Interview with Italian Comic Street Artist SOLO
We featured the work of Italian Street Artist SOLO earlier this year. His artwork is rooted in comics and pop icons and focuses the reinterpretation of the traditional superhero character. Born in Rome in 1982 he is part of the Roman underground scene since 1996.
We did an interview with SOLO talking about his work, his latest exhibition and his roots in comic and graffiti. Read the exclusive interview with SOLO on URBANSHIT below. Stay tuned for an upcoming limited print from SOLO at our Online Gallery.
Tell us a about your artistic origin. Where did you start and when did you get involved in the street art scene?
I have always drawn as far back in my past as I can remember, during high school I got in contact with the roman street art scene. It was the early 90s when internet wasn’t what it is today and the only experience you can have with graffiti was a direct experience. I started doing my first graffiti with friends and what really attracted me was the fact that you had to do it at night when nobody sees you and that you will find something different during the day. After my high school degree I moved to the Fine Art Academy where I stated to explore different ways to paint, definitely more classic.
At the end I wasn’t satisfied because neither of them was perfect for me. I wasn’t good enough doing lettering and at the same time I didn’t really like the solitude of the academic painting in the studio. After a period of time I understood that It would be possible to paint canvas’s subjects in the street during the night. From 2008 I never stopped.
What are the most significant experiences in your artistic career that are still influencing your style and your personality?
In my early age, during a family dinner, my cousin showed with pride a portrait of my mother that he had just made. From that moment I realized that painting is an incredible way to carry on emotions.
Then during my college years at the Fine Arts Academy I had the chance to work closely with great and interesting mentors that gave me knowledge and inspiration. I had the honor to personally interview Ronnie Cutrone, an important representative of Pop Art and also Andy Warhol’s assistant. The interview, filmed in the atelier of the artist in New York, is now part of the historical archives of the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna in Rome. Other people that influenced me and gave me opportunities to develop my art are Marta Gargiulo from Galleria Varsi in Rome and themagpieproject for everything I’m doing in London.
After several projects in Italy and abroad, you are generally known for the reinterpretation of the traditional superhero characters.
Why choosing the superhero? Is there any message you want to give to those who look at your artworks?
While parents should be role models for life, superheroes remind a child of the moral compass necessary to navigate a universe fraught with thrills and dangers. They remind us to be strong and have willpower. Using superheroes in my art allow me to navigate the globe and reach every child because they are universally known and appreciated from kids to adults. I would like to give to anyone who sees my artworks in the streets the opportunity to share the values that comics superheroes gave me since I was young.
Can you tell us something about „Scent of a (wonder) woman“ showcased recently during your last group exhibition?
Scent of a (wonder) woman speaks for itself. The painting represents some of the activities that women usually do in the contemporary age like working, taking care of themselves, of the family and find a solution to any problem. Unfortunately, sometimes women have to figure out everything alone, I’m thinking of my mother and some of my friends. At the end, this painting is a gift to every strong woman I know.
What about your projects in the future?
I’m actually planning some future urban interventions with themagpieproject. It will be a group of site specific in London called „comics parkour“. Soon the third edition of my book produced in collaboration with galleria VARSI will be out and with the CA’D’ORO gallery we are planning something in the US. For everything else, time will tell.