Italian Poster Rock Art (Italy)

Italian Poster Rock Art (Francesco) (Italy)

Well, here is a difficult head of article to write for me and not only because Francesco is not a designer itself (or maybe is he, but this is not the reason why he is here today), no it is difficult because the work Francesco is doing for the Italian and, I don't fear to say it, for the european poster scene is so huge, I don't know where to begin from. To go fast, IPRA is somewhere between and italian paradize, but I will not explain more, just go and visit the site. I think here at Crewkoos, we share the same idea that, even if the USA are over-represented in the poster world (and that's fair because they more or less invented it), there is really interesting local artists everywhere, and Italy is in the top of my mind. I take the opportunity of this heading to thanks Francesco for his time and answers, but also for his advices regarding italian artists I should know and more widely other european sites I should have a look at (don't worry dear readers I won't keep those informations for me but will share them on the blog as soon as I manage to get in contact with those guys working in the shade...)

Hello, of course as every Crewk interview, first question: what are we listening to when we come to visit you?

Now the radio plays Iron & Wine, Lift to Experience  Micah P. Hinson.. some southern american music..

Can you tell us more about yourself, who are you, where are you from, what do you do?

I’m Francesco Ciaponi and i live with my girlfrined Lucrezia and her daughter Viola in Santa Croce sull’Arno, near Pisa.. a small town famous for its tanneries and Carnival.

I work in a small bank where i organize training courses but i prefer speak about poster..

About ten years from now I deal with graphics and posters, especially concerning the underground world of art from the Sixties to today.

In 2005 was published my book titled "Underground: ascesa e declino di un’altra editoria" on the history of the Italian underground press. From 2006 to 2009 i wrote a colum about the poster art in a italian magazine called "Vintage".

When and how did you enter the poster world ?

I decided to create the archives of Italian poster art in 2010 and after a year I started to think about the first show.

Many people wanted to send their posters and then I opened the blog of IPRA, which had been very successful because in Italian there is nothing like it and especially anything about the poster art.

With my girlfriend and other friends last may organized the first exhibition called “Italian Poster Rock Art” with 130 posters of 400 artists from all over Italy attended by many people who have encouraged us to continue our work.

With my friend Andrea Pacini (the craziest web designer that i’ve ever know!), then we decided to create the ufficial Italian Poster Rock Art’s Site where all artists can directly upload all their posters and vote on them.

Now, the first Italian archive of poster art is real, but the surprises do not end, you'll see ..

Today are you living from your passion, or do you do something else for a living ?

As I said I prefer to keep it out of my work, maybe one day I can say that I live for the poster art, then this you can see from my face and my eyes!

When did you start Italian Poster Rock Art and what was the idea at the beginning ?

At first my idea was to create a paper archive of posters, but did not have enough space and above all I would not be able to build a team, a broader reality where all the artists could get to know each other and exchange knowledge and share their tastes.

People, errors, time, helped us to see what could be done and especially what was impossible.

Now the impossible is in front of everyone and, as mentioned, is just the beginning ..

1 year later how would you define Italian Poster Rock Art ?

IPRA is an idea that has recently started to walk but is not yet an adult. What we see today is only the seed of what we would like everyone to see Tomorrow.

IPRA will allow the exchange, communication, creation of a common sentiment among the Italian poster artists.

We want that IPRA talk to the artists, bringing their work around, show everyone that in Italy there is a reality that no one knows, a wonderful and crazy world, new and full of energy and imagination.

This is our vision of IPRA, but everyone have the ideas in their head, the important is turn the ideas in something real, to draw this real on the screens of all lovers of poster art, Italian and not.

What are you proud about regarding the site ?

First of all i’m proud to work with my girlfriend Lucrezia and with a special friend Andrea Pacini that turn the job opportunities to think something strange or into opportunities for growth.

Certainly are very proud of the red button that Andrea has put on the site and will be the place where people can always go and take refuge and find something they had imagined

I’m proud to see how many people write to us, tell us to go ahead and give us advices and criticism.

I’m proud to know that we will move forward and we will arrive and when we get where we had thought, we have to try something different.

Are you a collector yourself ?

No, i'm not a collector, I love the poster art in general, is that of the Sixties, is that of today.

I prefer that posters are moving, are seen by all, I like the idea that they are alive and can be appreciated in any environment, from the elegant and refined until the local stench of beer ..

At home I have several posters, some are very important for me because they are tied to particular moments, but generally prefer to see them exposed and discuss with a stranger who came to the IPRA’s show or is there because the road was wrong..

If so, what is your top 5 artists and top 5 posters ever ?

Than a top 5 it’s a list of names in no particolar order…

From the past i must remember Martin Sharp in the UK, Rick Griffin in the USA and the art of Allen Cohen to build up the San Francisco Oracle, the most beautiful magazine that i ever seen in my life.. in italy i love Gio’ Tavaglione, italian illustrator of the underground sixties magazine called “Mondo Beat” who disappeared in india durig the Seventies..

Now i love Justin Santora’s works, Aesthetic Apparatus and Crosshairchicago..

Are you, at the moment, working on new features for the site ?

Of course!

As I said the current site is only the first step of our project.. in the coming months we would like to add new features including the ability for users to communicate with each other when they are online, a geolocation tool of the artists on Italian territory and a space where you can ask for our show just by entering some data ..

Then there are other surprises that will slowly clicking on the magic red button, but now I will not say anything ..

Surprises are nice because you don’t know what to expect!

How many people are working with you ? What are they doing ?

Currently we are 3 people working on the project IPRA: me, Andrea Pacini for the IT system & graphics and Lucrezia Pedoto for the administrative aspects.

Without the work of Lucrezia, i and Andrea now would be in jail !! She fortunately controls the bureaucracy, permits, taxes and everything else..

Andrea always experimenting, always has new proposals and make real what the two of us talking for hours and hours .. He is the magician of the web and can withstand all my criticisms and my endless talk of poster art, aspects of site improvement and everything else ..

They both are really saints!!

Besides the IPRA project site, we also offer the possibility to ask for our shows.

Bring the posters where are requested and where we try to create useful and fun moments where we can talk a little bit of Italian Poster Art.. other friends help us to organize this events.

The duties of each one are clearly defined so that everyone can develop their ideas in its own way and pursue their projects. We work well and have fun ..

You have the best viewpoint on the italian poster scene, how do you see it evolve ?

The Italian poster art is still lagging behind other country such as German, Spanish and especially American.

In Italy everything is slower and all development is much more tiring and difficult, this is because our history, our tradition oppresses us and binds us obliged to stand still and look back, as if we have the culture in the past has to deny it in the future.

We are overwhelmed by our past and also the diffusion of “minor” arts as the poster art suffers.

There are many artists around Italy but are struggling to grow, to understand that the poster art is an art form like any other and are often the first to minimize their work.

Traveling i see as in the rest of Europe the average quality of the work is very high compared to us, but this should only be a push to move forward, to improve and not a cause for disappointment.

We know many great designers, graphic designers, screen printers who only need to learn the better way to sell their works and their skills.

In the future we need to work on this, create a movement that knows its importance, carry it around, and then just show it, the eyes and minds of people will do the rest ..

Do you know a little bit other european/world scene ?

IPRA is in contact with all companies, all kids, all associations in the world operating in the poster art.

We recently stayed in Hamburg for Flatstock Europe where there were some of the most important American and European artists with whom we discussed the current state of the poster art and we spoke about the differences between the various illustrators.

We know the sites that deal with poster art in Spain, Germany, Netherlands and especially in the USA where the movement is huge and constantly active with exhibitions, films, discussions ecc..

We'd soon be able to organize some event that opens the Italian Poster Art also to colleagues in Europe, maybe it will be our target for 2012 ..

According to you, what can we expect for the future ?

The future will certainly be hard and difficult. Times that we live are made of changes and revolutions.

While everything seems to break down, we know there are many hidden realities that work in silence, ready to emerge and show everyone that the road is full of opportunities of tomorrow.

I think the poster art is already in the future, I think people still do not have understood in this digital time, paper’s posters represents a source of special, unique and hand crafted, a factor that should be more emphasized.

The posters are no more just marketing or advertising tools, are instead pieces to be exhibited and watched carefully because they show specific technical knowledge and special graphics.

The future will be those who manage to harness the vast energy that create connections between people, direct them to subjects, to contents.. these contents that we still struggle to understand ..

The best praise you received lately?

I’m not good for this question.. iI like to think that the best praise received recently are nearly 1000 poster that we saw on the site of IPRA in less than a month and dozens of calls that we received from clubs, pubs, galleries require us exhibition of IPRA.

All this a year ago was just a set of sentences written on two sheets of paper and now everyone can see and interact, learn, read, ask doing a lap on the site or buy our first catalog.

This I think is the most beautiful praise.

What can we wish you for the future?

In the future IPRA’site will seek to develop its "social" side, we go to a world of connections and we want to be inside these changes also with regard to poster art.

IPRA’s project provides to organize in June the second edition of Italian Poster Rock Art Expò and this year the novelty will be that each artist will be present to show and sell directly their works.

Will be a hard and difficult but we think we do it with the help of the artists themselves.

In 2012 will be released the second volume of IPRA, the paper catalog with which we intend to show the best of 2011’s Italian Poster Art production.

Finally don’t forget to check out what is sometimes behind the red button, but I can’t tell you much more because nobody knows what you can find there !!

More generally I hope that the future is closer to the people and their needs.

There are plenty of tools available today that can help us answer these questions but it seems that the problem is another. There is no clear vision of the future, nobody can draw what will our future and this creates confusion, fear and closing days.

I believe that everyone should live as if it were an example for the others, all our actions have an influence on the lives of others and this is only way can be direct our lives toward something better.

Leave your mark in this World with something positive, and the people will say that you have been on this planet

Thank you so much !!

Thanks for answering my questions and see you soon on the website !!

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