graffiti Interview with Alice Pasquini by Iva Kancheska 10/01/2013
Q: How long are you into graffiti? Give me little background
of your starts.
A: I grew up in the 90's with hip hop culture and my hero comic called Sprayliz (designed by Luca Enoch), a girl who made incredible political graffiti during the night. The passion for drawing began when I was a child, I had a clear idea of what I wanted to do for a living. So, after an academic course, after I ventured with conceptual art, I went to Spain, where I worked as a designer of children's playgrounds and then I realized that I was interested in art that interacts with people's everyday life!
When I returned to Italy in 2006, I started to make my first posters and street art has become an escape valve from my work as an illustrator. I approached the world of street art initially through posters taking my 'comics' in the streets: naughty girls, strong women, curious, independent. Then I met C215, who taught me a stencil technique that is fast to work with and which lets me leave a trace of the free hand work I could not do in a short time. Together we have traveled and painted a lot in the corners of many cities. For some time now I'm traveling on my own and mainly do large walls freehand.
Q: Your art style seem to be pretty simple but eye-catching. How did you learn the drawing skills? Did you attend fine art school?
A: As a child I drew comic strips on all pages of my school diary, until the teacher called my mother to make her notice that, plus the fact that my latest story did not make sense - A girl enters and exits an ice cream shop with a different outfit. What nonsense. Luckily for me, I cultivated a parallel passion for collage and the assembly of objects with which to build entire cities in my room. At 13 it was already quite clear: I wanted to be a painter. So I enrolled in art school and then in the Academy of Fine Arts, so the more traditional paths of art. A few years later I studied animation and art criticism in Spain.
Q: Your art style is very unique. The characters usually tell some stories and each of them have unique face expression. How much does the character design help you to express your own personal stories? Why did you choose the character design as your main creative line?
A: I’m interested in “moving pictures”, in moments of life that in some way are universal, where the concept doesn’t change with time: it was the same fifty years ago, it will be the same in fifty years. My pictures depict everyday moments that for me represent the real magic of life. I really think the real magic of life is the way you live every single moment.
Q: Do you think that graffiti art could make a social impact in some way? How do you feel about being able to make an art "revolution" or "rebellion" through some painting?
A: As an artist I primarily try to express myself and don’t necessarily know what I want to communicate. The meaning and the value comes from the exchange between the artist and the viewer. This exchange happens in the street in a more unexpected, surprising and freer way than in a gallery. At fine Art Academy professors told me: Art is death with Duchamp, forget the drawing! But then you find yourself working in enclosed areas, which do not communicate at all with the world around them. When I started making set design in Spain designing spaces for children, I saw real people overlap with what I had done, my live art, live it every day, and then I realized what I really wanted to do.
I do not speak to the head, I speak to you in the stomach. I offer an impulse, which can transform even more than the respect that I had fixed. I do politics in another way. .not through what I paint, if not subtly (in Italy it is political as well draw a girl peeing in the street, or two women kissing ...), but through gesture rather of my life, the way I live it, the freedom to paint what I want where I want ... "
Q: You work on many art mediums, from graffiti art to illustrations and digital art. Awesome. Which medium gives you most creative freedom?
A: I worked as an illustrator, animator, set designer. Using spray, acrylic, stencil, oil, watercolor, pen bic, notebook, computer ... depends on what you want to do and on what surface. But in the beginning everything comes with a pen on my sketchbook. When choosing colors I trust to instinct influenced by the feelings of the moment ...
Q: Philosophically and creativity, seems like you try to blur the boundaries between the popular media and your own perceptions. Can you relate your art with you, emotionally?
A: I paint the world that I would like.
Q: Where would be the "dream" piece you would love to work on?
A: I'd like to paint on a air balloon.
Q: Why would you say that strong and independent women are your inspiration? What is your opinion about the modern women? Do you feel overwhelmed of the popular media and the taboos that are still somehow present in some countries?
A: As an artist I think that what is important is to show yourself as you are. The value it’s more about style and personality. But from a woman’s point of view I think It is important to propose a real woman as a model in a world where TV and magazine ads paint them basically as cooks or given sexy dolls that are supposed to reflect—or cause—their aspiration to be nothing but beautiful. Things haven’t changed that much, even if sometimes it appears on the surface as though it has. I am interested in using female models outside of the typical clichés. I get annoyed by female stereotypes where women are seen either as sexual objects or cartoon heroines. My work, instead, depicts the lives of women from a young girl’s perspective, portraying the (sometimes brutal) aspects of today’s reality. In general, I am interested in the representation of human feelings.
Q: You love to travel and paint. How much the current place you live help you to get inspired? Where you feel most comfortable?
A: I am constantly on the road, the tracks that leave are my way of crossing a city that I do not know or how to find the way back. These are the places where I spend, where I leave a piece of my life, a personal map of the world. What matters is that the sign continues to live and change with the city once I leave it behind me.
Q: "Vertigine ed Rizzoli" is the most recent project you have been working on. What made you to work on the book? What is the basic idea of the book?
A: This book is a collaboration with the writer Melissa P that in this graphic novel, addresses two taboo subjects in Italy: homosexuality and drug addiction. Book a ruthless and tender at the same time, Anna and Claire are cousins. When the two girls get together, after years of separation, something unmanageable switches between them: love, passion, the discovery of tenderness and sex. But the signs of the needles in the arms of Claire are a sign not to be ignored, Anna: his cousin, his first and only love, is a junkie. And you will save it, whatever the cost.
Q: Would you say that writing books could be your passion, instead of painting graffiti and travel?
A: Street art is a way to completely and freely express myself, without the constraints I have when painting for commission. When I paint in studio I’m just with myself. It’s an intimate and creative moment in which the goal is the artwork, in the streets there are many other factors, like the people, the adrenaline, the location, that make the act of painting ‘alive.’
Q: Do you still enjoy drawing and writing as much now, or do you feel jaded at all, do you still have the enthusiasm?
A: Painting for me is like breathing. I could not do otherwise.
Q: Have you ever thought to change something in your style?
A: I do it a little everyday.
Q: People could be ruff, jealous, crazy, super-cool... As an artist, what are some of your greatest challenges or obstacles you face while making your art?
Q: What keeps you creative? What is coming in your mind every morning while you go to work? Is there any trick that people should know in order to become successful? (laugh)
A: Like in everything: believe in yourself and work hard.
Q: Art could be a great influence on someone's personality. What is the best lesson that you've learned from your art journey?
A: Unfortunately, the art has not the power to improve people. Indeed, often the artists are selfish assholes. I don't want to belief that cinism is loud, vigorous, and strong, while good is quiet, gentle, and passive. , whereas you're likely to feel smart and powerful when you're sneering at the ugliness around you. I learned not to fear that when you're in the presence of love and beauty you tend to become softheaded.
Please feel free to share your feature plans and share your work info/ website.
During Christmas I will be working with a large mural in a social space for children. I'm working also on two solo exhibitions in Europe. And I have some ideas for a new series on the street.