We had a chat with Mattia Lullini. Drawing, painting, silkscreening and murals are the mediums he uses to create his universe of multiform and psychedelic animals. Originally from Bologna, Mattia Lullini loves the art of tribes, of the origins, of men and women from India, Oceania and Americas and in general the decorations. What he draws is the un-human magic. And the animals dreaming. Born in 1985 he already had various solo exhibitions, he participated to international festivals of illustration and street art and he has painted around Brasil, England, France, India and Italy.
When and how did you start painting?
I started painting walls when the two owners of Elastico Gallery, Bologna, told me that if I wanted I could have painted the walls for my show in their gallery. I’ve always been fascinated when the illustrators and artists I loved were transferring their images on murals, especially on indoor walls. It was 2010 and I was preparing my first solo exhibition not related to poster art, which is where I come from, and I said to myself: “Why not!” The result was a complete blast for myself, I loved it, I loved the feeling of creating something so big compared to any work I could do either on paper or canvas and so special in its creation having to deal with the architectures, to get dirty and out of the studio to more and weirder challenges. As you can imagine, from that day on I just craved for more and bigger walls and even now it’s the same. Murals have something special to me.
Wall painting is something very physical, could you tell about how do you feel doing it?
Wall painting is indeed very physical, but that’s precisely one of the things I like the most about it. It’s very tiring and stressing for me on many levels, but at the same time there’s a feeling I get from it that I adore. I love feeling so exhausted and dirty at the end of a day painting, it’s always a challenge in so many ways and maybe it’s from this effort that I get this good vibe, when you end up your day with paint stains still all over you, all your muscles hurting, but so stoked from what you’ve done.
Your multiform and psychedelic animals are particularly decorated, where is your style inspired from?
When I’m talking about my decorations I think that I have to refer to a universal and World-spread use of the decorations that characterized mankind since forever. So many incredible cultures have developed a kind of an alphabet of decorations that recurs from ages ago until now and it’s found everywhere in the World. If I have to say something that really inspires me a lot, I’d say the textile decorations, the Indian and North American ones, and the sculpture decorations from Oceania. I love the concept of something highly decorated, special not only for its own meaning but also from the meta-communication that is brought by its own decorations. It creates a sort of double fruition of the picture or the object and that’s something I love. Now when I draw I invent and improvise the decorations at the moment but it’s obvious that all these decorations that comes from everywhere are part of it, they are all in my mind and often in subtle ways.
Talking about your country, you’re originally from Bologna but you painted a lot in Turin, how do you like the city?
I think that Turin is an amazing city, probably one of the best Italian cities right now and kind of my second hometown in the Peninsula. I have lived there for one year between 2011 and 2012 and it has been totally radical. The city is on an incredible cultural uprising and it’s filled of very interesting projects that involves music, art and mural art. I’d had the luck to work on some of them and on a City Hall project too and it’s been amazing. In particular I’d suggest you to go and check out the incredible work of associations like Urbe, La Délirante, Picturin and the exhibitions that are held at Galo Art Gallery. These people are putting a serious strengh on creating amazing projects and they truly deserve even more of the visibility and respect they’re getting.
Could you tell us something about your experience in India?
My experience in India is an on-going experience actually. It all started back at the beginning of 2012 when my friend and artist Raw Tella, from Turin, involved me on a project that was supposed to bring us to a difficult neighbourhood in New Delhi to held a small workshop of mural painting. What happened was that I found myself organizing together with him what it’s now recognized and may be the first mural art, some says street art, festival of the entire India and to paint some of the biggest murals I’ve ever painted. From that trip I kept on having a strong connection with the Sub-continent, I went back there during the last fall for a new collaboration with Bols Brandy that brought me to the Audi Ritz Icon Awards 2012 in Chennai and even now I’m keeping on collaborating with realities that i hope will spring on new projects involving this incredible Country.
At the moment you live in Copenhagen, would you recommend living there and why?
Copenhagen is amazing, I’m living here since the last summer and I’d surely recommend to live here. It’s a beautiful small city made of islands and filled with channels and lakes and probably the most livable city I’ve ever been to. Just imagine that after I come here I sold my car, it turned out to be useless…