Drawing surgically into the details
I’m from Napoli born into Christian culture but raised religion-free. My art started on school desks, school walls, street walls… My taste for horror and metal is something that I always had with me. I attended classic studies, nothing to do with art. Subjects included Latin, Greek, philosophy, history, etc. Myths and ancient cultures always fascinated me and still gives the right inspiration. As a self-taught artist I really had no direction to channel my creativity. I’ve stopped drawing to start graphic design and advertising. It took me ten years to finally realize that it was a horrible job and having a boss was even worse. So here I am again with a pen and a desk. But this time it’s for metal, and it’s no waste of time at all.
I consume tons of fine-liners of all sizes and black markers and some mechanical pencils that I prefer to classic pencils for going surgically deep into details. My relationship with colours is complicated, I still keep acrylics colours for the few paintings I can handle during the year. It’s not easy to keep deadlines with traditional painting.
Bands often come up with ideas, some are very focused some just give me a few hints. The challenging part is to find the right key to make the art go with the band’s music. Most of the times it’s the music to determine the style and it’s cool when you hear something fresh or that you never heard before. This happened while working with the artwork for the Tygers of Pan Tang. I’ve been on death and black metal for years and all of a sudden I had to face… Classic NWOBHM! Luckily I always had a crush for the classic heavy metal imagery and that cover art definitely started something new.
When asked on symbolism I find it to be an interesting topic and an aspect of the arts that keeps evolving with time. As a kid I was into horror movies and comic books and I also studied mythology like the Sumerian, Etruria, Greek, etc and of course the greatest artists in history. Now I feel that my work is also influenced by my environment, my city: Napoli. Is well known to be a chaotic city but it has a very radical folklore filled with myths, magic, superstitions, ghosts and mysterious places. Is a melting pot of incredible beauties and terrific horrors, things that cannot pass you by without leaving something behind.
There are some artists that really made an impression on me. From my childhood, Gustave Dorè and Francisco Goya: obscure, tormented, filled with anguish and fears. Dorè stands to Black Metal as much as Goya stands to occult-doom metal! In the 90’s, just one man hit me in the head with his brilliant style: Simon Bisley. He blew my mind, if I still draw today it’s totally his fault. Then if we talk about horror… Clive Barker is the one who inspired me the most, a master and incredible genius in my opinion.
Of my favourite works done is the artwork I made for Asphyx 2015 tour ‘Merchants of Death’. I had the idea of creating an art that can be one classic hellish vision but planned to fit differently in 3 graphic layouts. From that line work i was able to get the classic tee design, the girlie design and the back print with tour dates just moving and sizing the Asphyx logo over it. I was able to use my classic out-of-tone colours.
Thank you so much for your time Alex, and for giving me the opportunity to have my profile more visible. I truly appreciate it.
Interview by Alex Milazzo – Copyright 2015 © Heavy Music Artwork. All rights reserved.