MEET THE ARTIST: ALESSANDRO GALLO
If you were an animal, what would it be?
The Donkey. He’s proverbially stubborn, stupid and works hard. It reminds me not to take myself too seriously.
What do you have in common with your sculptures?
We are both three dimensional and we wear clothes (sense of humor is an important side of my work). I try and portray people that I encounter and represent their individuality, physical and psychological. This means that I work hard to find the small traits and details that give them a life of their own, separate from my own identity.
What inspires you the most?
Books, music, films, TV and so on shape my way of seeing things and my work. It’s difficult to name just a few. My tastes are very erratic and omnivorous. My attention is primarily focused on people surrounding me—their postures, body shapes, clothes, accessories, what they do and all the silent messages they send. In restaurants, trains, airports, post offices, banks… I love observing people, friends and strangers in restaurants, trains, airports, post offices, banks and so on. I’m always fascinated by the things they share and surprised by the individual twists and differences.
When did you realize you wanted to be an artist?
I’ve loved drawing ever since I can remember. I started studying Law at Genoa University. It felt safe. I was doing very well in my law studies and I have that type of personality that enjoys researching, regardless of the subject. I also loved painting and drawing but somehow I initially feared the risks connected with making it a profession. There were a lot of good reasons for pursuing both options. At some point logic alone was not enough to come to a conclusion. I realized I just had to dive, following my inclination. It took me a while to understand how lucky I was to have that passion.
What is the most important message communicated through your artwork?
There are some recurring themes running through my work, although they evolve and change with me and my perspective. A common thread in my work is my approach to any subject or medium I choose. There’s a constant degree of technical attention in whatever I do. Although it’s a formal aspect I think it carries a specific content—trying to do what you are doing with passion, focus and discipline.
Tell us about…
Your biggest fear
Members of my family being in pain.
Your greatest joy
That’s an easy answer at this moment in my life. Almost 5 Months ago. Being in the delivery room beside my wife Beth, the day our son Nicco was born.
Your favorite books
So many. I love reading. It is impossible to make a list. Journey to the End of the Night by F. Celine and 1984 by G. Orwell. From more contemporary writers: Atomised by M. Houellebecq and The Road by C. McCarthy. Non-fiction: The Selfish Gene by R. Dawkins.
Your favorite movies
There are so many movies I could name that had a strong impact on me and my work. From Casablanca to Totoro. I’ll change the angle a little. I’ve been impressed with the all-around quality, narrative power and depth of some American (sometimes British) TV productions from recent years: Dexter, Boardwalk Empire, Mad Men, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, The Office (British) and Planet Earth. My all time favorite is the The Sopranos.
Your favorite song at the moment
Many of the works in Strani Incontri are titled after songs that I’ve listened to recently. She Belongs to Me by B. Dylan, Come Fly with Me by F. Sinatra, Beginning of a Great Adventure by L. Reed, I Feel Good by J. Brown, The Man Who Sold the World by D. Bowie. However, lately I’m enjoying the silence of my son sleeping well.
Your favorite place
The portion of sea between Genova and Portofino in Italy. I lived in London for 12 years, I’m in the process of moving to the US, I love traveling but, as they say, ‘there’s no place like home.’