Vesod - Born in 1981 in Turin (Italy), lives and works in Veneria Reale (Italy).
"Vesod has the capacity to assimilate opposites that exacerbates the founding principles of his pictorial identity. Emotions are suspended and can be read in a structured narration that can be captured at one glance; the scenario unfolds through the nervous intensity of a static composition. The artist delivers himself with reserve and benevolence. This softly meant introspection is the witness of a cathartic approach, which rewards the creation with a deep liberating dimension. The almost visceral dynamic ensued from it transposes a need to exteriorize the instinct, the primal side, the emotion in the rough. Contentment and serenity, violence and vertigo, the subjects often near the excess to better transcribe the outline and its successive actions.
Urbanity / Your canvases are often associated to the "graffuturism" movement, and thus to "futurism". These denominations were respectively created by the American street artist Poesia and the Italian poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. Each decisive period of art history have been marked with a "ism", which may seem a little reductive, especially when one develops multiple practices. Do you feel alienated by labels, or on the contrary, comfortable with these associations ?
Vesod / "I’m not alienated by labels, I started to work on the concept of time in my art, reading some article of physics and what I develop is antithetical to the concept of "futurism". Time is not dynamic in my philosophy, it is freeze, crystallized in a condition of eternal present where past, present and future already exist. The term "graffuturism" reflect perfectly my route and represents an aesthetics that I feel mine."
Your work is steeped in references to art history. “Distances” is a modern-day interpretation of “The Creation of Adam”, by Michelangelo, “Distopia”, is a direct reference to the “Venus of Milo’s”. Your works “Reliquae” or “TW15T” could be linked to the famous work by Rembrandt “The anatomy lesson of Dr Tulp”. Those clear references to classical master pieces allow a startling contrast between academic art and street art. How do you foresee the contemporary makeover of these historical master pieces, which imposes respect and youth in the way they were appropriated ?
"We are talking about art, so I think that we can’t talk about what is appropriated or about respect, there are not rules in what we do. So I follow simply my instinct, and what I have inside. Obviously, growing up in Italy, I was signed by the historical art, and inevitably instinct leads me to compare myself with the great masters of the past."
Dovilio Brero, your father, was a surrealistic painter. How did he influence your choices ? How important was he throughout your career ?
"My father was the biggest inspiration for my work, but he never tried to influence directly my choices. I started to do canvases only after his death, before I did only graffiti. I think that I’m lucky to had a father like him because I grew up between canvas and colors, and also because having grown up among the works of my Father I have definitely inherited a taste precise as you can see from my style."
Through your productions, you suggest a transversal approach which involves understanding and mastering geometry, symmetry, perspective and three-dimensionality… Has being a mathematics graduate contributed to making you take this artistic direction ?
"For sure, my work are profoundly influenced by my graduation and passion in math, not only on what regard an heavy use of geometry in my pieces, but also in the concept of time, like I saw first. I can say that my creation process start from mathematics."
You work the representation of hands with accuracy and realism. Could you draw a parallel between this technical exercise that is the pictorial representation of hands and your characters’ emotions ?
"Surely there is a perfect parallel between the way of painting hands and what I want to express in my work. Hands are an impersonal subject but at the same time has a great communicative power. I think so to be able to communicate a mood involving the spectator without this being influenced by the appearance of the character..."
With “the lost ones”, you took your sister as a model, staged in your work. How do you choose the characters that illustrate your pictorial tales ? More generally, how is the choice of the model decisive in the creation process ?
"Then, "The lost ones" I think it's a work with a story in itself. The choice of the subject, my sister, in this case had a specific purpose, due to what we experienced in our family. Even in other works I put people close to me because it represented a personal feeling. Other times I choose myself as a subject, especially when I want to tell a feeling that I live in my solitude. Then there are those times when instead I choose models that work aesthetically with the narration. In short, every time is a different story and then different choices..."
Several of your pieces come out of the frame, shapes and colours extend out, stretch each other, some are made of canvases put together. The composition then becomes complex and takes the artpiece up to yet another dimension. This by building atypical borders, which also contributes to defining your marque. Could you explain the reasons for that choice ? Is it about creating a common thread which would bring utter coherence between two distinct exercises: mural and canvas ?
"Yes, I started working on various forms of paintings as I was trying to create a continuity between the wall and the canvas. Together with the use of transparencies was the choice to make this possible. The research of the interaction between the work and its surroundings I think it is interesting one aspect on which to continue working in the future."
To rebound on the previous question, during your solo shows, the scenography can play a vital part in the way your works are brought out. Do you personally intervene in the choices of placement and staging, or would you rather give the green light to your art dealer ?
"I have not had the chance to work fully on the interaction between art and public space, but it is something that I plan to do in the future, because I think that this hides interesting experiences. As I said earlier, for now, through transparency and shapes I would like the public does not look at the individual piece but at the "wall" giving to my work in the most complete sense."
You also conceive site specific installations, in which you play with the space provided by the venue in order to create a global artwork offering a complete experience to the spectator or purchaser. We have at heart to defend this type of endeavour. Our perception of it is that it is the completion of a relevant work on the form and substance, by proposing a hybrid production, which inserts the art piece in the wall, and vice versa. Would you share our perception of it ?
"Yes, I fully share this view. The work of art has to overcome the spatial limits, from the canvas to the wall, from the wall to the space, from space to the viewer and vice versa."
"I like to work on this type of contrasts and think I can make sense of these because they are part of my life. Let me explain, oil and spray, a bit like painting and graffiti representing the work and influence of my father, in contrast to the graffiti-writing with which I started to paint. Sacred and profane represent my vision of the world in contrast to the strong religious feeling that there is in Italy. Abstract and figurative fan of my inner conflict between logic, rationality and my feelings."
Following on from the futurist movement at the beginning of the 20th century, you improve on a work based on breaking down movements to create an animated painting, out of which one can sense the dynamic. You choose to create a narrative content using characters able to express several emotions on the same canvas. Could you elaborate on this process which consist of representing different periods on one same work, and on the possibilities implied in terms of plastic work and sense making to the watching eye ?
"I like that my works prove locked in a kind of diamond, and so also the time and the characters. As the faces of a diamond, I want the emotion proves decomposed. The different periods combined seek to give volume to the emotions, and allow the viewer to see the different aspects."
Breaking down the characters’ movements allows the perception of time. The scenes seem halting, as if on pause. Sometimes, the title of the artwork is already a hint towards the idea of time, like in “Infinitum” or “Time Lost”. Is this a means to give out your perception of passing time, and what would it be in regards of your works ?
"Time is the central actor of my work. I think that time is a big question in our existence, so I'm simply fascinated by this question. Painting is the way I deal with it."
Your characters are always stamped by a striking expressiveness. At times thoughtful or meditative, sometimes even in pain, and often tighten up in transparent geometric figures. How can one understand the imbrications of bodies and shapes in your work ? To you, is it the representation of the confinement, the isolation of the characters, or to the contrary, the symbol of a protective shelter in which they would find refuge ?
"Often my figures are imprisoned in geometric shapes. Geometric shapes represent for me the rules, from social to natural. So the rules can be a sort of jail but often, however, can be seen like a place where we can find refuge. This is another contrast in my art."
You have painted two huge murals, one on the wall of the Central Pharmacy of Venaria Reale, in Turin, in 2013, and the other for the "Street Alps Festival" in Pinerolo in Italy in 2014. How did the transition occur for you between the first walls you painted in the late 90"s and today's muralism ? What issues did you encounter due to the change of scale ? What differences did it make in your creations ?
"I think in a sense the transition is mental. It is certain that there are more difficulties at the technical level. But I think the difference is that whereas before it was just fun, unpretentious, when the productions become so large, the mental commitment increases as they become part of the game, the meaning of the work, a wider audience, the demands of the clients, etc... These elements are likely to oppress my job that instead must be free."
You are a member of “SCO crew”, a collection of artists dwelling in Turin. How can the idea of community be part of a creative emulation ? To what extend belonging to an artistic fellowship influences your own personal artistic path ?
"I think that when I started to do graffiti, the group of friend was very important. It was important for strength of the group, the motivation, exchange of ideas. Unfortunately my crew moves to Ferrara in 2009, so my artistic idea takes a strong individual way."
You started with graffities, in 1998. Today, you have clearly evolved towards an assertive and identifiable in style kind of practice, because of its unique pictorial composition. If you had to look back on your prior productions, how would you describe this evolution ?
"I started to do graffiti with 3d style and figurative and I think that we can see that this two elements are also today showed in my work. In fact I try immediately to mix character and 3d style and after years this is the result. Naturally along the way I insert some new element, building a style every day more personal."
Exhibitions & projects
"Wake up in your dream", mural in public space, Pedivigliano (Italy).
"Land(e)scape", solo show, Punto618 Gallery, Veneria Reale (Italy).
"Rough cast", group show, Weil am Rhein (Germany).
"Remix every second", group show, C.A.V.E. Gallery, Venice (US).
"L'Avenir", White walls gallery, San Francisco (US).
"Beyond the city walls", Castello degli Orsini Bomarzo (Italy).
"Distopia" solo show, Venaria Reale, Torino (Italy).
"The work of art has to overcome the spatial limits, from the canvas to the wall, from the wall to the space, from space to the viewer and vice versa." Vesod
"His artistic attitude has been fostered by his father Dovilio Brero, surrealistic painter, whose influence has an impact on Vesod since his youth: he has been therefore developing an interest in the graffiti world since the beginning of the 90s. Due to the artistic partnerships and contacts which Vesod has started in those teenager years, he has lately begun his professional path. He has been seeking for ten years a personal painting language in which the graffiti plays a central role, while dedicating time to his own cultural and academic education. Maths, which is the subject he got his graduation in, has an important impact on his works along with renaissance art and futurism. This can be recognized in Vesod’s attempt to harmonize anatomic proportion and futuristic dynamics. As a result the artist tries to create projects which can be part of an international project, through a blog called Graffuturism, started in San Francisco in 2010. Vesod creates a personal language in which time is considered as a concept, which by being closed into immaterial solid shapes, is crystallized into geometric shape in order to revisit the idea of the eternal present. This idea of representing the three dimensions of space and the time one all in a single moment may bring to a loss of importance of the flow of time. Hence you can detach from a vision of the world or of the single person as entangled to the frame of time linked to the present we live in. By concentrating on this aspect, a complete overview on the idea of a total embrace of things from birth to death could emerge from the works. It could be said that the artistic works, on a figurative basis, refer to "a God’s point of view"." (Text from the artist's website)
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