Explosive and provocative, Davide Fossati aka Abraxas (a very mysterious and fascinating concept) tricks our eyes with his colorful collages.
He seems to be wearing compound glasses, like a fly, and slips the world around him into tiny little portions.
These “ready-made” images are usually taken from rather common contests such as our body, animals and nature in general. We were curious about this unusual point of view so we contacted him and got to know him better.
How did you start doing what you do? Any stories about it?
I have been doing “art” since I was a child: the first memory I have would be me at kindergarten drawing a bat in a cave, my friends liked it and started asking me to draw one for them as well. After a while, I saw that there was quite a queue of kids around my desk waiting for their bat.
I remember how I felt, like I could be useful and loved even though I was not such a “good boy” at school. It was like through art I could go beyond moral laws.
In fact, I had the perception that even if I had done something bad or made a big mistake in my life, the value of my artwork would remain beyond that.
I grew up in a little town, very moralist and bigoted, and for a long time I had this sense of error and guilt in my relationships with others, especially my own parents. Doing art made me feel like I had another purpose in my life that didn’t have to do with my behavior.
Later I started creating these kind of collages: I always wanted to explore the texture of muscles, then I tried with fishnets, because I love them and I am a Daido Moriyama fan, and kept experimenting with other stuff I like such as latex, animals and so on.
What does repetition give to you? Why do you create such crowded and confusing images?
My therapist says that I have a problem with accumulation, it is one of my neuroses.
I think that it is related to the high perception of the void I feel. And maybe also related to the fear of loss and death.
I need to fill and satisfy it like a continuous hunger. I don’t think it is a problem at all, but sometimes it can be.
I also love chaos, I think it is funnier and more interesting than order, for this reason I avoid to creating symmetry or ordered compositions.
If digital art didn’t exist, what do you think you would be doing right now?
I used to paint, draw and write so I think I would focus on that kind of stuff.
Many elements you use are raw and provocative. Where do you find them and can they be seen as a way to exorcise a feeling you have?
I work with subjects or details that catch my attention for some reason and usually they are parts of nature, human body, death, violence or sex, which are very related to each other and for me certainly the most interesting things to work with.
So I isolate these details and I work on juxtaposing and liquifying them to create these dynamic accumulations that are at the same time synthesis and exasperation of the starting element I chose.
I don’t know if I want to exorcise something, I just work with stuff I love or that fascinates me because I want to participate in their beauty and feelings.
Do you think your work on prints has the same effect it has on-screen? How do you make your posters?
I think they’re best printed actually, because they’re bigger and you can notice details that you can’t see on-screen. I do posters and fine art prints in collaboration with my best friend Marco Valli who is a photographer. Thanks to him, I have started doing my own photoshoots with HD pictures.
At the beginning I used to take the images from the internet and often in low quality, not the best to make prints.
What new projects and ideas are you working on?
I am currently working on some new collaborations with fashion brands and other artists.<
I also want to create my own brand, unfortunately this Covid-19 situation makes it all more difficult, but I hope to start this new project before the end of the year. I also want to experiment with animations and 3D collages.
Find our more about Abraxas here!