From Graffiti to Belle Arti

in conversation with Lorenzo Ermini

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“The composition of the family photos a very solid diagram”

How did you first get interested in art and started doing works?

The first approach to art was rather random, none of my family had ever been interested into it. During middle school, some older friends of mine started doing graffiti and I was immediately drawn into this world. The passion for writing immediately led me to elaborate on the first words and the first drawings, I spent most of my time doing sketches in middle school.The high school years were fundamental for my career, I never had much time to devote myself to drawing, I grown very strong energy that was finally freed itself in the years of Accademia di Belle Arti attended in Florence.

What attracted you specifically to painting?

My parents have never had a strong interest in art but despite that, since I was a child they brought me to see museums where the great painters of the Italian tradition were exhibited, obviously all painters before 1700. The choice of painting was spontaneous, or perhaps there really wasn't a choice. I approached graffiti and then painting. Street Art is a very fascinating world and I felt it was very mine but it has an approach completely different from painting, and I felt the need to create shapes that were tight in that context. Painting needs knowledge, practice and practice, and I wanted to know and experience painting. From the street art writing, I kept the attitude, the incessant desire to produce, the drive to go further and try to improve day by day, I think this is one of my strengths.

“Painting is not to be analysed as if we were in a psychoanalytic session”


How does autobiography enter your work?

Autobiography is necessarily part of my work. Between the autobiography of a painter and his work there is always a connection, but I do not believe those who say "Van Gogh in impetuous skies represents his mood, sadness, madness, etc. .." painting is not to be analysed as if we were in a psychoanalytic session.

Your works face problems like family, absence, loneliness and identity. Can you talk about this choice and how are you approaching and thinking about the process?

The human figure is always at the centre of my paintings. I have also worked a lot on still life paintings but they are almost always mere pictorial exercises. The human figure attracts me, it generates in me a strong tension, perceptible by the observer but never fully expressed in otherwise it would be illegible rather controlled and lucid. The family theme appeared in my paintings only over a year ago. One day I found a family photo of the first post-war period, apart from the strong emotional attachment to that photo It also had some formal qualities that immediately interested me; people wore ceremonial dresses which that revealed the reality of the rural place to which they belonged. Since that day I have painted many families. I find in the composition of the "family photos" a very solid diagram. My work is absolutely focused on the human figure, my aim is not to represent mood or state of emotions. Loneliness and absence is a subtle suggestion of the painting itself when the character represented that never connect with each other.

“I can't help but paint”


What is the next project?

I have a thousand ideas in my head, I do not know precisely which one I will complete first. Some of them concern sectors that I have never explored to the end like video, photography, sculpture and fashion; I have to find the exact combination to make the job work. Lately, I am changing my painting method, now I try a lot to work on the preparatory sketch, something I didn't do before.

Painting practice can be very broad and challenging, it is an open field of options, where infinite choices can be made, but it is often easy to get lost; it is important to be able to map as much as possible. To do this, the only way is to dedicate oneself completely to painting and analyse all that it has to offer, I can't help but paint.


Born in Montevarchi (Ar) on 10-08-1996. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence. In 2017 he participated in the collective exhibition "Arte per Arte" at the California State University of Florence and a solo exhibition "Enigma" curated by Rossana Calbi at the Abbey of Badia a Ruoti (Ar). He also participated in the group exhibition "Rinascita" at the former Refettorio di Santa Maria Novella (Florence). He was one of the winners of the EneganArt 2017 competition and at the exhibition "In-Compare" at the Fortezza da Basso (Florence).

Source: lorenzo-ermini/from-street-art-to-belleart...