In conversation with Italian self-taught collage artist Daniele Cenni.
Can you talk about your journey into or interest the arts?
I was too naughty in my young school years, to understand the importance of arts. So now, little by little, I’m trying to recover all this wasted years. I’m lucky to live in a city such as Florence. One of the city with the highest cultural heritage of the entire world.
My real interest in art begin with my favourite artist: Keith Haring. His artworks amazed me and still do. The use of colour, the happy feeling I get when I go through his art – I can’t really explain how great I feel when I have something he made around me!
In the recent years I got really into modern and contemporary art. So anything from late 90’s to today really interest me.
Do you use a sketchbook? I’m interested in what a sketchbook means to you and your work?, or how people develop their ideas.
I do not use sketchbooks. Firstly because I’m terrible at drawing and second because I’m full of all sort of paper cuts and that’s how I develop my ideas. Simply by going through all this pictures, letters, backgrounds…etc.
The problem is space. I do everything in my tiny room and I’m in a lack of a huge studio where I can simply throw everything on the ground to have a better picture of everything I got.
Your work uses found images and newspaper based typography, what are you exploring through your work?
The beauty of the ‘search’ is that you always learn something. I have the luck of going through beautiful magazines or books and sometimes Ifeel bad that I have to cut it and destroy it. The wonderful thing is that I always got a new knowledge in something… either from an art magazine, through a history book, or a simple cuisine journal. Sometimes people get rid of these things too quickly.
What is it about collage specifically that appeals to you. Is it the method if working of the aesthetic quality it brings?
The main reason why I love collage is that it has no rules. I don’t like to follow rules.
It’s a subjective art and anyone can do it, from a little kid to an older person. All you need is an open mind and a good dose of imagination.
Can you talk about your process of working. How do you work, how often, is there a particular pattern?
Let’s start by saying that I don’t work enough – I really wish to have more time.
I don’t have a routine. Sometimes I work once a week… some other times once or couple times per month. It’s never the same.
I don’t use a particular pattern… I simply go with the flow! Sometimes I’m at a museum, or hanging out with my friends and I come up with an idea. Since I cannot physically make a collage right away, I write it down and I try to do it as soon as I get a chance.
Do you find the process of creating work relaxing or therapeutic? I’ve become increasingly interested in the relationship of the sketchbook and the work to the artist.
I think both. Making collages isolates me in a bubble while I do it. All I need is being alone with my paper cuts and a great music playlist and I don’t need anything else. I can’t focus when I have people around me.
I’m so glad I started to make collages a little more than two years ago. I have so much material that I don’t think I’ll ever stop!