by Giulio Vesprini
Giulio Vesprini is from Italy. I lived there briefly a few years ago, without learning Italian, and have since had a bitter love affair with the whole country. We just couldn't make it work. Even though we got along pretty good, real communication was a major issue. I watched nuns spitting out the windows of cars and spent lonely days wandering around tangled streets, or having confusing dinners where I thought we were talking about Satan when we were actually talking about Seitan. Anyway, Giulio Vesprini. He makes spooky installations and drawings and we liked them, so we thought we'd share them with you. I'm pretty sure that Giulio and I are both not insanely into street art, but we're both into what he's doing on the street. We had a little chat on the internet about art in Italy. My bitter love affair continues.
Jen Snyder for YesYesYes: Preference over symmetry or asymmetry? I really liked your use of simple shapes. Circles, triangles, squares, spirals, barren trees. It gives your work a spooky undertone. Sort of ancient-inspired. What are you trying to get me to feel here? Giulio Vesprini: I prefer simple lines similar to my graphic design and architectural origins. I draw primitive design by graphic signs, illustrations and urban actions. My works is born from minimal culture, where shapes represent the main idea. I try to convey a bit of calm. YYY: Street art and murals are huge in Italy, or at least from what I remember living in Bologna. Do they just let you paint on anything that's not 1000 years old? Or do you do it stealthily? GV: Yes, in Italy street art is huge. Personally I paint only on contemporary buildings. I respect the history of my country. I like abandoned walls from the post-industrial era.
YYY: Speaking of it, why murals? Is it knowing that you will have an audience? Do you do your installations on the street? Like you make them and you're like, "Welp, if someone fucks it up, oh well." GV: I’ve focused on several fronts, including land art and urban culture. My installations are not “street art” for me, but site-specific, very strict discipline and close-to-the-land art. I paint for myself, not for audience. For my research, until the day that I'll find my light. The word "murals" is old, we have passed the post-graffiti...
YYY: Good point. I hope you’re right. I feel like a lot of artists and musicians in the US really envy and romanticize contemporary European artists because often countries give more funding for projects and shows. Plus, at least in my experience, people are way more into buying records and shirts at shows, and more art from art shows. What do you think you're doing that we North Americans need to be doing? Be honest, I'm no major patriot. GV: The Italian situation is not good, the economic crisis still many interesting initiatives. In northern Europe the art production is better. You can find money and live off art. I don't have much advice to give you, also because I like North Americans, you are a great people with a lot of ideas in art and music.
YYY: Well, have you heard that stereotype (I heard it from Italians when I was there) that Americans come up with good art/music/writers because we suffer a lot. No healthcare (basically), expensive universities, high unemployment, a capitalist government, homogeny, etc. But then I think about Italy, especially recently, and you guys are economically fucked right now. Do you see that affecting you? GV: In Italy we have free healthcare, but we pay for universities, and some are very expensive. Globalization has made everything homogeneous, even art. Everything happens quickly and everything looks the same...In Italy there are some things that are as nasty as the USA. What saves us is the presence of artists who resist and make very nice things.