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AS IS | Marco Santaniello

Digital artist

From Cosenza, Italy

Based in Lisbon, Portugal

Marco's journey with art has been a dynamic and organic one: from PR to fashion to art, Marco has also moved all over the world, which has supplied him with his greatest source of inspiration: travelling

A: Please, tell us a bit more about yourself. What brought you into art?

M: My interest in art wasn’t born with me. I actually started my path doing PR for house clubs. I then moved into fashion doing fashion show reviews and blogging before getting into making my own street wear items like oversized T-shirts and my fashion patent called T-Skirt, which is a T-shirt wore upside down like trousers where I put a coulisse on waist in order to make it fit for everyone.

I also did couple of fashion shows in Brooklyn taking part in the Williamsburg Fashion Weekend for 2 seasons. The jump from fashion to art was not very long. I started making portraits of several famous and less famous fashion bloggers. They started to use my portraits in their social media images and that’s how I became the spotlight artist in April 2010. From there, my art has evolved a lot and I've moved from just portraits to urban landscapes and also some satirical works which show my point of view about life and society.

After living in several places like Perugia, Milan, London, Berlin, New York, Taipei, Seoul, or Tokyo, I am now based in Lisbon, Portugal, but not permanently.

A: What inspires you the most?

M: I genuinely believe that the biggest inspiration comes directly from my mind and what my brain registered and registers in all my trips, daily life and long walks. I must say, I used to be a big fan of Andy Warhol at first, but by the time I discovered the NY scene better and I had lived the for 3 years, I lost the passion for him and found even more loving myself and following my own path without taking much influence from others. I also met people who were in touch with him and that art period and I am still in touch with some of them. I didn’t feel great energy while I asked about their time around Andy and the Factory. Anyhow, I really loved NY and it was one of the most important chapters of my life to this day. I can say I am the idol of myself.

A: Do you have any specific rituals while working (creating)?

M: I have several rituals while working, from listening to different kinds of music, such as The Cure or classical music, to listening to movies in order to keep my English flow high in my mind. I love to watch movies of all kinds, especially the underground and independent ones. In the past, I used to do very long phone calls while working on graphics - it relaxed me and it was a great way of putting together business and pleasure. I know several people all over the world and the timezone difference is often not accommodating so that was always cool.

A: What would you recommend to someone who's new to art (whether artist or just an admirer), what to begin with?

M: The most important thing of them all is to just be yourself in every life situation and to not chase fame and money, especially because it is not up to you if you become famous and rich - it's the system that will decide for you. So DO IT FOR YOURSELF first, because YOU have to LOVE what you do - otherwise just don’t do it at all.

A: What are your three favourite adjectives related to art?

M: Unique, colorful, recognizable.

A: The best angle to look at art is ...?

M: Your own angle (the angle of yourself).

A: The perfect phrase to start any conversation about art is: ...?

M: "What I love about art is..."

A: Must-read books to help us talk about art (or do we even need them)?

M: We definitely do not need books, I always preferred a trip to a book. Books might free your mind they say, but nothing frees your minds more than travelling. Nice reads: A by Andy Warhol, Fight Club and The Picture of Dorian Gray.

A: If you could change one thing in the art world - what would it be?

M: Something that really amuses me is seeing a lot of "hot" people getting into art showing body parts or other attributes next to their pictures and artworks, probably in order to get more likes and visibility. I find that pretty sad to be honest. The art world is also getting a bit kitsch and trash, and money is too involved now, much more than talent. Probably it always has been, anyway...

A: Please, share your favorite quote (not necessarily related to art).

M: "The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for."

Thank you!

For more: visit or IG


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