German mixed-media artist and musician Graziano Capitta creates works that he has previously described as a ‘hybrid of the digital world’; patterns, smileys and screens appearing in works that also often have the signs of the artist’s hand to them. His hybrids are currently showing at Cologne’s Ruttkowski;68 Gallery.
Can you tell us a little about the work that is showing in Hybrid?
The exhibition Hybrid is an interdisciplinary exhibition which presents three various positions including; painting, installation and video. The word ‘hybrid’ as a noun and as an adjective has accompanied me for a long time now as a result of my multicultural background, which consists of three different nationalities. But only for a decade now, with the growth of the internet and general globalization, have I encountered the term ‘hybrid’ at various levels such as gender, technology, social structures, music and art. One of my main goals is to play with the viewer, for example with behavioral experiments. I use marketing & advertising strategies, whose analysis were mediated through global data collections for specific markets to provoke certain emotions and reactions. Another important aspect in this exhibition is to deceive or to mislead the viewer by the nature of the material used and inserted in the picture so that one has to ask himself twice what the origin of my work is.
What was it about the digital world that first inspired your practice?
The rapidity of the the digital world fascinates me and has a major influence on my practice. The ability to access knowledge at any time or connect with other creative minds from all kinds of fields. On the other hand, I try to discuss and establish an awareness about how people process information, how they deal with information. These are important aspects in today’s society which is exposed to an abundance of news, photographs, data etc. on different platforms everyday, which also entail certain risks toward politics and privacy.
You work across many mediums — does one medium tend to always be the starting point for a body of work, or are you quite loose with your process?
There is no rule to it. But you will be able to detect at least a little hint of a painter’s approach in every work of mine. I refuse to restrict myself to only one medium, especially in an area where new digital devices become more and more meaningful.
Pattern underpins much of your work, as it does the digital world. Is it fair to describe pattern as a uniting factor in the hybrids that you create, between digital and handmade?
Most definitely…it is also important to understand those patterns and systems which we are inflicted on us as ‘individuals’.
Does your work as a musician influence your artistic practice in any way?
It is a blurry line between my ambitions as an artist and my life as a musician. At first I used my alter ego to escape and hide from the art world interventions and persisted in keeping those two worlds separated. Over the last year, music has become more and more of an equal part in my current artistic practice, I don’t want to miss it anymore.
‘Hybrid’ is showing at Ruttkowski;68 Gallery until 29 March.