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Alessandro Fantini Interview


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Defining himself as a "multimedianic artist", Alessandro Fantini is a self taught artist focusing on creating art through video, music, painting, photo, drawing and writing. Inspired by Leonardo da Vinci, his work never disappoints. Read on to find out more about Fantini's artistic journey.

Where do you find your inspiration?

The majority of my artworks could lead to think that I'm constantly transferring on paper and canvas my hallucinations and dreams, even though the latter represent only the 10% of my source of inspiration (and it mostly depends by the intensity of my night mental activity, that's a faculty I cannot control).
Actually I use to develop my visual ideas by following the unspeakable vibes perceived before a landscape (especially when I'm contemplating it from inside a car), listening to music, reading a book, or while walking alone in the countryside at the twilight musing about the events and the emotions I've experienced over the day. Somehow the final composition is the last stage of a long refining process triggered by a sudden perturbation of my sensorial dimension, something very close to the phenomenon of the "presque vu", “almost seen”, when we feel that we’re about to recall a name, a word or a particular,  haunting feeling, without being able to tell it. The artworks are the nonverbal answers to those enigmatic perceptions.

What has been the best moment in your career?

Frankly, I like to think that it still has to happen in the future. However, I can say that a great moment occurred even before I've been able to realize that I was going to embark on an artist career. Indeed when I was 9  I discovered that one of my original comics I've sent to a famous Italian comics magazine have been featured on its pages few weeks later.
I remember that I fell on the floor feverishly looking at those pages and my parents panicked since they thought I was suffering a sort of seizure.
That moment has been echoed by a second one happened in Pescara ten years ago, when I met Christiane Kubrick at the opening of an exhibition dedicated to his husband Stanley, one of the few directors who exerted an enduring influence on my visual style, both in filmmaking and painting.  She was very glad to receive from my hands a special graphic portrait of him I created just the day before the meeting. I felt very much honored to listen her saying that my artwork perfectly captures the personality of Kubrick and the subtle essence of his movies. The drawing shows him facing a chessboard dominated by the monolith of "2001: A space odyssey" coming out of a black square, while the red eye of Hal 9000 installed on a movie camera behind his shoulders watches the viewer. As far as I know, it’s currently located in Kubrick’s Childwickbury manor in England.

What is your ideal day? 

When I was in high school, the English teacher assigned me to write the description of my ideal day as homework. After reading it, he said that my text recalled the style of Oscar Wilde and William Blake, since I described with plenty of details the life of a multitalented artist who spends the morning in a solitary house by the seashore composing music, painting and writing tales; then in the evening he goes to eat and speak with the villagers about mundane or weird topics. I must say that it's still my idea of a perfect day, although I know that I should first find a house with a wide skylight located near a deserted seaside, like that little restored railway station on a cliff of the Adriatic coast I depicted in my painting "Cito, longe, tarde".

Who is your role model?

During my childhood, my main artistic reference was Leonardo da Vinci. I was deeply touched by his multitasking attitude and by his continuous attempt at experimenting and innovating his creative techniques, even at the expense of the integrity of his most ambitious artworks such as the lost " Battle of Anghiari" and the half-vanished "Last supper". For some years, he embodied for me the architype of the romantic and tormented soul eager to widen the human knowledge and to express it through the poetic science of creation. In a certain sense, he provides me with the first conceptual seed of my "multimedianic approach to art, according to which every painting, movie, song, poem, novel, contributes to translate an over human, mysterious state of mind otherwise elusive by rational means.
Over the adolescence, instead I felt more and more fascinated by the faceted and self-proclaimed paranoid personality of Salvador Dalì, whose surrealist artworks made between 1929 and 1945 gives me the definitive stimulus to start painting with oil by myself, despite my art teacher warned me that I couldn’t have ever learnt to paint properly without his lessons. Though nowadays I can say that I don't have any role model, as I'm mainly interested in developing my own spiritual model.

What is your dream project?

Among all the many dream projects I nurtured over the years, the main one is still the plan to build a house-museum that could provide enough space to host all my artworks and the periodical screenings of the indie movies I directed.
It would be the fulfillment of my idea of a "multimedianic" space where the visitors could physically dive into my own "iconosphere", the audiovisual dimension able to convey as faithful as possible the same sense of "revelatory uncanny" I experience during the creative process.

What is the best piece of advice you have received?

I never got any real advice from anyone so far or, to be more precise, I cannot remember any of them that was really helpful or smart, as I was mainly motivated to keep going on by the several attempts to dissuade me from focusing on my artistic work. Ironically after a so-called art critic in Rome told me that I should quit painting since my compositions were too much cold and unbalanced (he even stated that I wasn't able to draw human figures) I decided to increase my artistic output in quantity, format and size and to keep improving my compositional style. Therefore, in my own opinion often the best advices are the destructive ones. If your motivation is stronger than the nihilistic or skeptical views of your peers, then you're really taking the road of your life.

If you could work with another artist, who would it be and what would you work on?

I've often fantasized about cooperating with David Lynch as concept artist on a movie or a music video in a visionary vein similar to that one of "Eraserhead", "Mulholland drive" or "Industrial symphony N.1".
 I've also wished to design an art cover for the French electronic composer Jean Michel Jarre, as his early albums such as "Equinoxe" and "Zoolook" left a deep imprint on my aesthetic philosophy, unveiling a pictorial method to assemble sounds and visual suggestions that I applied in my own “multimedianic” projects.
It's quite odd and at the same time alluring that, even though I've never had the chance to work with him as art designer (though he added my selfportrait in the atelier in his  2004 "Aero" album booklet), some of my artworks inspired by or dedicated to his music released on the web, have been used by fans from all over the world as cover art for bootlegs, videos and unofficial greatest hits that sometime are revealing to be more popular than the official ones.
Anyway, I hope it might be the sign that in the near future the sheer amount of my Jarre-related art shared by people will reach his studio too.
It's happening something similar in the case of the celebrative painting I made in 2007 as a tribute to the 25th anniversary of "Blade Runner" that seems to have gained a sort of cult status among the followers of the movie that are collecting it in its poster format. Needless to say that it will be an epic blast if Ridley Scott and Denise Villeneuve, producer and director of the upcoming Blade Runner sequel, after viewing that painting will propose me to create the official movie poster.

What's the single most important skill you've learned to be successful at creating art?

The stubbornness to figure out my independent rules and limits in order to enrich and expand my vision by breaking them every time I feel caged by the predictable patterns they generate.
It's a crucial requirement that allows me to preserve my inner world in the ever growing chaos of an artworld where almost everyone prefers to sacrifice originality and creative honesty to trends, fame and easy wealth.
The director Andrzej Żuławski said that he doesn't "make a concession to viewers, these  victims of life, who think that a film is made only for their enjoyment, and who know nothing about their own existence".
For my part, I just try to provide the viewers with always different and colorful devices to help them to cross this uncognizable existence and to be able to look for a pre-rational form of knowledge beyond enjoyment.

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