First and last street piece painted with Rush TKA. I can remember another one in Pagano, but that was a Rush piece, I just gave an help to do it quickly as it was a hot spot very near an army base… another story to tell.
What you see here can be considered like a public introduction: after having painted together many friend and girlfriend’s rooms to practice, we thought our technique was good enough to be shown around and we were looking for a very visible place to hit… nothing better that Milano’s Darsena (in this photo with no water in), the place where two canals named Navigli unite in the middle of the city. It’s a nice and central spot, surrounded by a massive number of pubs and clubs with crowds of people and turists around at any hour. Navigli has been one of the first sites were graffiti could be easily seen in Milano: oldschool pioneers like Atomo, Swarz, Shah, Lord and few others hitted the spot before us. During first 90s the squat in Via Gorizia 28, on the Darsena, had parties called “Adrenaline” every friday-saturday nights and I met there with my friends for almost a year. Nowadays the Darsena remains a place where you can find some big 2-3 colors pieces, although most of them quite ruined. Usually, it gets repainted once every 1 or 2 years. But nobody before us hitted the side we painted, ’cause it was the most visible and risky.
It was spring time, the night was fresh and we went alone to the place, Dupli Color spray cans in our bags. We’ve been fast and nothing interrupted our work, just the usual “public relations” with some night-smoker around with his dog. I painted the fill-ins and the outline while Rush made the whole background and many details; the original sketch was a collaboration. Skinny and fat caps were still to come, we used standard caps. Colors were Dupli’s better covering ones, like purple, magenta, mint green and blue. Outline was bold as most of the outlines at that time. The piece looked really flat!
We stayed out there thinking at the colors and nothing else. Good vibes. Perfect piece with one of my best friends in those days. We were class-mates and we were little more that boys but he was much smarter than me, he was popular, and I loved his way of sensing new trends before everyone else. Later on we took different ways and lost each-other but he definitely has been one of the most creative and clever guys with whom I went around.
The day after everybody was talking about our piece but it survived for a month only or even less ’cause the small building got demolished. Funny, it’s been there for ages…
This is probably my 3rd piece, year 1989, but first one of many painted in friends’ rooms, something very intoxicating but really usefull to take your time and improve. The two pieces I painted in street before this one left me excited but definetly not satisfied. I had seen some fast hits by Atomo and Swarz really near my home and I knew it was possible to do better. But how? No books, no magazines, no internet… no one to ask. Almost impossible to get in touch with one of the few writers active in the city (10/15 people on 1.500.000 inhabitants). Colors I found were a deadly mixture of Talken and Very Well cans. The smell was terrible and they were harmful to inhale, they contained a gas that worked as solvent too, the european manufacturing laws changed few years later.
Luckily Alfredo, a school friend known as ‘Kappa‘ with whom I shared my rock/heavy/hardcore music passion, had started being infected by the same color’s virus. He offered to me to paint a small side of his room: we worked together and it took a whole afternoon ’cause we had quite a lot of problems with the silver color, we didn’t know it would have required a little bit more of experience. Hey I know it looks funny but please check out our nasty nasty tries: the light reflex effects, the K loops and the beautiful colors fadings! The tag on top was NHO, my first attempt to find a new personality ah ah ah…
Thanks Kappa, it’s been a great time.
Oldschool-newschool: most of the times this is just a way to judge people superficially, puttin them inside fences they will never succede to escape. When I was too young I was considered a newschooler so I just had to shut up and listen, now that I’m older this gives me credits I deserve no more than many talented kids out there… is this right?
There’s just one school: the True School. The one made by people who really love what they are doin, respect the culture that represents their roots and preserve an open mind. There’s one for every type of work, art, commitment.
Rendo is one of those honest people. During early ’90s I spent hours in front of his beautiful futuristic graffiti burners painted inside Martesana’s park in Milano, at the opposite end of the city. He was a pioneer, he was light years away from most of the italian writers: and he was at the top of the game in Europe. He always has been kind with everyone, he didn’t act hardcore or pretended to be gangster-like. As it often happens in these cases, envy is a consequence. You fear what you hate. But this was very common at that time, we all have been Messengers Of The Truth.
He stopped doin graffiti when he couldn’t find any more personnel motivation to go on. And he started again doin art when he thought it was time to prove himself something again. Nowadays he is a 360° complete artist and still maintain his modesty.
This is the sketch (one of the sketches) and the original artwork he donated in 2011 for my new studio, a beautiful multi-layer wood-cut law-relief with my name.
I don’t have to cross the city anymore.
My family has been producing artistic ceramics from 1600 to the end of 1800, when it stopped living of its art, left its country and went away looking for a better life. Me, my brother and my son are the last ones with our surname: that’s quite a strange feeling.
That said, after more then a century, my grandmother started a self-taught painter career. She was not living on it, but she painted and exhibited her artworks until Alzheimer went too strong.
My grandmother left school to go to work at the early age of 10 and she married very young… and she was a young widow just after the end of the Second World War, with 2 kids to grow up alone. But during her hard life she always managed to improve herself and to to get that education she didn’t receive at school: she found it travelling alone around the world, during a time when doin this wasn’t really common for an italian woman alone. After a trip to India she opened a shop in Milano where she was selling far East products, jewelries and fornitures. She was successful and runned the business until she retired.
She was considered a very unconventional – sometimes strange – woman even by her sons who could never force her to live and act differently: her house was fully painted by herself – top2bottom – with flowers scenes, or she used to have weekly dinners with not less then 20 people at her small flat, dining in the same room where she used to oil-paint everyday, so imagine the odor-mixture. For years she took in her lounge a Christ’s picture to which she never added eyes and mouth ’cause she was telling everybody she loved to think at him in a different way everyday… and every Sunday she had a big Canasta’s (Milano’s oldschool cards game similar to Bridge) match where her friends were invited, but womans only were allowed. This quickly and unpredictably become very trendy in her district and everybody wanted to be part of it. I remember when I was a child goin there during Sunday afternoons and looking amazed at this bunch of woman smoking, drinking and playng cards in perfect silence: Canasta is a game where talking is prohibited.
In the picture here (shotted with my phone, my grandmother will forgive me!) there’s me at 3 years old together with her in front of Milano’s Duomo, city’s cathedral. The canvas is oil painted by her and it dates 1976. It stays in my studio in front of my desk, it always reminds me where I came from.
Yes, this is me, a self portrait dated 1839. I’m not joking, althought right now I look a little different. Anyway, this is the first post of my new website, after it has been down for more than 2 years (ironic for someone designing websites since Netscape’s Navigator was ruling the web).
A selfportrait (oil, 60 x 51, features in a public museum) is a very transparent way to introduce myself again and to say that the conception of this site differs quite a lot from the last one. I’ve plenty of images and artworks to show, but I decided I’ll publish contents along the road: I rather prefere to tell a story than a simple image that could tell you nothing.
So please don’t expect a portfolio: if you like sit down, take your time and feel free to tell yours.