Loud, bold and bright. Italian artist Luca Mainini is obsessed with pop culture, but not in a way that most of us are. Instead of the predictable glamour and flawlessness, Mainini sees the defects, roughness and the eccentricity of the industry. With Dolce & Gabbana, Givenchy, Anna Dello Russo and Moschino collaborations under his belt, the collage artist dissects pop culture into minuscule pieces to create something entirely new, that is relatively surreal and always unpredictable. In addition to his mixed-media collages, the artist masters the art of visual stimulation with his GIFs, the most recent examples of which are his dazzling GIFs for Jeremy Scott’s debut collection at Moschino.
Mainini first got involved with the fashion industry at the Excelsior in Milan, where he was commissioned a video collage. The Instagram account of Mainini, where he shares his most recent works and a carefully-curated selection of images that inspire him, represents the breadth of his work. Schön! sat down with Italian wunderkind Luca Mainini to find more about his pop culture obsession, his future plans and red lipsticks.
How did you start working on GIF collages?
I’ve always loved the language of GIFs. One day I discovered that something was missing in my static collage. I wanted my women to become more mechanical, robotic and crazy.
How do you decide on working with animated GIFs instead of still images?
I still create static collages, but now I’m in love GIFs and work almost exclusively in that medium.
What was your artistic upbringing? Did you study art, graphic design?
I am self-taught. I follow my instincts and my taste for beauty.
You recently collaborated with Jeremy Scott for his Moschino debut. How did you end up working with him?
Jeremy really appreciated my work on his first collection for Moschino. I love his crazy and colourful world. In a way, we are alike. We like excess.
Do you think that technology has become a medium all by itself rather than being a tool?
Technology is still a powerful tool, but I think that many things are changing. Sometimes I feel like I live in a Cronenber movie.
What do you think the future holds for moving images, whether it be film or with GIFs?
Fashion is the frenetic movement par excellence. GIFs perfectly reflect this aspect of fashion.
In addition to Moschino, you have past collaborations with industry pioneers including Dolce & Gabbana and Givenchy. Taking all these into account, which designer or fashion house would be your dream collaborator?
Difficult question. There are a lot of talented young designers that inspire me a lot. Dolce & Gabbana had always been my dream…
However outrageous it gets sometimes, fashion is about an ideal of beauty and perfection; but here you are, using fashion as a main theme and distorting imagery to reflect its surreal aspect. How would you interpret this process?
I do not know. I see confusion, madness, something grotesque.
What is the one single thing that fascinates you most about popular culture?
Can you give us a sneak peek on your upcoming work?
I’m going to start a collaboration with a big fashion brand, but as I’m superstitious, for now, I cannot say anything.
Discover Luca Mainini’s work here.
Words / Bugu Melis Caglayan
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