Alessandro Siviglia is a talented Italian artist who has exhibited his work nationally, joining Singulart to help attract a global audience in 2018. After immersing himself in the world of graffiti for fifteen years, he dedicated himself completely to a career in visual art, developing his very unique and personal style in the process. Today we will talk with Alessandro about his work as an artist in times of Covid-19 and who is keeping him inspired.
Hello Alessandro, I would like to ask you how you are experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in Italy?
It’s a tough time. I’m checking the news all day and of course I’m very concerned. Apart from the health threat we also face an economic threat. All businesses are linked, with the small shops, bars and restaurants all struggling in particular. I really hope this will all be over soon!
To what extent has your everyday life as an artist changed in quarantine?
We have been in quarantine for a month now. I only leave the house for grocery shopping or when I need to go to the studio to ship a painting or work on a commission piece. I’m usually alone at my studio and right now I can’t welcome collectors, but that doesn’t change much. I mainly work on the internet as courier services are still working, at least to some extent. But yes, I’m currently painting a lot less because every time I leave the house I risk a fine due to the restrictions put in place.
You have been an artist on Singulart since 2018, is your online presence helpful during this crisis?
Definitely! But even before the crisis I was mainly working online.
To what extent does the pandemic influence your depiction of art? Does it generate new inspiration?
Of course, it has a great influence on my depiction of art. I usually don’t think much when I paint, so what goes on in my subconscious is often reflected in my paintings. A close friend of mine is a doctor in Milan who is working ferociously hard and I can see how difficult it is for him to cope with this terrible situation. I did a portraiture of him to express my support and affection, titled “San Giorgio contro il Male” (Saint George against the evil). The intention with this painting was to show how the good wins the battle in the fight against evil. It transmits hope and courage. We are all fighting the same enemy and we need to stand together!
In your new artwork “Corona”, you keep your colorful style, but the content is very serious. What is the message you want to deliver?
I painted Corona when the emergency was still restricted to China. The main character is a personification of the virus, wearing the crown. On the one hand I wanted to give a face to an invisible threat and on the other hand it’s also the attempt to catch the virus in my painting. Many people said I should paint almond eyes on him, so he looks Chinese, but I painted him with the typical Siviglia-eyes. I wanted to show that the coronavirus does not have an ethnicity. He opens his mouth and coughs at people, infects them. He has a very arrogant, imposing posture and tries to scare people to death. In fact, the fear the virus generates is as dangerous as the virus itself. His right arm full of syringes shows the attempt to find a vaccine. The broken chains around his wrists look like he was held captive before and has now been liberated – unfolding all his anger and wrath. The dragon trying to fight represents China, but the dragon is too small and the virus doesn’t seem to be impressed.
I think this current period is comparable to a war, something our children and grandchildren will learn about in school. I feel it is my task as an artist to capture and express it my way, the same way a war reporter would take photographs on a battlefield.