I won’t beat around the bush: it’s rather unique for a female writer in Italy (but the situation isn’t any better abroad) to keep on painting for such a long time. Was it difficult to start out? Or are things even more complex today?
It may sound odd, but today I’m still facing the same type of difficulties I was used to back when I started. It’s the way I face them that it’s different. Back then I was just a kid, full of dreams and illusions. Now I’m a bit more practical, but I’m still a dreamer. I’m trying to paint for myself, to count on myself. If I hadn’t done it, I would’ve probably already dropped out. But there’s still so so many stereotypes I must clear out. One thing I just can’t dig is people’s disrespect. Confronting other writers doesn’t scare me at all, simple fact that it doesn’t make sense to me. And yet to other writers, it probably does.
What you mean by “disrespect”? And what are the difficulties you’ve just mentioned that you’re still facing?
Sometimes I feel like I’m surrounded by lil’ kids. I see in people this ego-trip tendency. I think the main reason is because I’m a girl, and people know I can’t do no harm to them. So you happen to see people going over your pieces. You hear about urban legends being told on you. For example, the one that I’m too scared to paint trains, or that I’m against bombing. Sometimes people like you, sometimes they attack you in a childish way, calling you by the typical nicknames that women are always given.
I feel like I’m still trying to rise from the ranks, despite the fact I have 7 years of writing behind my back. People laughed at my face when I asked them to paint a wall in a graf event. I’ve been passed over by rookies from my area, so I’ve understood this is the typical state of mind in the North-East of Italy… people should just keep in mind we’re all human beings, that’s all…
I would say these are unpleasant but “obvious” things in a machist environment. I was wondering if you’ve sensed the same kind of attitude at any level of the writing scenario. Or is it possibly even worse in the younger and less mature sectors?
I’ve met very young people who proved much more mature than people who were almost in their 30’s. Some people find it funny to recall old stories about who I’ve been girlfriend with; or about my early style of writing, with all its undeniable influences, regardless that a lot of time has gone by, and that people grow up and change… or at least that should be the case…
I still don’t understand if it’s all about a pretence or what. Generally, frictions with younger people end up quickly. But frictions with allegedly mature people are die-hard, no doubt. It’s such a pity because I profoundly believe in the opportunity of learning lessons from anyone you meet in your life…
From your words it seems like if you’re in your 30’s you’re close to death… I am 30! Anyhow let’s move to another subject: is living in Venice a source of inspiration for you? I’m referring to the fact that cities like Venice or Trieste have always been cultural and artistic melting pots, with influences from all Europe. The Venice Biennale is the world’s most important art-show. Not to mention that the city of Venice is a source of inspiration in itself, tho’ I must say many tags I’ve seen lately are definetely out of place.
He he he, 30 years old and you’re close to death, he he, it’s just a joke. I was born in Venice and I love Venice. But as you’ve just stated, I don’t think that putting up a style on a 300 years old building is exactly appropriate.
My sources of inspiration are manifold: from nature to shamanism… Venice plays a minor role there, but it plays: I see it as my source of inspiration, but not with reference to writing… I wouldn’t match Venice and writing. Venice is unique the way it is…
A couple of years ago the Reas/Twist/Espo trio took part in the Biennale show. Do you feel that your local administration (always so attentive to any type of artform) is kind of showing interest towards our artform?
I’ve never been too much into the Biennale. Anyhow I don’t feel our administration is so much interested in writing, except for a couple of guys who’ve been working their ass off to get legal spots for us… I think the trio thing was just an exception. If a piece is in a gallery it’s ok, but when it comes to trains or walls… I don’t like that distinction…
Well no doubt that there must be a distinction between galleries and trains. So what is is that you don’t dig? Art in the galleries? Or the same old distinction between legal and illegal art?
Yeah, what I don’t dig is this state of mind I see in some artists (and society in general), according to which if you’re a writer you’re a small time idiot, but when your stuff is in a gallery, then you’re an artist. That’s what I meant. The thing is that art in the galleries -unlike art on the trains- can be sold and, above all, controlled. I don’t like it at all. As much as I’m attracted by art on canvas (and I’ve got thousands of ideas already in mind), I wouldn’t say one can talk about writing in a gallery as real writing.
There must be a distinction between the two. Writing is the product of a writer’s free artistic choice, not the watershed separating vandals from artists. Obviously this is just my view! If writing on walls or trains disappeared, or if we all got locked in a gallery, that would be a great loss. The very fact that writing is not contaminated by the market is a guarantee for writers to have as much freedom of expression as they can, without being bogged down in standardised fads or tastes. Maximum creativity, that’s the way I see it. Beyond your own limits.
A lotta people now see writing as some sort of championship, and that’s the reflection of a typical Italian attitude: some sort of “Big Brother syndrome”, with victors and vanquished at all costs… I’m not having it! The way people express themselves cannot be rated. It can’t be a temporary fashion. And the same applies with your style and the way you paint.
Personally I don’t believe that illegal Writing is less “contaminated”. Maybe it was true up to some ten years ago. It seems to me that Writing contaminates itself on its own, due to people with a “championship state of mind”, as you defined it. And above all to this unstoppable proliferation of stereotypes, and to a series of old-fashioned rules.
What really amazes me, what keeps on fascinating me is “lettering science”. I call it a science because in my view it’s similar to an architectural study of shapes and weights more than to an art. Plus, this science has been growing constantly for 30 years by now, it’s incredible. What’s your view on that?
I could write tons of books on the subject of how writing is contaminated! Thanxs to “certain rules”, I still have no walls of my own to date, just to give you an example… “lettering science”, right said… frankly I don’t think I’ve reached a sufficiently high level of skills to give my personal contribution to the evolution of Writing. No doubt I put my body and soul in it. But I still have a lot to learn.
Every piece of mine is a challenge I launch to myself, both on a technical and graphical level. In the last couple of years I’ve had this idea of painting a piece which is actually composed of two pieces. I write my name twice, or I take two different names and I make them interweave in a harmonious way, trying not to sacrifice any of my letters… cleary, letters must no be used as gimmicks just to fill some hole. To my eyes, they must all look nice…
So my pieces are double letterings! It all comes from a sketch I was once drawing on tracing paper… the piece I was sketching got kind of reflected on the desk… I like it, because I feel like I’m taking possession of vacuum space, I’m acting inside of it the way I like. I pour my energy into it, I’m instintive but rational too, it’s a deep passion, an outlet, like playing the djembe…
I don’t set myself no goal, it may be dangerous… I’ll always do what I feel like, no constraints… I’m trying to enjoy the present day, I think it’s silly to say “I will keep on painting till the day that I die”, cos you can only know what it’s all about today, not tomorrow. And everybody must follow his own path…
Sometimes it’s nice to see how I’ve reached the goals I had set myself back when I was a kid. For the moment, all I want is having fun… and travelling everywhere! Writing has given me a lot of opportunities there, I’m happy with the expierences I’m living. I dont’ paint too much, but I paint everywhere.
In your opinion, why women have played a minor role in the history of Writing?
The reasons are manifold. On the one hand, it’s the same old prob of “things which are supposed to be man’s things”. And bringing-up up plays a vital role there. Parents often bring up their daughters the way society expects daughters to be. For example, I wasn’t allowed to play with toy cars. But women with guts don’t care if people don’t approve of their passions. In a few words, it’s all about listening to your heart, not to what people try to ram down your throat. Bringing-up is supposed to get the best out of you, but what society actually do is brainwash you, and then fill your brain with stereotypes…
Another reason is that parents tend to be stricter with daughters. So going out at night and bomb becomes a problem. Especially if you have a strict father like mine. That’s why I try to stay away from home as much as I can.
Plus, sometimes girls paint only for imitation; they go like “I paint because my boyfriend paints”… they have this exhibitionist attitude, something like “Hey, I’m a writer!”, but they’re not really interested in following a personal path.
Have you come to know female writers who influenced your way of life or painting?
I don’t see this distinction between male and female writing. I judge people by their attitudes. If their pieces rock, they rock and that’s it. So I’m trying to learn from anybody I consider worthy, regardless of their sex, race etc. Start making a distinction, and you’ll end up in a vicious circle! It doesn’t make any sense to me to classify my favorite writers according to their sex. Rosi from Switzerland drives me crazy. But if a piece is dope, it’s dope and that’s it. I try to be open-minded and get inputs from anywhere. I firmly believe in one thing: you wanna paint? Then just do it. I’ve learnt a lot both from my male and female friends. My view is that mixed groups teach you the best lessons!
The “top 3” in your list of positive and negative experiences as a writer?
Negative: 1- Everytime I use Montana’s and caps clog up… makes me go nuts… 2- The worst of all: I was putting up a piece when this bunch of laid out sissies started spitting at me and insulting me, throwing stuff at me… then they destroyed my piece and the 5 of them threatened me to beat me up… this beef went on for months… guys, don’t abuse certain drugs! 3- I was painting my second legal piece and this “civilian” blamed I was being uncivilised and laid his hands on me… but I took my revenge… hehehe, you can’t figure how… he never showed up again!
Positive: 1- The odd times Montana’s don’t make my caps clog up… has it ever happened? 2- The tight links established with people I painted with all over Italy; by now they’re almost like brothers and sisters to me… 3- The pro-women rights Writing calendar I took part in. My piece came out horrible, but I had the chance to make great female friends.
So what’s your greatest dream for the next future with reference to Writing?
I’d like to paint more trains: a desire that almost never came true so far. I’d like to keep on elevating, both from the technical and creative point of view… I got so many ideas on my mind, but it’s hard to put’em into practice… sometimes I lack the space because there’s no walls available, sometimes I lack the time because I have hundreds of interests to deal with!
First and foremost, thanxs to you for this opportunity. I blow a kiss to Yazo and Titti, Kay, your woman and the whole THP crew, including Jame and his Norwegian fellas. Hugs to my brothers and sisters all around the world, Kame, Cuore e Maria, Haffa, Serpe, Skard, Salern, Nide and the boys from Gargano, Kaso and my girls Pam and Flake, Yomo, Orzo, Wash and the fellas, Skar, Ace, Zero, Shell and the entire 5SK crew (I love youuuu), Moe, Fogna, Mac S, TGS, Sat, Slog175, NastySexyZor and the guys from Mestre, EAD breakers (Zanna for president!), Mano, HC Rebel, M Bass Adò, Twogunz, Faire, Febo, Spneed, Shake, Krone, Mace, Nemo, Taz, Wany and Zeno, Skah, Saik, Slork, Juh so so sweet, Flomo, Dafne, Tash from Australia, and all those I surely forgot, my apologies … you know I’m absent-minded! ;). A huge kiss to my brother and didjeridoo teacher Enrico.