Gianni Arone, The Ocean Is In The Pearl, oil on 1926 paper, courtesy of the artist.
OTP short-forms: Gianni Arone
Lili Fletcher interviews enigmatic multidisciplinary artist Gianni Arone.
God, the beauty in the mundane and HBO's Room 104.
LF Outside of making art, what is important to you?
GA God, Sobriety, Family, Friends, hockey, helping others, sleep when tired, eat when hungry.
LF Where did you grow up?
GA I was born in Santa Monica, CA and then grew up in Burbank, CA.
LF You’re a self-taught artist, what was your initial access to art?
GA We grew up in a home where creativity was nurtured, in that my parents let me and my siblings play. My father always played music in the home and it was filled with a lot of love and joy.
Writing was my first expression - creating short stories. I loved to make forts. We played imaginary instruments. We were exposed to all types of music and cinema.
I am very thankful for this atmosphere my parents provided. I didn’t start doing physical artworks, like drawing - till after I graduated high school.
Gianni Arone, As Long As The Roots Are Not Severed, All Is Well In The Garden, oil, carbon and China Marker on found paper, courtesy of the artist.
LF Your work is completely multidisciplinary (photography, drawing, painting, spoken word) and I’m interested, how do these different media inform each other?
GA My work is a humble reflection of a small slice of the Ineffable, or God, that is being revealed by the personality that is Gianni.
For me, anything can be art if it is elevated to that place by identifying it as such. I believe that all art - whether it is a poem, a dance, a song, a drawing, painting, sculpture - already exists. That all possibilities exist and the artist is simply revealing the Unmanifest into the Manifest.
A single work can have infinite variations - even if it is a small swatch of color shifted over - or something more dramatic like different eyes or bold lines.
Essentially there are infinite manifestations of these possibilities. One work contains all works. All works contain One Work. And neither of these can contain the uncontainable.
I enjoy working in as many disciplines as possible while I am here, with the connecting thread being something that I know I cannot put into a painting, a poem, a sculpture, a song - it will only hint at it.
LF The words you use in your visual pieces seem to form statements or slogans. Are there philosophical elements contained within these?
GA All essentially is philosophy, words are inherently limited even though they have infinite combinations. I enjoy the space in between the letters on a piece of paper. That might hint at what I enjoy playing with.
Gianni Arone, perfection, is an injustice to its nature, mixed media, courtesy of the artist.
LF What role does music play in your work? Do you listen to music whilst painting?
GA I love music so much. I have so many friends who are musicians and I am one myself.
Sometimes music plays (see TOOL's new album Fear Inoculum), sometimes it is the music of the studio. It is another way of intuitively listening. Nothing is wasted. All grist for the mill.
LF Being based in Los Angeles do you find specific inspiration in the city?
GA No not too much. I am inspired by being anywhere. I can find beauty in the mundane and the grand no matter the location. The Ineffable is omnipresent.
LF Do you like to travel?
GA I would like to more. I enjoy camping. I enjoy driving down streets. Walking down roads. Meditating.
Gianni Arone, Grace Washes Over, carbon and China Marker on found paper, courtesy of the artist.
LF You have a social media presence, what importance does this hold for you?
GA It’s a visual diary for me. It is a way to connect on happenstance with others like yourself and Oscar.
LF A noticed you don’t include the titles of works when posting on Instagram, is this deliberate?
GA It is. Titles are small poems. If a work wants a poem then we give it one. Sometimes collectors or galleries want a title and then I give it one.
Titles can also be very influential to the viewer of the work - almost overtaking it. Sometimes it’s nice just letting it be as it is.
I love titling works, but I have so many that it's just a time thing for me at the moment - one day I perhaps will title all works I have done.
If it weren't for the space
They could never embrace, oil on 1926 paper, courtesy of the artist.
LF What’s on the horizon in 2020 and upcoming years?
GA My father and I are starring in an Episode of the TV show “Room 104” on HBO - airing October 25th. I also composed the music for the end credits.
I’m working on a clothing line, a book of spoken word and poetry, an album of impromptu piano , a children’s book, and a couple of treatments for screenplays.
I work 9am-6pm M-F as a motion graphic designer as well. Who knows! I just really enjoy creating and I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to do so, and that I have my hands and eyes and ears.
And I tell you what - even if those things went - I’d still find a way to create.
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