I had no choice, I should have made it. *

Until the 14th of October, Manuel Cossu’s solo exhibition RIGA DRITTO is at Parione9 Gallery in Rome . Curated by Rossana Calbi, the show collects over 30 works of the artist for a complete overview of his life and career.

Manuel Cossu is a combination of personalities and artistic expression. He is the drummer of The Manges, one of the most popular Italian punk-rock bands. Alongside his performances on stage, his passion for drawing and visual art grows to combine these two worlds. Graphic designer for several album covers, Manuel collaborates with the Peawees, King Mastino, Senzabenza, and the Ramones.

The Ramones are also his main inspiration to the solo exhibition RIGA DRITTO. Collecting over thirty artworks on paper, canvas and wood, the exhibition illustrates his obsession with cartoons, his past friendships and his life journey. From the Skaletta Rock Club of La Spezia where Manuel used to hide to write music, the artist illustrates with essential and rough elements his life change through the years.

The name RIGA DRITTO, in Italian ‘stay right’, is dedicated to one of his friends. Just before getting out from jail, his friend got the tattoo on one of the knees, as a good auspicious for a new beginning. Manuel uses this expression to face our daily fear and anxiety, transforming his imagination in direct and harsh images.

Sending a message to anyone, the brutal honesty of his pieces is an encouragement to not give up. Through his artworks, the simple warning RIGA DRITTO transforms in a powerful advice from someone who has been there before; someone who didn’t have any other choice than make it.

After 10 years of exhibition and concert around the world, Manuel is now in Rome – at least until the 14th of October. Waiting for his upcoming projects, we asked him about his music and artistic career.

1 – Drummer of The Manges and artist. How would you describe your artistic journey to who is coming to see your works?

Everything started with the Ramones, to go to Mickey Spillane and to arrive to James Ellroy. JAMES ELLROY is the last stop; of these three essential points, my artistic journey is the synthesis of all of them. I am drawing receipts that are aiming to narrate this kind of atmosphere.

2 – How your work as a musician is influencing your artistic process and vice versa?

I try to play dry; to draw dry. I try to reduce everything to the minimum to get the maximal result. These two worlds are influencing each other. With the minimum, I don’t mean something easy; it is like taking out the skin and going around with your bones.

3 – RIGA DRITTO is your first solo exhibition in Rome with more than thirty works on paper, canvas and wood. How is transforming your story in drawings and canvas that people can personally interpret?

It is not my story; it is my immagination. I hope that it can passionate and offer a different perspective to who is interpreting; just that.

4 – ‘I had no choice. I should have made it’. Can you tell us a difficult but also fundamental moment of your artistic journey?

WHEN I REALISED THAT I WOULDN’T EVER BE THE ‘INTEGRATED’ ONE.

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