Interview with Purpurri: collage artist and magazine collector
Some magazines treat them with delicacy, touching the pages of the rarest with white gloves, losing themselves in their perfume and in their immaculate perfection made of paper, glue and ink. We are part of this category which is the category those who suffer when they see a tiny fold on the cover of a magazine, a scratch just perceived by the human eye on a spine or an accidental tear on a page.
Then there are the others, fearless collage artists able to give birth to something new from every page or photo they come across, equipped with scissors, cutters and glue.
Purpurri I came across him on instagram when one day he posted a video showing one of his collages. He had "dared" to cut one of the vintage photos I send with my packages, arousing in me two conflicting feelings: admiration and envy (of the positive and stimulating one).
Starting to collaborate was a natural consequence and now you know why for a couple of months in your packages you found a poster that gave you a challenge: to create your own collage (you can download it for free here).
But exactly who is hiding behind Purpurri? We interviewed him to let us tell all the secrets of his work. Born in 1989, co-founder and art director of Attico Rossini Agency, Purpurri is the pseudonym of Fabio Schiano.
"I transformed my passion for magazine collecting into an eclectic and visually exciting communication, designed for young art and culture lovers. Patience and creativity. These are the words to describe the path that led me to the creation of this project ... . It took time to find the right idea, and 2 years was the right time to develop it. Most people would like to create objects / products in record time. For me it is a natural and continuous process, which implies understand what is important and take the time to do it mentally. In my case the result is a mix of old and new objects, all with a story.
When and how did you approach the collage technique?
I take a step back. I am 32 years old and I come out of advertising graphics studies, but by the time I was fifteen I was "carving out some time" by going every night after school to work in a graphics studio to learn more quickly everything about what a brand and identity was. At that time I often used the train and I used to pick up the magazines on the seats. I leafed through them and wondered how those images were made. In short, what was a journey on the train, it was a journey that led me up to here, to the birth of Purpurri - a paper stew. I was remembered by friends and comrades as the one who leafed through magazines, for me it was simply the taste of the paper to the touch, that I liked. That's how I started asking myself questions like "who printed it by" or "who made the photo shoot", and so on.
What are the sources of inspiration that stimulate your artistic production?
What distinguishes Purpurri is the desire to tell stories through collaborations with even “distant” realities. For me this becomes a way of implementing a "potpourri" of cultural ideas capable of linking new projects, from music to publishing, from graphic design to design. Purpurri is not just a piece of paper but a philosophy of life. This is where my inspirations come from.
What influence did the lockdown have on the birth of the project and on your creativity in general?
During the lockdown period, as I said before, I worked from home. Early one morning, around 7, I went out to get the newspaper. It was Il Sole 24 Ore and leafing through it, I saw those red stripes. In jargon I call it super-sign, it becomes a way to be recognizable. After seeing these red stripes, I cut them out and placed them on the table. I left them there for a few days and in the meantime I went back to leafing through the magazines, as I did then on the train. And from there, you can imagine, I wondered why not create something with paper that could engage me creatively? Here's what influence the first lockdown had.
We are paper purists and the mere idea of bringing the scissors or the cutter closer to a magazine makes us shiver, but your works really manage to transform simple newspaper clippings into very specific messages, stories and emotions. Tell us how your poster is born, from idea to practice (including the tools of the "trade")
Magazines for me are not just pictures or pieces of paper. Purpurri, born as an outlet and creative stimulus, is actually an opportunity and a game to tickle the narrative capacity of all of us. I admit that I often don't manage to cut all the magazines, but when the right idea comes along, I create unique mixes that sometimes lead me to question even that beautiful trade magazine. There is no rule, it is pure imagination and emotion. Everything is contamination, even a plate with rusks while I have breakfast. Being a collage artist may seem trivial, but it really isn't! With paper I have the ability to combine clippings or simple tears from magazines and newspapers and create abstract or real scenarios while maintaining a chromatic or thematic balance that is exceptional. In reality there is no formative artistic path, if not the experience I have gained over the years. What interests me is to invite all people to interpret with their own feelings. I haven't had any artists who have particularly inspired me. My red stripes are enough for me.