You Make It Easy

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I’ve been invited by the friends at Housatonic Design Network in Bologna, Italy to be part of their You Make It Easy project and paint a mural inside their building. They asked me to depict the concept of “complexity” and here’s the result.

What a nice opportunity to switch back to a broader color palette after months of minimal and essential black & white! I definitely want to do more or this stuff in the future.

For those who were wondering: Multa Paucis is a latin phrase that means “say much with few words”.

Photos by Christian Deligia / Oana Tatar.

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VIAVAI, An Unconventional Public Art Project In Salento

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I’ve recently been invited to throw some paint on the walls of Racale, a town in the Salento region, south of Italy, for Viavai, a fresh public art project that has already featured the works of incredibly talented artists such as Tellas, Ozmo and the argentinian Ever.

During my stay I managed to make a couple of paintings on some decommissioned buildings.

I made the first piece on the wall of an old mill. It’s called Omnia Mutantur (everything changes) and features the same handskull that someone might have seen on one of the pieces shown at my recent solo exhibit Tabula Aut Mortem at Avantgarden Gallery, Milan.

 

The second piece, Eraclia, takes its inspiration from the history of the town of Racale as well as the elements of its seal.

Two black hands casting the shadow of a wolf serve as reminders for the famous Rome’s she-wolf featured in Racale’s seal, probably due to Eraclio, a roman freedman who founded the town.

XII and VI numbers symbolize the twin brothers Romulus and Remus, who, according to Rome’s foundation myth, asked the Gods for a sign to claim the right of foundation of the city. Romulus saw twelve auspicious vultures, while Remus just six.

As a second theory about the genesis of Racale suggests that a Heracles’ worship site was once built in the very same area of the town during greek occupation, the olive club at the bottom of the painting refers to the legend of the divine hero’s slay of the Nemean Lion, in which an eradicated olive tree was used by Heracles as a weapon against the monster. The region surrounding Racale is in fact filled with olive trees.

 

Basik at VIAVAI Project | Racale | Salento | Italy from Viavai Project on Vimeo.

Keep an eye on the Viavai project for more goodness.
All the pics ©Matteo Bandiello

 

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A Major Minority, Group Show At 1AM Gallery

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I’m proud to be part of this huge collective opening just today at 1AM Gallery in San Francisco. The show, curated by Graffuturism, features A4 format works of monsters of art from around the world. I’m showing three works which are linked to each other by their meaning.

You can read a recap of the show here: 1, 2, 3 and full essay here.

Franciscus Et Seraphim
The piece refers to St. Francis receiving the stigmata from Seraphim (VI refers to seraphim’s six wings). Laudato Sie comes in fact from St. Francis’ Canticle of The Sun.
St Francis is both patron of the city of San Francisco and Italy.

Ausonia
It’s the ancient name of the italian peninsula. The Oak’s leaf originates from a detail of Italy’s current emblem, as symbol of strength.
Immota Manet is the latin for “it stand still” and comes from a Virgil’s text, celebrating the ability of the oak tree to grow roots deep in the ground to stand still.

It’s linked to the first piece as the Italian peninsula is the birthplace of St Francis.

Celebratio Lupi
Two hands casting a wolf shadow which refer to Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta who has been the ruler of my hometown Rimini during the 15th Century.

Sigismondo was called “the Wolf of Rimini” due to his skills in war. During his reign he also commissioned to some of the most known artists of that time, such as Piero della Francesca, Leon Battista Alberti, Agostino di Duccio and Matteo De’ Pasti, a new look for the local St. Francis church, later called Tempio Malatestiano.

It’s one of the most recognizable and important renaissance monuments of Italy and it’s been built essentially to celebrate the House of Malatesta rather than God, as Sigismondo was not a religious man. The monument has never been finished though, as he lost several wars and couldn’t get enough funds to complete it.

S and I refer to Sigismondo’s emblem (it looks like the dollar symbol).
MCCCCL is the year stated on a celebrative medal made by Matteo De’ Pasti depicting the Tempio Malatestiano and it’s one of the few existing items depicting a finished version of the building.

It’s linked to the first piece as Sigismondo has later been buried in the church of St. Francis/Tempio Malatestiano, the very same one he wanted to get re-built as a celebration of his House.

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Visiting Tunisia

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I just came back from a wonderful trip in Tunisia with my partner. I’ve been lucky enough to have the opportunity to do a couple of outdoor works there.

I painted a Hamsa in the middle of the tunisian desert, on a decommissioned school near the troglodyte town of Matmata.

We travelled to Hammamet then, and I managed to make a quick piece on a wall right in front of the beach a few days later, just before going back to Italy.

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Tabula Aut Mortem show at Avantgarden gallery. The full recap

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So, it’s been almost ten days since my show Tabula Aut Mortem started at the beautiful Avantgarden gallery in Milan, Italy.
I finally managed to write a proper post about it, including some decent pictures of both the pieces shown and the vernissage evening.

Tabula Aut Mortem is a tribute to skateboard culture’s visual art and includes a revisitation of some of the most famous graphics and illustrations on deck of the Eighties and early Nineties, throughout my personal view. It’s a true homage to masters of art such as Jim Phillips and Vernon Courtland Johnson, just to name a few.

That being said, taking inspiration on existing artworks like the famous Tony Hawk Chicken Skull or Rob Roskopp Eye, and reworking them with my style, thoughts and influences has been also a very good excuse to make small installations, where the painting is only a part of a more complex work.

Photos by Marco Montanari.

 

 

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Tabula Aut Mortem. My upcoming show at AvantGarden Gallery

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Tabula Aut Mortem (literally the latin for “skate or die”) is my upcoming show, alongside with Muriel (a talented photographer of the national skate scene) at AvantGarden Gallery in Milan.

Opening Friday 14th february, the show will include a full body of work of my previously called “skateboard series”, a tribute to that masters of art, such as Jim Phillips and Vernon Courtland Johnson, just to name a few, who designed some of the most beautiful illustrations on deck during the 80’s and early 90’s.

But taking inspiration on existing artworks like the famous Tony Hawk Chicken Skull or Rob Roskopp Eye, and reworking them with my style, thoughts and influences has been also a very good excuse to bring myself into small installations, where the painting is only a part of a more complex work.

TAM will also feature a series of national and international living legends portrayed on photographic posters by Muriel, who has documented skating scene since several decades and co-founded one of the first skate mags of my country.

Tabula Aut Mortem
14th feb – 1st mar 2014
Opening 14th february – h 19:00  (7:00 pm)

C/o AvantGarden gallery
Via Cadolini, 29
Milano – Italy

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Stereotypism. A new Casalinghe di Tokyo’s dish set.

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From the wall to the table!
Here’s my recent collaboration with Martina Merlini for Casalinghe di Tokyo. So proud of it.

“STEREOTYPISM is the new line of dishes from CASALINGHE DI TOKYO.
The graphics are handled by Basik and Martina Merlini. The gestural expressiveness is at the base of the collection illustrated in a minimal and graphic key.
Basik chooses a typical Italian gesture developed in two colors and in six different perspectives and accompanied by the letters that composing in sequence the word Stereotypism.
Martina Merlini surrounds the figurative and develops six different patterns framing each hand.
The collection consists of 6 + 6 plates telling a story and every dish is linked to the other in an organic work in which every element is essential.
The visual mix between the dishes are meant to be replicated each time in a different way, making the entire collection constantly dynamic.
For CASALINGHE DI TOKYO every meal is important and the table becomes an occasion for taste and sight.”

–Casalinghe di Tokyo

More info:
casalingheditokyo@gmail.com
casalingheditokyo.tumblr.com/
facebook.com/pages/Casalinghe-Di-Tokyo/

 

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Superstition

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Fresh new painting made in the suburbs of my town.

It’s a piece about superstition (better known as scaramanzia in italian), still quite ingrained in some areas of my country, and -overall- stereotypes about people and nations. Hence the gestures, for which we’re quite famed around the globe.

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Summer Camp

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Zamoc, Gola and I came up with the idea to hit this abandoned summer camp as our first outdoor mission of 2014, creating a nice blend between our three styles, so diverse from each other.
The paradox of freezing asses at a summer camp has been quite funny though.

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Reverse Balaclava. Painting at Dreamfloor Festival

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So, this is kinda like my goodbye to 2013.

I made this piece called Reverse Balaclava for a local arts & music festival called Dreamfloor.

I’ve been quite into working with the concept of masks lately and I always love to play with their holes and how about the perception of what we can see beneath them changes significantly considering which detail we can see and which one not and -most important- how much we can see of one of more portions of a face.
Burqa and similar garments of the islamic tradition and their roles and meanings in islamic societies have been a huge inspiration for sure.

That being said, if we take away from the painting all this social environment what we get  is nothing but an informal subject with its solids and voids. Hence the solid golden triangle facing the “empty” triangle of a black shape.

 

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