• The Urban State of Mind. Interview with Urban Artist Jacopo Degl’Innocenti (nickname JAPA).

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    Jacopo Degl’Innocenti, you were born and grew up in Florence (Italy). Why New York?

    I moved during my thirties to realize myself as a professional artist. The energy of this town is unbearable. This city is like a fire, and I like to be part of it as a firebrand.

    Is there a community of artists that you frequent or for your creativity you prefer to be isolated?
    I like the community around the National Academy. You can meet people from every part of the world that have chosen NY as a hub to push their art life.

    It is there that you had your first solo show in NYC, correct?
    Yes. I had my solo show at the Sonia Gechtoff Gallery. I’ve also shown four times at the National Academy Museum on 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 along with some faculty members of the National Academy.

    museo 1

    Your style is unique and recognizable, contaminated by painting and comic book, illustrations skills. How do you find the inspiration for your artworks?
    The Everyday is my main muse. I start from the spaces I live and I frequent the people that I meet and the emotions I experience during these meetings.

    What do you want your art to represent?
    My life style, what I see from the eyes of my imagination. I like to challenge myself with surprising perspectives.

    museo 3

    How will your style develop in the future?
    It’s something that will arrive artwork by artwork. I’m an urban explorer. I feel I will continue to discover city characters.

    With which media?
    Drawing and painting. Because I have started from there. Lately, I’m exploring mixed media and stop motion animation. All of these activities are very interconnected.

    In your last movie, there is an explorer, a yeti and a mountain. Do you feel like an explorer that is climbing his peak?
    Like, everyone. I guess so.

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    Which panorama do you imagine at the end of your personal climb?
    I like the process of the climber. every work is a cliff. And at the end of each rise, I don’t see the horizon, I watch the mountains.

    Your next climb?
    3D Mixed media urban figures born from the people that I finally meet in NY. This town gives me a great, great inspiration.

    Movie, drawing, painting, do you do everything in the same studio or do you use different laboratory?
    I live in a large live/work space in Flatbush, Brooklyn. I mainly create my works here. This neighbor is very inspiring for me and its contrasts and spleen aspects.

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    I see around you a series of seven of different animals dressed as humans. Why seven?

    It’s a number that I like. You see these wolves? They become nine because of a commission.

    Where do your collectors live?
    Most of them in the US. from Pittsburgh and New York, also my first collector was American, a big cinema producer from LA.

    I know you are Italian, but where are your works from?
    All of them are urban, all of them are from NY.

    Ruth Green

     

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