We speak with Italian acclaimed artist, OZMO, an ex art director who moved on to choose his expression through the walls! His art is is driven by his passion with iconography, philosophy and cultures. For us, a unique talent that has so much more to offer to the world of art!
-What would you like to drink? Coffee, Tea, Beer, Soda or something else?
I drink site specific, thats the way i live ;). why drink a beer in Paris when its charged 9E and for same price you can have a glass of champagne, for example, or why being charged 5E for a acidic espresso in ny when you can get 1lt of american coffee for 2E? It’s not a matter of price, just wisdom
-Introduce yourself to us – as if we had no idea who you were!
I’m Ozmo, I was doing drawings for all my life since i was a kid. Was drawing comics in the early 90s and afterwards I started to writing graffiti and painting. Soon afterward, my tag became respected after me and my Bro Fra32 made 100+ trains in the mid ’90 in the Italian graffiti scene, I also was one of the few writers using characters and drawings. After I finished the Fine Arts Academy of Florence in 2001, I moved to Milan. There, together with few friends we made something who is recognised as the born of Italian street art.
– Where does your (tag) Artist name come from?
When I was doing graffiti in mid 90s I wanted a way to insert figurative elements in my pieces, so choosing ozmo , as everyone has done graffiti knows, give me the permission to put 2 elements instead of the O letter (usually puppets-faces-spraycans, or others)
-How do you define yourself and why? Artist? Street artist? Something else?
When I painted in oil colors 20 years ago my crew friends were saying ‘why you waste your time painting canvas? let’s go to the hall of fame!! ‘ . Now all of them do paintings… I would just define me an Artist
– How did it all start for you, and what is it nowadays?
In 2000-2001 Banksy was nobody famous, just one of us doing this in the UK and everyone were the same…. Seems so strange now to remember how things were different it’s difficult to not being sentimental for that purity and spontaneity.
-What is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?
Checking messages and emails. I know, it’s depressing.
-Street art is mostly a visually stimulating form of art. To add one more sense to it, what music would you pick to accompany your art work?
Any kind of honest music, means mainly folk music – some form or rap can be considered like this -but I prefer Calypso pre ’70s.
-In all forms of art, inspiration is crucial. What inspires you and how does that end up in your art?
The Sacred part hiding in everyday’s life
-What is the hardest part while working on a piece of art?
Making a better one afterwards!
-Do you have any artist(s) you admire? Can you pinpoint what it is that makes them so special for you?
Leonardo, because he was using art as a knowledge tool.
-Which cities are the most inspiring for you as an artist?
Every place can be inspiring, i just need to respect it and accept it.
-What other passions do you have apart from art?
Music, Chess, Tarots, Reading mainly essays, Philosophy , Religions, Advertising, Culture in general, Humans and finally Gods.
-Do you have a special project that you hope to achieve some day?
Building a bridge from hell to paradise!
-Tell us a bit more about your art; does it include symbolisms, messages or repeated patterns? How has it evolved?
It started from my passion and studies on iconography , history of art, and esoteric knowledge. Tarots connected all this. Also political interest and activism, pop culture and advertising (i worked as art director back in the days). With the OZMO project , I placed all this interests and jobs together.
I realized during the years that my artistic language its not easy to understand and spot because I use many layers in my work different references .
– How long time does your art work, on walls, usually survive for?
Real Art is eternal , nowadays street art and graffiti seems to be good mainly at making a neighborhood gentrified and more expensive 😉
-What do you think, people feel or think of, when they see one of your works on the street?
I’m happy if they see themselves in the artwork. That’s when an artwork is open to several levels of interpretations. Someone in the ’20 will found them contemporary, like in 2019 , because the viewer is always seeing himself , his fears and his dreams.
-What are your creative plans for the future?
Be creative and continuing developing my research , being motivated , without trying to change it for getting more likes on social network and grow my ego
-Is there a little wish you have that not many people know about?
-Is there a specific thought or message you would like to pass to our audience out there?
Let’s do some interesting public art, lets paint something more deep than eyes candies or colourful pieces, nowadays bigger it’s not necessarily better or interesting, we need to go conceptually site specific or the street art movement will became self related and closed like the graffiti one.
Thank you OZMO for sharing with us your thoughts – we wish you all the best and hope to see your new works soon enough!
”I Support Street Art” Team!