Six questions for
Luca Massaro

Tique asks six questions to an artist about their work and inspiration.
This week: Luca Massaro.

Artist Luca Massaro
Lives in Milan, Italy

How do you describe your own art practice?

My work focuses on the invisible space that separates an image from its caption, photographs from words, production from consumption, in their different forms of translation and transmission.

Which question or theme is central in your work?

I’m interested in duality, contradiction, mirrors and opposites. How do Images and Words work? How can a picture be a mirror of our time and zeitgeist, but also somehow a window to look “out of time” and independent from timely trends? How our cultural tastes and socio-political decisions are influenced by images? How the commercial iconotext (images + words) works? How the combination of Images and Words can create a “third something”? How can a work of art use or resist all these forces? 

What was your first experience with art?

My parents did not have a photographic camera during my childhood and they had normal jobs, but they took me to museums (I remember a show by Mario Schifano in my hometown at 6-7) and they had art books and somehow an artistic point of view on things, if I now compare it to other parent’s. I think the first important experience growing up, was meeting some of their friends, artists or with beautiful Art and design in their houses and how respectfully it was treated. Then in high school, music and other friends into music made me start trying myself.

What is your greatest source of inspiration?

Default functions, standard designs, icons, clichés, uniforms and uniformity, basic graphic design, idealized biopics, obsolescence, symbols, music, traveling and meeting other people, ingenuity, books, rules..

What do you need in order to create your work?

I need a lot of time, often time alone, I need also space in the studio and sometimes practical help and dialogue with someone. I think I function better when I have an occasion, like an exhibition, a book, a commission, a deadline. If I don’t have them, I try to create them myself, and lock the flows of ideas in strict “game rules”. “Freedom is a form of discipline”.

What work or artist has most recently surprised you?

Difficult to say. I’m always surprised by brave people, not necessarily visual artists, but I think I’m inspired by people that have the need to do things their way, that have a sort of inner freedom, a discipline that allows them to take risks and break rules to create new personal ones.

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