I cannot stop to work on it, my subconscious... it have a lot of connections with the dark side of the world, as usual, and it comes from the woods (of my mind). It's like a circle but it's connected with number 3 (as everything I do). I'm totally crazy for this shape.

q)How long does it take for you to finish a piece?

a)It depends. I made some of my favourite pieces in like 20 - 30 minutes. Sometimes I need a week to make another work, or I never stop to add or to correct something in some canvases for more than one year.

q)What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?

a)I don't know... I think you mean the biggest accomplishment in official art... probably the big works at Arsenale for the Biennale di Venezia the last year, or maybe to be invited in Los Angeles this march with other 7 european graffiti artists... anyway, gallerist and "official" art in general make me very distressed especially in Italy so I don't know.

q)Are there any contemporary artists that you love?

a)I'm interested in new underground european contemporary artists and also something from Asia, I don't really care about U.S.A. I like the work of DEM, we work together sometimes, our works is visually very different, but similar for the ideas. I like a lot AIX, he is great. People like Olivier STAK from Paris, one of my biggest inspiration at the end of the 90's, Truth from Poland, CT, Kurz, Moneyless... I like a lot of land artists... I think that Richard Long changed my vision about contemporary art... anyway the list is too big and it changes day by day.

q)Can we buy your art anywhere?

a)You can contact me, I prefer to paint wall or making installation for public galleries, but home is full of new canvases and drawings so you can contact me through my website. I also work with some galleries and they have a lot of works expecially canvases. Mmm... the Limited gallery in Milano have a lot of works (, or if you are in USA now you can find some works in West Hollywood (Los Angeles) at the Carmichael Gallery Of Contemporary Art ( anyway check the news...

q)Anything that people should know about that we don’t??

a)I don't know, sorry.

q)What is your best piece of advice for those who would like to rise in their level of artistry?

a)I think I'm not very good for this kind of advice but I think that people must do what they really want to do, be sincere. 99% of artists today don't do that and 99% of today’s art for me is shit.

q)What inspires you to keep going when the work gets frustrating or tough?

a)I'm always very frustrated. I'm not a positive guy, and art usually helps me a bit. When also my works start to be frustrating (it happens very often) I just try to cut all the few compromises off, and to do only what I want to do. People think that my art is very hard to understand and one of the most extreme work in "post-graffiti"... but I'm proud of it. I think frustration and distress are big help for my work.

q)How do you describe your work to those who are unfamiliar with it?

a)My work is irrational, very hard to understand also for me and, I think very, unpop. Usually I paint or I build very simple black shapes, I like errors, very little difference, imperfections. I like things that make you start to think, I don't care if if you start to think about bad things. I think my work is something strange and weird, I think is like when you find a standig stone in the country, unknown symbols engraved somewhere, a closed ancient door. Something that you cannot really understand but that maybe hide another universe. I don't like clear things. I hate the word "Street art"...

q)What kind of training did you have which helped you achieve your current level of artistry?

a)I studied design and hate most of this kind of stuff... so... The biggest training has been doing graffiti in the streets for almost 10 years, walking and observing every place where I'm been, reading a lot of books and thinking about absurd everyday.

q)Is there a tool or material that you can’t imagine living without?

a)I don't think so... I like to arrange myself.

q)Who are your influences?

a)Hum... my biggest influence was surely my grandfather. He was a worker in a metal factory for all of his life and he teached me how to work with tools and stuff like that. He was also a courious man, very interested in everything. Then... other influences are people like Antonin Artaud, W.S. Burroughs, surreal movies by Fellini, Kronenberg, a lot musicians, megaliths, ancient pre-christian cultures, old legends from the countryside, old witchcraft, the Autumn, the rain, the snow, tress, mountains... NUMBERS. I like some very different paintings painted by some very different painters...

q)What inspires you to create?

a)Ok, this is like the question before. Influences in art and in life, inspirations... are all strictly connected for me. As I told you being always very distressed make me creating things. I hate most of the people, but when I meet interesting people it's so inspiring. Especially people who have chaos inside... I like months like november and december. Also cats are so inspiring, I always find cats where I travels and sometimes they are very friendly and looking me working! That's the best! Hidden connections everywhere.

q)…your contacts…

a) (li c'è tutto...)