by Alice Ghinolfi
Let’s talk about The Street Is Watching: what criteria guided you in choosing the images of the anthology?
Like a (dead)beat. I wanted to focus on the state of the art of photography, creating a spiritual reflection that involves a mix of gonzo style, Vice, and Hip Hop. This mix causes the visual mainstream aesthetics to prolapse, which is quite a pain in the ass (PitA). The selected images were made by photographer friends of mine, and all gave me an “oomph” feeling.
What image you are particularly attached to and why?
Hard to choose one. But I’ve always looked for symbolic images so JR in the favela and Ed Templeton’s Bleeding Hand left an impression on me from the very first moment.
What’s the legacy of this book for future generations who will flip through it in fifty years?
Tha best is yet to come. Impossible is nothing. Carpe Diem. We have become a legend!
The book presentation is in Palermo. What’s the mood in the Sicilian city and what’s the role of contemporary art in these days?
Things are hunky dory in Palermo. Palermo is in the eye of the cultural cyclone and could be seen as a miracle of Santa Rosalia. If politics has the strength to pick up the Ariadne’s thread, it’ll have to swallow the red pill!
Projects for the future?
I’m currently working on a couple of exhibitions and the publication of several titles. IN general, my aim is to remix Hip Hop culture, street photography and street art in an ever more sublime way.
What is Street Photography and why has it been so successful?
Twenty years ago photography was deemed dead and everybody thought video was going to replace it. The opposite happened, I believe. Photography kicked the other media’s ass, which brought to a democratization of remixed aesthetics, also through the compulsive use of mobile phones and the proliferation of the image-based society.
You were one of the first, years ago, to publish Ed Templeton’s and Estevan Oriol’s work. What do you see in these artists and why did you decide to invest in them?
I feel like I can say I’m sort of like a pig hunting truffles. I get off whenever I discover talents that convince me to create cultural bliss.
What is a book you would like to do in the future and one you would have liked to do but someone else did?
The Street is Watching 2. Another step towards infinity. I’ll be honest: each and every book I did not get to do gnaws at me.
Organizing an exhibition is always a complex job, and with Cross the Streets at MACRO in Rome you worked a lot and achieved fantastic results. How is this presentation in Palermo? What do you expect?
I expect Palermo to start a renaissance of the South that reflects the despair and citizens’ anger as expressed in the democratic vote. Drago starts its approach to the city with street photography (on show at the International Centre of Photography of Palermo) and we’ll end in November with the exhibition ‘Crossroad – The Art of the Street’ at RISO museum. The street monitors. The street wins!
The life of a publisher … tell us, what are the positive aspects and what are the negative ones?
When I was 14 I asked myself what I wanted to do when I grew up. The answer was to party, travel, and write. Now I publish. Now I am an independent publisher and above me there’s only my family and God. Being a publisher is cool but it takes time to conquer the universe. Often projects I carry on are 90 percent work and 10 percent partying. But brutally! Grunt, that’s how we like it!!!