Tell us a bit about yourself and foray into the art world.
It first started when I was in high school where I participated in an art workshop. Later, during my university studies, I attended various art shows in Rome and it was through one of these shows that I met Pietro Fortuna, who I consider to be my artistic father. It was him, in fact, who made me fall in love with art and look at the world through different viewpoints. Today, I reflect on such influences that have allowed me to express myself through my own personal artistic code. I am currently preparing my new exhibition, “Turn on the Light”, and these works represent my personal sarcastic and ironic views of the society in which we live.
How would you describe your art style in 5 words?
Sarcastic, ironic, profound, pop, and colourful.
What message do you seek to convey through your artwork?
In my artistic works, I like to play with contrasts in order to make people reflect on the contradictions of our society. Puns become even more ironic when paired with imagery. There are many levels of interpretation and everyone can find their own perception when it comes to art. For me, the important thing is that my art stimulates the observer to inwardly reflect, whatever that may be.
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You’ve said your artworks intend to both disturb and fascinate. Why do you try to create a controversial talking point?
I find the opportunity to offer different points of view interesting and the true essence of my work is through contrasts. With puns and images, it creates a contradiction that can in a certain way generate a controlled entropy. My art pieces are based exactly on this, on finding the right balance between attracting and disturbing.
What have been the most interesting reactions to your art?
For me the most important thing is for my work to generate a reaction, whether it be positive or negative, it makes no difference.
However, a positive reaction I remember fondly was during one of my earlier exhibitions. Upon entering the gallery, I was met with a bizarre character who took stand with a large group of people. Here he was talking enthusiastically about a very interesting young artist and to my pleasure, the artist he was talking about was me. That evening, the gallery owner and I toasted to a sold-out show.
In regards to negative reactions, fortunately there have only been a few! One that comes to mind is linked to a well-known Italian critic who came to see some of my works. After viewing my collection, he told me in his professional opinion that I was not yet ready or artistically mature enough to be successful. Of course, this might possibly have been true at the time but as he was about to leave, he mentioned that for the right price, he would be happy to change his review to be more positive. Needless to say, this truly appalled me that someone in his standing would choose money over truth and of course I did not pay him a cent.
Artistic life is said to be a lonely one. Thoughts? What do you do to counter this?
This question reflects the collective imagination of the artist as a solitary person, who on the margins of society shouts his protest against the injustices of the world, often misunderstood because of his seemed peculiarity and marked sensitivity. I personally believe that artists in all forms feel content in themselves and perhaps that’s why many prefer to be in solitude.
What has been your favourite piece of art and why?
My favourite work is by the American artist, Andy Warhol: “Untitled (Electric Chair)”. It is a work where an electric chair is placed in the centre of an empty room, replicated and coloured on several occasions like his famous “Campbell’s Soup Cans” piece. I believe Warhol was meaning to remove the drama associated with the image.
As a full-time artist now, how do you maintain a work-life balance?
With much difficulty. Right now all my time is spent working. I try with a lot of effort to find a balance but some days are easier than others. I love my job as it is exciting, beautiful and full of satisfaction. However, as I like to say, the art engulfs the artist and the artist lives for the art.
Luca’s artworks can be viewed at the Sconci Art Gallery in DIFC.