Interview to the artist: Sergio Masala

Based in Genoa, Sergio Marsala is an artist and illustrator from Modena, starting his career with Franco Buffarello, Sandro Cortesogno, Lele Luzzati, Gianni Polidori, Sergio Fedriani. Bouncing between theatre stage and comic illustration, the artist plays with familiar figuration and everyday suggestion to understand our daily life. In the solo exhibition snaturar corrivo, for example, Masala portraits little monsters representing the doubts that we try to hide every day. These creatures, however, are funny and clumsy to remind us that we can learn how to playfully face our fear.

Exhibiting between Italy, England and Franch, Sergio is also juggling between different activities that are constantly feeding the diversity of his work. Moving between children illustration, underground publishing and collaboration with theatres and cultural events, the artist explores different medium and approach to specialise in collage.

Sergio is now getting ready for his new exhibition for the Coaster Show 2018 edition in Los Angeles, after participating to last year edition. While we are waiting for his new creations, we asked Sergio about his work and his last project Lost People, a group exhibition about loneliness, travelling and identity. Presented for the first time at the Beu-Beu Art Festival, Lost Kids combines the playful approach of the artist with a reflection on identity in a fast and mobile world in which we constantly rush to become adult and too often we forget how to play.

Lost Kids
  • You are mainly working on stage design and illustration, specialising in collage. What do you like most of these techniques?

For what concerns the first two activities, which I usually approach in a similar way, it is the opportunity to interact with the text (dramatic in the first case, narrative in the second); I have always been interested in capturing the suggestion from the world of literature to transform them within visible ambient and imagine.

The technique of collage fascinates me for the opportunity of creating something new, re-using/re-locating/attributing a new meaning to something already there, even better if it is useless but conserving a trace of the previous story. I often reuse wastes for my creation, both for stage design and illustration. In a similar way, lately, cardboard is my favourite support for painting and drawing.  

  • You have also organising children workshop. How did this activity influence your artistic creativity?

My research began years ago from a childish approach to drawing rather than academic, to which I have always been deeply connected to. I carefully observe how kids are drawing in preschools and I have a small collection of their works that I often look up to take inspiration. Actually, that’s also why my work for LP, Lost People exhibition is Lost Kids. For the same reason, I have always been attracted by ethnic art and Art Brut. Any time I have the chance to make a painting with kids I do learn something new.

  • Are the subjects of your pieces connected or inspired by your every-day life?

I would rather say that they are inspired by my oniric life, which most likely is largely influenced by my every-day and previous life, by the art I have seen and by.. what I have eaten for dinner!

I try as much as I can do something out by dreams, imaginary character and atmosphere, which is not easy at all.

  • How do you relate the themes of LPLostPeople with your individual and artistic vision of the world, also considering the Italian socio-political context?

When I draw my pieces, I  let my inspiration to come out unconsciously and automatically, and the same was for the theme of the exhibition. the Italian socio-political context has probably emphasised my tendency in depicting the monstrous, nowadays very relevant theme.


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