After finishing secondary school, Matarazzo (www.oraziomatarazzo.com) started a three-year university course in Graphic Design for Business communication at Fine Arts Academy in Catania. On April 18th 2017, he gave his dissertation about his thesis on the communication impact of new technologies in our time and the ongoing changes in the field of magazine publishing. A very interesting and hot topic.

Could you tell us where that idea came from and why you chose it?

I developed this topic when I read a quote by Hegel:Reading the morning newspaper is the realist’s morning prayer”. It really fascinated me and I thought that in modern world the “ morning prayer” had become the simple reading/replying to a great amount of news, notifications, mails, texts through our smart phones .

This pervasive technological omnipresence and being connected perpetually is bringing about a great change in our lifestyle. I can safely say that the digital world is leading us to appreciate what is real, physical again. Let’s think about hand-made products that are not processed industrially that now are sold everywhere around the world thanks to the Internet.

As long as magazine publishing is concerned, even if we need to be updated quickly, we feel that the necessity to have steady and tangible things involving all our senses is more urgent. I am sure that those magazines able to deal with this double aspects- up-to-date information and physicality-   will reach out to more readers.

During your studies you developed a keen interest in Semiology, in particular the conflict among words, images, signified and signifier that everyone faces in their lifetime. Your anarchic nature and your inclination to little respect authority-imposed obligations have found in abstract painting the ideal language.

In your work “Appunti di un viaggio d’infanzia” (Notes of a childhood journey) you use the pages of a book as if they were white canvas you drew on ignoring the content. It reminded me about my countless scribbles on my books that I still do on my notes today. Could you tell us about the early stages of this project and your feelings about Semiology? Was choosing a book a random choice?

“appunti di un viaggio d’infanzia” Courtesy of artist Orazio Matarazzo

“Appunti di un viaggio d’infanzia” Courtesy of artist Orazio Matarazzo

“Appunti di un viaggio d’infanzia” is a project that belong to a very stressful period of my life. I needed to relieve a lot of tension, so on a Sunday I started tearing an old Touring Club Italy guide. Then I scribbled all over it without giving it much thought. Just like when you are a child, while on the phone, in class or in a meeting.

Unconsciously, we draw lines and signs that help us to concentrate and soothe our nerves. It is such a natural and profound need, a strong creative act that should be analyzed to understand why one should prefer to scribble things and not draw straight and crossed lines.

Recently, www.sicilyandsicilians.com has published some pictures of your sculptures from 975 project. The union of the title and subject is rather provoking – which personally I really appreciate-, because it allows the intellect stimulation of the observer. The ones that really impressed were:

  • Unioni Incivili
  •  Fame
  •  Home sweet Home
  •  Anticonformistol 250 g

Could you briefly explain the meaning of these works?

«975» is a personal evasion project. As Art Director, I often find myself subdued to rules that cage creativity and destroy its potential. What is politically incorrect or what does not respect common sense is sort of frowned upon.

As I see it, it is this very kind of things that set in motion new ideas going beyond daily routine and increase intellect. Let’s speak about «Unioni Incivili» (Uncivilized unions).

The hot topic of same sex marriage and the disapproval of it has been debated over and over again.

“Unioni incivili” Courtesy of artist Orazio Matarazzo

“Unioni incivili” Courtesy of artist Orazio Matarazzo

However, if we think that the majority of today’s marriages end within few years or in the worst scenario ends up in a feminicide, we should really re-think about the idea of union starting from an historical one supported and spread by the Catholic church: the –not-very-civilized-union among the Virgin Mary, God and Joseph.

“Home sweet home” Courtesy of artist Orazio Matarazzo

“Home sweet home” Courtesy of artist Orazio Matarazzo

Furthermore, we should re-evaluate the idea of household in a wide sense just like what I do in “Home sweet Home”. Why do we force ourselves to live in places or wear clothes that are not meant to be for us?

This kind of life that does not respect who we really are, following collective myths, not our ideas and wrong habits lead us to experience discomfort, dangerous for our health.

That’s why we resort to medicines and illegal drugs more and more. So, how about taking a Anticonformistol 250 g pill? It will help to go through daily stress and to stand out among million people affected by the same problem.

However, the main issue is our hunger, an ancestral HUNGER pushing us to devour each other to meet one of our basic needs in our culture: wolfing down everything and everybody even if we do not need it.

“Fame” Courtesy of artist Orazio Matarazzo

“Fame” (Hunger) Courtesy of artist Orazio Matarazzo

So far, we have discussed your sculptures and drawings, but we haven’t touched your landmarks. Are there any artists you look up to or draw inspiration from? Why?

I love the concept behind Warhol’s works. He makes fun of masses, clichés and dogmas generating every-day. It has always been fascinating for me. “Disturbing” by casting doubts in the observer’s mind is key and I cherish it particularly.

Poking around your social profiles, I have noticed that countless of your pictures were taken in your homeland, in Sicily, urban glimpses and frozen landscapes in black and white. Are you simply keen on photography, or do you intend to include it in your future projects?

Honestly, I started from it. At the end of the day, we are considered a society run by images. Knowing deeply such a revolutionary mean not only helps me in my daily work ,but also the creative one. I do not rule out the possibility to start a photographic project, I owe it much.

Graphics, Painting, Sculpture and Photography. Will we ever see your works in any galleries sooner or later?

Frankly, it does not depend on me.

Last question, where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

In a quiet chalet in the Dolomites planning more relevant things that I have done so far.

Article & interview by Loriana Pitarra

English translation by Chiara Vilmercati 

Cover image “Anticonformistol 250g” Courtesy of artist Orazio Matarazzo