You were born in Apulia, but you moved to Milan. Was it only a career choice?
No, it wasn’t really. It was more due to my university studies. I enrolled in Politecnico in Milan (Interior design) and I stayed there. I was an eighteen-year-old boy who wanted to go away to see new places. The mentality of my homeland was suffocating me and had I stayed there, I would have not developed my potential, known new places, travel, become self-reliant and had my own experiences (as it should be). I was surrounded by “still” people who could not offer me anything.
Could you explain how you moved from the world of design and production of stages to the field of illustration?
Actually, I didn’t really move from it but simply added to the activities I already did. If I had to establish a job hierarchy (taking into consideration what I live off) my main job is to plan events/setting ups and ephemeral architectures (these things are built just to stay up one day). Right below there is Trikona (www.trikonaillustrations.com), then yoga teaching and event planning for the neighborhood where I live, connected to the psycho-physical well-being of an individual because I firmly believe that anyone has the right to feel good.
What is your relation with Art?
In my case, Art has been a sort of therapy. I had just been through a tough period where everything seemed so useless and meaningless. For someone who does a lot of things, noting that everything I had done seemed so difficult to deal with was a trauma. So I am grateful to Art. I like understanding it. What I don’t like is that kind of Art that must be deciphered. Or even worse, Art used for commercial purposes (everything is like this nowadays, don’t you agree?).
How and when was Trikona project created?
It was created two and a half years ago. I have partially already answered above to this question. The exact moment the idea of Trikona was born was while practicing Trikonasana (a triangular yoga position) during a class in my school. I thought: <<What if I try to cut images, a face, landscapes into triangular pieces?>>. I tried and you all know the outcome.
Trikona are triangular portraits that are in vogue on the web. Their personal and new style allows to stand out and above all to be immediately recognized. Could you illustrate us the different technical/planning stages of your portraits? How do you select your subjects? Do you have any artist you look up to?
Trikona are portraits created from a real face that already has specific features (beard, earrings, hair, piercings, elements outside the picture, marked traits etc.). This one of the criteria I use.
Subsequently, the images are traced with the computer drawing the lines of the triangles one by one and after I fill them with colors to create nuances and 3D effects that make a 2D image as deep as a 3D one. There are many artists making use of the same techniques, I am talking about geometrical Art or polygonal Art. However, I believe that each method has a distinguishing feature. Surely, the first artistic stream that contemplated 3D images from various sides was Cubist Art so Picasso.
Your works are amazing because despite the total absence of the glance, they can express the portrayed character’s personality. Why did you decide to eliminate eyes? Do you reckon they are too noisy compared to the “Zen” context where you place your subjects?
Yes and no. Better said, eliminating eyes is a provocation, a message I send out to the overestimated sense of sight. We think we know and perceive anything with our eyes. But it is not true. We have other 4 senses we can develop and through which we can know and perceive anything. Not to mention our intuition and mind. As you have noticed, to my delight, that not only eyes do make a face.
In your « Startup Illustration », a young woman feeds with a necklace made of small triangular lockets representing some apps. What kind of relation do you have with social networks?
I am learning to know and accept them for what they are. Namely, spaces where relations and dialogues you have do not exist if we compare them to what happens in real life. I may be old-fashioned but any kind of relationship is to be created face to face and only after on social networks. Things have changed completely. Having to relate my project to them, I find them useful to make something viral giving the chance to observe them all over the world. From a work point of view, is a great extra kick. From a human point of view we need to be careful and not mix up what is real from what is online.
Do you have any projects for the future? Will you continue to work in the field of illustration or will you devote yourself to something else?
I am a kind of person that has many ideas. I explore different options to develop my projects and therefore for Trikona too. I have started a sale campaign of my illustrations online. For my future, I hope I can do ever more, no fear! «I have no time» has never been one of my favorite lines.
Article & interview by Loriana Pitarra
English translation by Chiara Vilmercati