I am a young artist, a painter to be more precise. I grew up in the countryside, near Florence, and I always had kind of a love/hate relationship with it. After the artistic school, when I was 19 years old, I won a scolarship at NABA and I moved to Milan, hectic but exciting city,  where I still live now.

How an artwork of your is made? What creative process you follow?

My artworks are created from strong urges that I get from everyday life: from a careful look at things, from music (lots of music), from arts that I follow by going to exhibitions, surfing the web and through social media like instagram.

I don't think there's just a single process to make my art but more like a mash of them. I have always been interested in generating emotional (and not conceptual) contrasts. I can say that the approach is very architectural, there's a construction of the image, even thought it's partially questioned by fast gestures, like skating on the canvas, which I do not control at all and often bring me in a direction that is different from my initial purpose. The artworks made through the direct use of skateboarding usually come out as they are created: abstracts, with deletions or interruptions, other times matched with pictorial operations inspired by the Macchiaioli culture or painted stickers.

The work is evolving and changing, compared to my debut and who knows where it will bring me.

Which expressive technique do you prefer to work with?

I have no preference, sometimes I feel like I need to do figurative works, with oils, while other times I want to have some fun and make abstract paintings, testing fast techniques and less pondered solutions. Usually the combination of rapid gestures like rollings and sprays mixed with slow and fine brushes gets me the most interesting results.

Who are the people that contributes to your artworks? How do you choose them and what's your relationship?

I don't work with assistants, even thought I occasionally needed some help. It's very difficult to find someone who can replicate your style.

Regarding the skate related artworks I need friends to help me, from setting the tools to the action. After preparing the canvas by painting on it, I take it off the frame and put it on a skatepark structure.  Then we start filling it with marks, stains and bitumen, until I think it's good. Other times I directly use the board as a brush. I am not interested in the performative side but more on what happens in the painting, the pictorial side.

The people involved in the process are all my friends and professional skaters, I share with them more than just a passion or a lifestyle.

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Skateboarding is a recurrent element in your work and you explicitly make references to it. Do you ever wonder how your art can be perceived by those who don't know about this culture or are not part of it?

Before including it in my work, I was worried about its impact in the art world and on its employees. Then the naturalness and honesty of this solution overcame the insecurity. Even if less then before, I still spend a lot of my time on the board, so I couldn't resist to get involved. I don't it to be my trademark, I consider it a good element. It's an interesting path to follow until I will get bored and discover new directions to explore.  Among the people that are stranger to this phenomenon, some of them appreciate it and try to understand the matter. Others think that painting with a skateboard is something that ends in itself.

For me, I think it's a personal way to bring out some sort of form and content. The skateboard skid marks on the walls inspire me as much as a landscape when I get back home in fall.


So what's the role of skateboarding in your everyday life?

When I was younger, skateboarding was almost a reason for living, a belief. Now I see it more like a creative sport that helps me to kick of the pressure and the stress. I usually take breaks from work by skating for two hours and then getting back to the studio, tired but with my mind cleared. I mostly ride in three cities: Milan, Florence and Grosseto (my mom hometown).  In each one of them I can find dear friends to skate with, also all my holidays are like skate tours in other countries but since when I started focusing on my artistic production and public relationships, I had to stop a little bit.

“The skateboard skid marks on the walls inspire me as much as a landscape when I get back home in fall.”

In 2020, we will see skateboarding as an olympic sport in tokyo. what do you think about it? How do you think this can affect the perception of this sport/culture?

I have two different opinions on this thing. From a certain point of view, I think that since skate culture was born in the streets, it must stay in the streets. This is my most genuine vision but you have to consider all the world revolving around sport. It is now growing more than ever, especially in Italy where they are building new skateparks to train and organise contests. It's a proper system, if I think about all the money running through the many brands in the USA and the skill level of todays skaters. Some of theme lives their life like real athletes and get paid well. I believe this contributed to call it a "sport" and you could smell its admission to the olympics a few years ago.

Future projects?

I have a collective show in Pescara on December 16th and three show in spring at Fondazione 107 in Turin.

ARTMichele Molinengo