Special Issue #55
Il Non Supereroe
Born in Brescia, 1963, lives in New York. His multi- media projects over the last 20 years refer to mythology, science, and ideology. A large multimedia installation was presented at the 2007 Venice Biennale, and a large outdoor project was installed at the Deutsche Guggenheim Museum in Berlin in 2010. His works are in the collection of MoMA and Guggenheim Museum in New York, and other international institutions and private collections.
I work with painting, sculpture, animation, and other media in my studio in the South Bronx (soon going back to my East Village space, though). I am also the director of a MFA Interdisciplinary Program at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore. Three times a week, I swim (quite a bit of butterfly stroke), and I have recently began taking trapeze.
Without many illusions, I had applied for a Fulbright to earn a MFA in the US when I was just beginning to teach Anatomy for Artists as an Assistant Professor at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice. I was awarded the scholarship and I confess it was not easy to abandon my new prestigious job in Venice and my initial contacts with the local art scene. When I landed in NYC and was overwhelmed by the incredible art scene, the question immediately became: “how can I stay?”. After several years as a struggling artist, working in many part-time jobs and showing in progressively more important places, I have managed to settle in, and even to become a dual citizen.
Too many great memories, from my early nights sleeping in cheap hostels, to the premieres of some of my animated films at MoMA and the Lincoln Center. And looking at the changing colors of the Empire State Building, when I ride my bike from home back to the studio in the evenings throughout the year.
I was at my studio, preparing for three simultaneous solo shows (New York, London, and Brussels); Alexo took some pictures as one of my animated films was being projected on me.
Interesting idea. I am eager to see and know more of the other Italians whom Alexo portrayed in this series.
When I arrived in NYC many years ago, I tried to avoid connecting to other Italians only, and instead I struggled to integrate myself into the American and international art community. The first project that I began showing in art galleries and museums in New York and Los Angeles was entitled “Not-a-Superhero,” and addressed the American mythology of the hero from the perspective of the inability to become one. In a recent series of multi-media works, entitled Meta- Futurism, I went back to explore my Italian roots, and the conflicted history of many Italians (like my father, a pilot born in 1920) between the two world wars. Now, I feel I can address and say something (hopefully meaningful), through my artwork, on some aspects of our history and culture of that period and of recent years.