Waro is the Onstream Galleryartist chosen to launch the Gallery: if you have seen the exhibition, you need no further introduction.
But let's get down to business: Onstream Gallery cares about art and artists, which is why we like our artists to tell their stories, without filters, to those who follow us.
We asked WARO where his passion for Pop Art comes from, why he is fixated on Manhattan and above all what he did in New York to return to Italy and produce with so much inspiration.
1. Hi Waro, we have reached the end of this online exhibition and we are very satisfied with the result: we had 3500 unique users during these three months, with 2800 visits on your exhibition alone. And because we have reached the end, let's go back and talk a bit about the exhibition, about us and what we did.
How did this experience go? Had you done any exhibitions before?
It was a very important experience on a human and professional level.
Working online with trained and professional people is satisfying: I had already participated in a few exhibitions, but this was my first solo show.
The fact that it is online...
2. Anyone who has seen the exhibition knows that New York is an integral part of your work. Can you tell us about the time you decorated the studio in front of the Empire State Building? How did you get there, how long did it take you to do it and what did you think while you were doing it?
Throughout my life, I have always drawn the skyscrapers of New York. They were not real skylines, but explosions of lines and strokes reminiscent of the fullness of the city that never sleeps.
When I drew in front of the Empire, I thought the whole time about one thing: I decided I was going to quit my job and be a full-time artist.
Working in front of the Empire had a very important cathartic meaning for me: the Empire State Building is in fact the first piece of all my paintings, that set of initial lines that give life to the explosion I have often talked about on my Instagram page.
When I was a kid I used to draw New York all the time, it was something I had inside and now I have managed to materialise it in my experience as an artist: I have just started, but that moment in front of the Empire was explosive.
3. Can you tell us what your typical day was like in New York? We know you've been there several times and for obvious reasons you haven't been back yet.
At a certain point I decided to leave for New York with the money I had earned working up to that point and I took some postcards with me to hand out as soon as I got off the plane.
Following a series of fortunate encounters, I manage to get this commissioned work in an office opposite the Empire State Building.
In one night I manage to work on the entire vertical part of the studio, while the horizontal part I continue in Italy through panels, during a very difficult period of my life.
When I returned to Varese (the town where he was born, editor's note), I continued working on wooden panels which I then sent to the USA. I remember perfectly the sleepless night I had before returning to Italy: I drew some sketches on paper which I did not execute, but which I keep with great jealousy.
4. Do you miss New York? What are the main differences compared to Italy? Are there any particular vibes that constantly inspire you?
I really miss New York.
That city is a kind of battery charger, you wake up and you know that something incredible could happen: I don't know if it's because of the American myth that we grew up with from a young age, but when you go there there is a feeling that anything is possible.
Italy 'especially at the beginning' depresses you a bit.
7. We know perfectly well that these are not happy times for anyone, and that the past few months have meant a lot to each of us.
The question arises: who is Waro today?
Today I am a person, tomorrow I will definitely be a different person.
It is not by chance that I create videos in which I tell about myself in front of the camera. I realise perfectly well that every week that goes by, I am a different person, a different artist.
That's why I want to leave a trace of myself on video: because I want to see how I grow in terms of taste, in terms of technique, in terms of artistic research.
I also happen to want, almost demand, a direct confrontation with other artists: I need a continuous exchange with them, but I think people who just observe you, who are not part of this world, are also very important. They are the people who, in my opinion, make you feel alive.
I love people, that's why I have a thing for artists of the past and their biographies.
8. Tell us more then: which artists attract you from the point of view of personal history?
Certainly Picasso, Tintoretto, Rothko, Warhol, Canaletto and many others have played and still play a fundamental role.
Studying their lives makes me reflect on my own: at the end of the day we are all human beings, we all have something in common that, for one reason or another, we want to throw out.
I really like to go and find the element, the anecdote, that particular trait that makes an artist human.
9. In your works we find returning trademarks: Esso, Sasso oil... You have already said that Andy Warhol was the undisputed master in this for you, especially with Campbell's soup. So what does Campbell's soup represent for you?
Campbell's soup is a product of consumerism so everyday, so normal, so standardised, that only a madman like Andy Warhol could elevate it to art.
This thought of going to elevate as art something that is standardised, something that is normal for everyone, is my starting point for creating everything I am doing now.
10. Waro, it was a pleasure to have you with us and we really enjoyed working with you. Obviously this is just goodbye, because your work will continue to be shown on Onstream Gallery in the section Artists. Do you have a message for other emerging artists like yourself?
I want to say something as simple as it is difficult:
Be bold with your dreams.