Driving Inspiration from the Bible to Historic Porn, Meet the Art-Throng Artist of The Week: Maurizio Bongiovanni

Editor´s NoteArtist of The Week Interviews is a series of artist interviews curated by Art Throng-a global contemporary art curatorial think-tank whose mission is to make art in all its expressions available across cross-cultural platforms. In these weekly interviews, we cover noteworthy artists from across the world, in different mediums of artistic expression from illustrations to design, sound to performance, photography to portraits, sculptures to motion. Here is our fifth artist of this weekly series- Maurizio Bongiovanni

Driving inspiration from the Bible to old porn newspapers, Maurizio Bongiovanni talks to us of his artistic process, eroticism, and sexual liberation through art.

Can you tell us  a bit about your artistic process while creating a painting?

I have different approaches to create a painting. I think my favorite is to develop an idea through a virtual approach. This gives me a wide range of variations and also challenges to my insecurities. 

Where does your inspiration come from?

I would say that everything comes from a certain feeling for life; I read a lot of old fashioned books like Divine Comedy or the Bible, but even children’s books or old porn newspapers.

You are originally from Italy?  What was it like growing up for you, are there some aspects of your country of Origin that play a part in your works? 

I think of a certain type of beauty mixed with a feeling for life. Broadly speaking, in Italy there is always a certain joy in the air which then contrasts with a complex and sometimes painful existence; I think these elements emerge in my research.

Through your paintings, you tend to explore eroticism in the consumer society. Could you tell us a bit about that?

I find it interesting to explore eroticism in today’s society. I am interested in deepening the desire for possession that feeds it, increasingly similar to that of banal consumer experiences. I like to talk about love, but I prefer to treat sex, which brings us all together on an ancestral level, even if it is de-potentialized.

In 2013, with the Fondazione Fuori in Turin, you decided to found an artist-run space, called “FUORI! Artist”, to support and spread the legacy of the Fondazione Sandro Penna and to continue to give importance to LGBT issues and to include strong relationships with other intellectual fields. Could you touch upon the work from the project?

The idea was born when I had the opportunity to visit the Foundation FUORI in Turin and I found out their precious archive. They have documents and old magazines that have been imported for the gay identity and liberation movement in Italy. I simply wanted to activate a dialogue in recovering old documents, reflections, controversies that emerged in the 80s. Artists have always been open and willing to understand an important historical part of their country… but at the moment, unfortunately, everything is stopped. 

Are there any future projects or collaborations that you are currently working on or would like to?

I have an exciting collaboration in the States and I am working on a solo exhibition.

What’s your favourite artwork? Which artist or painter has influenced you?

I would say German Expressionism and Italian paintings of the 16th Century. I have in my mind thousand of authors and every season I change.

What do you think will change in the arts scene in the post covid world?

The New Normal Era will certainly lead to changes in the art world too. I think that rediscovering humanity will be one of the new topics like even human rights. I honestly hope so.

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