Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday ProFile: Filippo Minelli

Filippo Minelli is not a lemming. From a young age, his rebellious activities stood out in the crowd. “In preschool, I put a steak in a vegetarian’s coffee and milk,” he laughs. As he grew older he discovered graffiti and put that rebellious spunk to good use. “When I was 12, I had an art teacher who loved graffiti,” he recalls. “Then I started noticing some of them in my city, especially the political ones, and started painting around, too.” For the past 13 years, he’s covered the streets of Franciacorta, Italy, with his gigantic text.
Fortunately, Minelli’s never faced law enforcement issues while he’s out bombing. While he usually paints alone, he understands the appeal of having a crew for backup. “Crews are for people who are together and pushing each other to get up. It’s more about getting up friendship,” he says, “so it's ok if you try to get out of your social situation for a period of your life.”
In the past, Minelli’s taken some heat from older graff artists for his new-school style. However, he’s learned to brush it off. For him, it’s all about enjoyment. “Graffiti is rage and style together, a kind of a war,” he explains. “I think it's a strong social expression. I don't know exactly what street art is because there's a lot of confusion around it. I'm not that interested in ‘graphic-designers’ painting black-and-white characters with no sense for the fun of doing it.”
“I'm meeting a lot of people from all over the world and that's amazing,” he insists. “I’ve been in many places. Till now, Bamako is just the best: easy people, trees in the streets, lot of markets, cheap life, the river, some good clubs and restaurants. On the streets, there's not a lot of graffiti or street art, just posters with images of famous rappers downloaded from the ‘net.”
No matter where he is, Minelli loves telling viewers to wake up. “I’d like to tell people ‘Go fuck yourself and go get a job!’ I love being rude sometimes to get the viewer’s attention.” In the future, he wants to keep living the life. "I am so grateful to taste great food all over the world, to own a studio in the same area where friends produce some of the world's finest wine and to have the possibility of doing my things with less compromises than before," he confesses. With each massive piece, he tries to push the envelope a tad further, making the street art scene "a bit more interesting than before."
Grazie, Filippo! For more gigantic texts, check out his website. After work today, I'm going to sleep for what seems like the first time in a week. Goodnight and good weekend!

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