Interview: Marco Cazzato

Marco Cazzato - Balena Balena, 2016

Dangling on a cliff edge between surrealism and reality, Torino-based Marco Cazzato took us through his creative process. Dabbling with the extraordinary and dreamlike, Cazzato manages to send his audience into a deep hypnosis with the mesmerising allure of his pieces.

Dash Majesty: How would you describe the art scene in Italy? Would you ever consider relocating?

Marco Cazzato: If there is an art scene in Italy, I am certainly not a part of it. I think there are some very good artists, but generally I do not attend the “right places”, so to speak. One of the good things about this craft is that you can work with the whole world from your own studio, so if I ever thought about moving elsewhere, it would not be for work.

DM: You seem to use a fairly minimalist colour palette – why is this?

MC: When I started, I used many colours, then, as I began growing up, I looked for a more effective synthesis, both chromatic and compositional. This is a matter of personal taste – I do not like tables with two hundred different colours. My base is always black, from which I then create light. I always care about empty space and the message it conveys.

DM: Are there specific stories you’re trying to tell in your work?

MC: A constant in my work is the search for that suspension, that moment on the border between reality and surrealism. I’m interested in the little stories, maybe even new plains and atmospheres. My latest album project (GRRRz Comic Art Books) is a memory survey. I tried to play with an album of old family photos. I have always been very fascinated by that kind of image, especially those of strangers, where the narrative aspect is pushed to the utmost. I imagine who they were and what they were doing, frozen forever at the very moment when the photo was taken. In the book, the illustrations are inspired by these kinds of photographs. I painted them in pictorial style, and in this case I have included surreal elements.

Marco Cazzato - Vulcano, 2017
Vulcano, 2017

DM: Do you think it’s best for the viewer to develop their own interpretation of your art, or to listen to the message you’re trying to convey?

MC: I think it’s more interesting when the viewer has to complete the work. What I do is provide an input, suggest a path almost. Then, whoever looks to develop their own understanding makes the message that I wanted to convey their own.

I don’t think I could ever stop, and there was never anything else I could or would do. Apart from tap dancing.

DM: Do you prefer working on commissioned pieces and having a clear structure of what your client wants, or do you prefer the freedom of creating entirely independent pieces?

MC: Most of my work is commissioned, but I believe it is in the best interest of the client to leave the creative freedom to the illustrator. An illustrator is an author, and as such should be able to express his point of view, naturally at the service of the customer, but without losing his identity. Finding the right idea is a very important part of our work, but today, some buyers do not understand this.

Marco Cazzato - Villa Ada, 2016
Villa Ada, 2016

DM: Were you to spontaneously abandon your artistic career, what would you do instead?

MC: I don’t think I could ever stop, and there was never anything else I could or would do. Apart from tap dancing.

DM: Are there any musicians who inspire you during your creative process? Alternatively, are there any other artists, writers or poets who you draw influence from?

MC: I listen to a lot of music when I work, but my inspiration is undoubtedly of a different kind: David Lynch, Hitchcock, Fellini, but also by the work of choreographer Pina Bausch, or by Dino Buzzati or Raymond Carver.

DM: Do you have any upcoming projects which you’re particularly excited about?

MC: Sì, ma non ne posso parlare!

Marco Cazzato - Pena del Alma
Pena del Alma, 2015

If you would like to see Marco’s work in person, you lucky things can see his personal show ODDITIES, from November 17th to December 2nd, at the Caracol Art Gallery in Turin. If you don’t live in Turin, then for God’s sake, fly there.