Michele Guidarini has had expos all over the world throughout the past decade. Outside of being an amazing artist he was also kind enough to answer some questions for us.
How did you get your start?
I started when I was still at school, during my classical and contemporary arts studies. I attended a school for graphic designers and I specialized in painting at an arts academy. Here I was encouraged by my teachers, who pushed me to get out of myself what I am now.
Since then I went on making art and when I felt ready I started sending emails to important and less important galleries. One day, about 6/7 years ago, Mondo Bizzarro Gallery in Rome answered me and asked me to arrange a meeting.
At that time Mondo Bizzarro Gallery was one of the most important Italian galleries which dealt with lowbrow, popsurrealism and erotic art. I got shocked, I arranged our meeting, went to Rome and… I became one of those artists which are represented by the gallery right now. Since then, it has been a sequence of exhibitions: in Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Canada, China, UK, California and surely also somewhere else I can’t even remember.
Anyway, each year, every project and exhibition, it still feels as I am starting again from the very beginning because the most you grow the most you want to grow and every time you find out that in front of you there is always a further step you want to climb it.
By now I can tell I’m satisfied with what I’ve done so far. But the desire to grow is only an excuse to be always inspired and stimulated to do what you normally do, without having the least intention to stop.
Who are your biggest influences?
My influences change constantly and gradually as I go on with my artistic path.
At the beginning, pop art was a great influence in my work, afterwards I started to appreciate artists like Bosh, Goya, Francis Bacon, until conceptual, iper-realistic, street art and the new pop art.
At the moment I’ve got lots of sources of inspiration but, with the availability of social networks, like Instagram, I find it difficult to memorize thousands of artists who constantly inspire me. Moreover I need to tell you that the biggest source of inspiration to me originates from concepts, thoughts or from the lives of those artists I usually observe. I am inspired by pictures for the composition of the work, chromatic combinations and the study of shapes. I’m not interested in the personal artist’s style, all I observe is useful to me as a source of inspiration to make my style even more personal. In other words, the art is food for me.
You can take three things to a desert island that aren’t your phone. What do you choose?
A lighter, a knife and paper (I will definitely find something which spits color there to draw something on it)
How do you find inspiration or is it something that has to come naturally?
It often happens naturally. I absorb all I live and what surrounds me is a constant generator of ideas, images and concepts.
It’s different when I have to realize specific works, for instance for an exhibition with a peculiar theme. In this case I need to find documentary evidence, to grow passionate with the particular theme and find out “the B-side”. Then I create an idea of my own and try to reproduce it in order to make a totally personal and parallel vision about the subject.
What was your first tape or CD?
It was a tape! Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son by Iron Maiden. I was 9 year old.
Biggie or Tupac?
I do not know. I can’t make a choice because hip hop never attracted me. I only listened to Ice Cube and Beastie Boys because they also made punk music!
Kevin Bacon or Patrick Swayze?
How has art influenced your world view?
My art is my world view. The world to me cannot exist without art. It’s the parallel vision of History. Without limits or censorship. It always mirrors ages, time, changes. But you have to become familiar with it to appreciate the details, you have to coexist with it and always give it the space it deserves. You will be better and better because you will have made a world of your own and your own vision of what is outside you. This makes you special.
How disappointed are your parents in your stupid doodles?
My parents have always been very proud of me. I’ve never been disapproved, they’ve only reserved smiles to me. They’ve never realized what I was doing actually, but it doesn’t matter because sometimes I don’t understand my art neither!
What’s your favorite documentary?
Very difficult to pick something. I love documentaries that speak of visionary minds, sick and absurd characters.
What do you think was the biggest turning point in your career?
Actually I’ve always busted my ass; I have been drawing, coloring, carving, assembling, dismantling, staining, tearing for ages.
So, the real turning point in my career was when I grabbed my first marker and since then I’ve never stopped drawing any more.
Years later, I went on doing exclusively what I liked; art to me is freedom, my untouchable private life, which nobody can enter. I’ve always drawn and exhibited the works I wanted to, I’ve always shown my sincere art, I’ve never get hidden behind “kiss ass” works just to attract gallerists and curators’ attention. So, meditating on it, the turning point in my career was also the fact that I’ve always been myself in my art, and this has made possible for me to develop a style exclusively branded Michele Guidarini.
Puppy dogs or kitty cats?
Kitty cats for ever!!!
What’s coming up next for you?
In 2016 I have already confirmed several exhibitions and I have other exhibitions still to define. I started well this year with a personal exhibition in Berlin, still on going, and some collective exhibitions in Spain, in Barcelona, where together with those guys I’m collaborating with, I also have some further projects to develop.
Moreover another personal exhibition I’ve been working at for almost a year in the next few months.
This is almost everything!
I have to thank one person, my translator Gaia, without her I would not have my interviews.
See more from Michele Guidarini