January first: a perfect day for all dreamers. Most people feel this way, turning the page after a long committing year and making plans for the new one. No better date to remember a precious meeting between two incurable dreamers. It’s the beginning of October 2014 and I am under pouring rain in Piazza Beccaria. I have been chasing him for weeks but finally we get time for a coffee. His name is Andrea, better known to most Instagramers as @pomo_fi. We sit down to have a chat about art, travels but above all exchanging dreams about the magic power of art. “Chance” chooses for us a little brand new Coffee bar called “l’Arte del Sogno” (the art of dreaming) and we find a table under a curious framed tree with plenty of colorful handwritten notes on it. Cappuccino, biscuits and pastries popolate our small space while Andrea opens up his microcosmos of memories and passions. I was not wrong: his multicolored gallery mirrors his personality and the spectrum of a vast art history knowledge.
Andrea’s profile on Instagram dynamically blends Past, Present and Future. Within his gallery you find a series of mash up works which quote classical art, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Van Gogh, Vermeer, Leighton and Vasarely. My eyes swing rapidly up and down his gallery, following his own personal growth that develops chronologically.
From the outsets he was hit by comics, street art works of local and foreign authors, then lingered to intrerpret faces. It does not matter if they are famous actors or local people: Andrea selects the subjects according to his personal feeling, he’s watching them in, and then carried away by his modus operandi (way to act) under the touch of his fingers he mixes, kneads technologically two or more images, but preserves the essence of the subject.
I had fun searching for characters and recognizing famous painters and rock singers, actors vs architecture, pop music and sculpture which melt into an authentic pleasure for the sight. You will find top models as Claudia Schiffer and Paola Turani, Milla Jovovich and Natalie Imbruglia who, by the way, is in touch with @pomo_fi and has bought a few of his custom made portraits. Far from the footlights you’ll also find talented Florentines who stand out with their personality: a portrait of the most well-known street artist of Florence, @cletabraham, great master of creativity and good friend of Andrea’s or the eclettic (as well as anonymous) @lartesanuotare.
Among the images dedicated to locals I particularly like the one created for Ilaria V. We used to be classmates 20 (ops…25) years ago and now she’s become @lili76photo, excellent photographer. She actually does not let people take pictures of her that eaily, but here is the magic of art. Andrea was able to let her shine bright in his mash up which is absolutely unique as each of his works which will never be reproduced in double copy.
Ele : Which area of Florence you are particularly fond of?
Andrea: I was born not far from Santo Spirito, which is the district I am more closely linked today. I love to walk along the quaint Via dello Sprone, Piazza della Passera and little tourist streets of Oltrarno.
E: Is there any work of art that still makes you shiver?
A: yes, Caravaggio’s Medusa. The expression and the horrified look of the figure strike any viewer (I would have sworn… in @pomo’ s gallery it appears three times in different versions).
E: How does Florence relate with contemporary artists ?
A: Florence is a magical city, full of treasures but not very keen on welcoming new tendencies or modern creativity. After a long search I finally managed to find a venue that would host my creations. I do not deny the great artistic past of Florence. I actually start from that, by the large Renaissance heritage that is a like a captivating cloak for this city.
The icon I chose to present my exhibit is a personal interpretation of Michelangelo’s David. The title of my exhibition is exactly the sign of a dialogue between past and future in a fluid continuity: r3n41ss4nc3 (=Renaissance)
E: Are you in touch with other creatives minds?
A: On the territory I know Clet very well and I like watching how the latest projects are developed by curious and unpredictable locals as: @Urbansolid, @Sedicentemoradi, @Firenzerevolution, @bue2530, @thetakeawayartproject, @lartesanuotare. I got the occasion to know @Rabarama many years ago when she was at the beginning of her career. I was about buying one of her sculptures … but in the end the chance faded. Today there are lots os supporters and friends who encourage me from America, such as Carl Paoli (@im_screwtape) or Canadian talents as Jwtatum (@gallery_III) using spray, pencil or watercolor that I really admire.
The works of Andrea @pomo_fi will be on display and for sale in Florence at Merlino BOTTEGA D’ ARTE from January 3 to 17 2015.
Buon Anno Andrea!