Get to know Brooklyn based artist Giovanni Forlino! He is in today’s Hump Day Hot Seat on .stART here. answering questions provided by Finch & Ada. You may remember when I featured his work in an Artist You Should Know post I wrote for Finch & Ada last year. Check out what he’s up to now!
Photo courtesy of Giovanni Forlino
1. Who are you?
2. What do you do?
I paint birds and plants and coming soon: FISH!
3. How long have you been at it?
I had been drawing like a maniac since I was a little boy. Eventually my drawings became thicker, and more colorful – more like paintings on paper, and then I put them on canvas and wood panels for the first time about nine months ago. Since then, I’ve made thirty-five finished paintings.
4. What is the most important thing we should know about you?
I plan to make a million more paintings, and they are going to be really awesome.
5. Is there anyone else in your field that you particularly admire?
I’m not necessarily inspired by painters. I am, but it is more that I am inspired by people who wish to MASTER something. Like my genius girlfriend, Emma, is a barrister in London, and she is passionate about mastering everything she does. Cooking, sex, work, fitness, fashion, etc. This is what inspires me. This is a truly creative person.
6. What other types of art are you into?
I like how Jose de Ribera could paint a person’s face, with their skin truly looking like it was stretched around a skull. Also, when he painted a figure in pain, he came up with ways to stretch their skin, and bunch it up in other places, like big wrinkly foreheads, and thinned eyelids. I like how Michelangelo made arms and hands so expressive and delicious looking. I also love how he painted young people and made them so incredibly beautiful. I love Jan van Eyck. I feel like his paintings took 200 hundred people working together. He set the standard for how excellent the surface of a painting could potentially be. Wow, I guess I’m pretty old school today.
7. You got any crazy hobbies or unique talents?
I love canned fish. I have an international collection of canned fish which I have brought back from Italy and other places. I have amazing cans of fish. Tuna, sardines, anchovies, and salmon. I love these things, especially ones of amazing quality, like Cabo de Penas brisling sardines, and Ortiz tuna, and often eat them right out of the can. Sometimes my dinner is a can of fish, which I eat with a fork, standing up. I love my lifestyle.
I love dancing so much! I wish people invited me to go out dancing every single night until 7am. I would happily sacrifice 80% of my sleep to go out dancing every night. This is why we have coffee. I think sleep is very important, but I must say, I know a lot of people who sleep WAY more than i do and have a lot less energy than I have. That’s because I recognize how important it is for my levels of energy and passion, to accomplish things I know will satisfy me.
8. What’s your favorite vice?
Blondie bars and getting inappropriately high on caffeine, everyday. And making people blush with my perverted sense of humor.
9. How do you make it over the creative hump?
I don’t have creative humps. The closest thing I have to a hump is when I think all my paintings suck. I just keep painting when that happens, or I’ll ask myself if I need to go out dancing or catch up on sleep. Thinking all my paintings suck is not a big deal. This is fine, healthy, and normal. It’s the same as anything else, like when you are walking down the street, you probably don’t have non-stop, seamless, original moments of seeing everything around you as new. Sometimes, your brain chatter gets louder and says, “I suck, and the world is ugly. It was never beautiful, and I already know all this stuff already.” You can have thoughts like that and just recognize it is part of being human, not a personal failure. Just engage with what you are doing again, and do not indulge in putting too much energy into those crappy USEFUL thoughts. They are useful for when people find it more convenient to distract themselves than to step into the unknown again, and again…
10. If someone was to write a Craigslist missed connection about you, what would it say?
Guy with big eyeballs who was staring at something.
11. Tell me about the last tie a project blew up in your face?
I bought a dead porcupine with the intent to make a disco ball. I was going to coat it in either aluminum powder or in microscopic glass shards using an airbrush and some oil. Then one day, I received this insane object in the mail. Big turnoff.
12. What is your most prized possession?
I just bought a pair of boots from a store called Sandro. They are dark blood-colored (nearly black), lace-up, leather, high ankle boots. So so beautiful. I have not worn them yet, but this morning, I was lying in bed with the boots and staring at them for an hour. They are so nice.