Interview with Mario Sughi
Mario Sughi, aka nerosunero, is an italian digital visual artist, he is a member of both IGI - Illustrators Guild of Ireland - and the AII - Association italian Illustrators. Son of Alberto Sughi, one of '900 greatest realist painting artists.
In '87 he moved to Dublin, where in '95 obtains a PhD in Medieval History at Trinity College. Mario Sughi's work was presented in numerous galleries around the world, there are many magazines that demonstrate the value of his work, which has been criticized by many important art historians. In 2011 he partecipated at the 54th Venice Biennale with the project "The Italian Pavilion in the Word" at the Italian Cultural Institute in Dublin, and his work was selected for prestigious international exhibitions including the '' Annual American Illustrators ", the '' Aesthetica Magazine - Creative Works "in London and" 200 Best Illustrators worldwide 2009/2010 ".
The Ürzer's Archive included Mario Sughi in the "200 best illustrators worldwide" catalog.
Mario Sughi has been able to enrich the pictorial language with news from the digital languages, he draws and "paints" using only a digital drawing tablet, a choice which demonstrates the will to achieve a certain degree of cooling of the painting medium that allows to redefine an order in the relationship between the artist and his subjects. Mario Sughi's subjects are mostly female figures lost in space, concentrated in every action they make, they are part of a critical view of the lifestyles, of today's society and its conventions, aspects that demonstrate an open dialogue with British pop-art accentuated by the use of comics linguistic strategy and by clean, simple and minimal compositions.
L.A.: Hello Mario, to start can you tell us a little bit about yourself? When and why did you choose to move to Dublin?
Mario Sughi: I arrived in Dublin in 1988. For the first two years I worked in an Italian restaurant and travelled around the country. Then I went to Trinity College having turned down an offer to work for an old Irish pub in Belfast. A few years later, in Belfast again, I studied at the Irish Institute in Queens University. Whilst studying at Trinity and Queens I managed to produce some scholarly publications in Medieval Irish history. The major one was an edition of a register of an archbishop of Armagh, which to this day is the primary seat of the Irish Church. The two large elegant volumes, were published by the Irish Manuscripts Commission with a cover designed by my father, the painter Alberto Sughi. At the end of the 90s I was in Dublin again, this time working as an illustrator for a company of archaeologists. I do remember that when I started to work for them, they had just taken Francis Bacon’s studio from 7 Reece Mews in London and reconstructed it at the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin (where it can still be seen today). I stayed with that company for the next eight years. In 2007 I had my first group exhibition in Dublin at the Loft Gallery in Lombard Street, and in 2011 two solo exhibitions, at the Exchange Gallery in Temple Bar and The Complex Studios in Smithfield Square, which was quite special.
L.A.: Who were the first artists that you found inspiring?
Mario Sughi: I started drawing cartoons when I was in Rome. In 1982 and 1983 I published my first works for Il Male and ZUT magazine. Tamburini, Liberatore, Pazienza, Scozzari, Angese, Perini, Vauro, D’Alfonso, Fo and Vincino were amongst my favourites comics authors and illustrators and all of sudden I was working with them. I was the youngest one. My father’s studio was in via del Circo Massimo. It had a little mezzanine and I lived there between 1979 and 1986. Before my father, another important artist, Corrado Cagli had his studio there. In Rome and then in Milan, where I was from 1986, I visited many art exhibitions (the most amazing ones were those of Munch and Chagall in Rome in 1984), I worked with some of the most influential Italian illustrators, I met great artists (the encounter with Mario Schifano in his studio still stays with me), and yet in 1986, having finished my BA in La Sapienza university in Rome, without a word of English, I decided to come to Ireland to do a PhD in history, probably the only artistic decision of my life!.
L.A.: What characterized the evolution of your artwork? Have you always moved in the same direction stylistically or have you noticed substantial variations over the years?
Mario Sughi: At the beginning the works were probably a bit more playful, humorous, imaginative. Then I started to make my own discoveries about technique. I focused on working digitally and I became more interested in how rather than what to draw!.
L.A.: How do you come up with ideas for your works?
Mario Sughi: It’s like when you sit in a coffee shop and enjoy looking at the people passing by. Some of the people capture your attention. You follow them with your eyes and you reinvent their stories. And yes the only thing you know about those people and their lives is their image standing in front of you. And that is what you try to do when then you draw and paint: you try to capture and reproduce those interesting images. And nothing more nothing less, because the image seems to already have everything you need within it.
L.A.: Can you comment one work from those presents at LoosenArt? something about meanings or concepts..
Mario Sughi: Take the work of the woman sitting on the deckchair. She is sitting somewhere in the open air, judging by what she is wearing and the light, and she is eating an apple or maybe a cake. The figure has her own beauty. Possibly because of the light and the colour. There is also a sense of elegance, ordinary elegance, and familiarity in her gesture. The image is fresh and that gives to it its own energy. All the rest is left to the spectator.
L.A.: Hopes and projects for the future?
Mario Sughi: I always hope for more of those sorts of new discoveries that all of a sudden open new solutions and make it possible for you to start unexpected ways to work. When they happen they seem to happen almost accidentally. So yes let’s hope for some new lucky accidents. As for projects, yes there are a few interesting projects ahead …. let’s see!
Loosenart, Cagliari-Dublin, 17 Jan 2017
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