10 May A Not So Ordinary Artist
Rino Stefano is an uncommon artist. His most recent work, B E A U T Y is an artistic UFO in which he highlights hidden aspects of the human soul. Using an advanced video animation technique, Rino Stefano manages to bridge the style of the paintings of the classic masters with new technology. A skillfully-balanced subtle overlap of the two vastly separate realms enables viewers to intriguingly penetrate masterpieces of classical painting as well as the mind of this modern puppet master of emotions.
Can you describe your career path for those who are not familiar with your work?
I was born in Italy in 1980. I am now living and working in Milan. I direct and design experimental videos. I studied at the Higher Institute for Artistic Industries (ISIA) in Urbino and at the European Institute of Design in Milan.
I always loved creating situations that evoke different worlds, incubating in the mind of the viewer persistent suggestions and memories while trying to raise questions for the viewer, to surprise or even challenge him in a disturbing way, relying on the aesthetic power conveyed by a great deal of research and experimentation.
I have also created a large number of music videos for international artists. I worked with Bazzani Studio to produce a video for fashion designers Antonio Marras and Kenzo, and also with Studio 3 on interactive video projections for exhibitions in museums, and other special events.
In 2013, I instigated, with the help of two other directors, the Karmachina audiovisual project. I participated in many international festivals and competitions, and received several international awards for my work.
What inspired you to give life to these paintings?
B E A U T Y was a personal project that I funded entirely on my own. I worked with passion and perseverance on this video around the clock during all my spare time and over weekends. I always do a lot of research on the human body and especially on the movement of joints for my work. I always try to give life to the inanimate, to produce movements that will give the illusion of life, both in photo shoots and in post-production.
The greatest difficulty I encountered during the animation process was to avoid “overusing the art”, which I tried with all my might to dodge, and instead to give the characters simple and basic gestures. A masterpiece cannot be reworked because the beauty of every masterpiece is perfect in itself.
B E A U T Y uses artworks to create something different, not necessarily something better than the original. It is a tribute to art with the utmost respect for its magnificence. My intention was to reflect on the evolution of human emotions, not on the history of art.
Are you fascinated by religious works of art, is there a relationship with religion?
No, that is why I often remove religious references (such as halos) from my works in order to instill in my subjects, insofar as this is possible, a more human dimension, and to connect it to the emotions experienced by mortals.
What does this project represent for you?
The idea behind B E A U T Y sprang from the challenge of describing the most important emotions that each one of us can feel in life, from birth to death, through fear, sexuality, suffering and love. Classical art has always been for me the best way to visualize these different emotions.
Does your approach try to represent all sides of human beings?
Yes, because all of my work endeavors to represent love and the contradictions of the human soul. And I like to throw the spotlight on what is normally in the shadows.
Who inspires you?
Without a doubt, my reference points are Chris Cunningham, David Lynch, Nagi Noda and Matthew Barney. I am also inspired by everyday events in the world and the people and living creatures who surround me.
Can you tell us more about some of your upcoming projects?
I hope to continue working and setting goals that push me beyond my limits. Above all, what I appreciate is to have had the opportunity to turn my passion into work. Now that my B E A U T Y project has taken off, I want to offer it to the biggest festivals in the world, but also take the time to develop a new idea that is shaping up in my mind.
I would like to make short films using a special technique that would allow me to deepen my research into movement.
If you had to choose one word to describe your work, what would it be?
Forget about yourself!