Seeking for some Italian fresh air? Join and enjoy with us this Interview with Rome based artist Riccardo Beetroot. An artist by accident? Or maybe an artist by destiny that found his refuge in creativity? Riccardo is eclectic, inspired and a proud father as well as a Roma FC fan! Find out what inspires him, the philosophy he carries and how it all started for him. Enjoy!
-What would you like to drink? Coffee, Tea, Beer, Soda or something else?
Let’s have hot tea, today there is a north wind!
-Introduce yourself to us – as if we had no idea who you were!
Hi my name is Riccardo, I am 47 years old and I am the father of a wonderful little girl. Aaahh yes, I forgot, I create drawings and big surfaces with the drill to live and to tell who I am but this depends on the point of view !!
– Where does your Artist name come from?
I worked in London when I got hooked on street art but I had never picked up a brush in my hand. In the morning I would unload the trucks and prepare the Pizza Hut kitchen. Among the many boxes that I arranged, there were the “beetroots”, red turnips. Word very close to my surname and as a joke I said to myself: if I had to sign my drawing, I would sign it like this.
-How do you define yourself and why? Artist? Street artist? Something else?
I didn’t dare call myself an artist before the people who know me started calling me an artist. It is a title that is assigned to you from the heart of those who know you and there is no other way.
– How did it all start for you, and what is it nowadays?
It started as so many things in life begin, by chance. I never thought: now I’m an artist! I started drawing and looking for my way, then life took care of the rest.
Today art is the material that gives substance to my spirit, which keeps my back straight and allows me to look my daughter straight in the eye.
-What is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?
I make the bed, because as US Army Commander McRaven said, making the bed is the first good thing you will do during the day.
-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?
Each of my works is accompanied by a particular music that at that moment helped me, stimulated and sometimes literally inspired me. I define Battiato (Italian musician) as my artistic father, because it was the first music I listened to as a child and since that moment I have never stopped. What I loved most about his production were the inspirational leaps, forgive the term. Battiato was never firm on a single idea, and I try to do the same.
-In all forms of art, inspiration is crucial. What inspires you and how does that end up in your art?
Inspiration is a spark of fire in a lit fireplace, it lights up suddenly, it amazes you, it captures you, you follow it for the time to see it disappear upwards. I never know when it will arrive, nor what path she will take, I just know that it will last very little, I have to be ready to receive it, the game is all this.
-What is the hardest part while working on a piece of art?
Do not give in to the temptation to mediate with external influences, such as the desire to soften it in order to seek consensus. It would be lying to yourself.
-Do you have any artist(s) you admire? Can you pinpoint what it is that makes them so special for you?
There are dozens of them, I’m an eclectic and I never focus on just one genre or one style, I should make an endless list. What I really admire is their unattainability, genius and self-denial in completing seemingly impossible tasks. After all, it is in simplicity that the touch of the divine hides.
-Which cities are the most inspiring for you as an artist?
In Italy, going south, I love Sicily, all of Sicily, the cradle of the spirit, the essence of roots. Going north I felt inspired by mellifluous Amsterdam. In the east I like Trieste and its border of worlds and cultures. To the west, New York has its light, its speed, its ability to continually renew itself.
-What other passions do you have apart from art?
I am eclectic, humoral, curious and I really have many passions that I cultivate. I am a fan of Roma, the craziest football team in the world, capable of winning and losing against anyone, capable of generating blind, irrational and unconditional love in its people. How could I refrain from participating in all this.
-Do you have a special project that you hope to achieve some day?
I have several, but often my dreams fly farther than I can ever reach. I can’t talk about them easily because often when they come out of my head they become unworkable and I don’t want to lose them.
-Tell us a bit more about your art; does it include symbolisms, messages or repeated patterns? How has it evolved?
I really enjoy inserting symbolisms and small references to the hidden meaning of the work itself in the composition of the work, but also hidden words, entire sentences or signatures. The technique always remains more or less the same, but the effect changes from time to time thanks to the crazy variables that the different environmental conditions offer. The final success is always a bet.
– How long time does your art work, on walls, usually survive for?
I have always seen my works disappear by the hand of man, until now I have never seen one of my works consumed due to natural causes. Very difficult to give a time, there are hundreds of factors to evaluate.
-What do you think, people feel or think of, when they see one of your works on the street?
In general, my goal is to arouse a feeling in people, as deep as possible both for good and for bad. This is the ultimate goal of an artist.
-What are your creative plans for the future?
I’m trying to explore digital art, a completely new world, I’m looking for my passage to the northwest.
-Is there a little wish you have that not many people know about?
Learn to sculpt. I think I might be able to do it, I feel the art of sculpture close by.
-Is there a specific thought or message you would like to pass to our audience out there?
Yes, art is a refuge, a place of the soul, do not hesitate to find shelter there.
Thank you Riccardo! It’s been great to get to know more about the mind and person behind these inspiring works.
‘’I Support Street Art’’ team.
Interview produced through the valuable assistance of Roberto Morgi.
Artist Links: www.beetrootart.it