Unfortunately, for more than a year we have been living in a historical moment of great difficulty, in particular sectors such as fashion, culture and entertainment are going through a complex and deep crisis.
Today the “Makers” represent those talents that range from art to fashion, from music to photography, they are colors that are engaged in any creative expression with the desire to create a real community around them, because only united and supporting each other we can build tomorrow.
However, there are companies that try to look beyond, try to imagine a different future, like GAS. The Italian company famous for denim and for its great research on materials, founded by the entrepreneur and visionary Claudio Grotto in 1984, has set up Be a Rainbow Maker for Someone Else, a courageous project of co-creation that merges art, music and fashion.
GAS, through a real “call to art”, has reinterpreted in a contemporary key the concept of patronage, supporting talents to try to start writing a new chapter of our future.
The call was answered by two leading Italian creative realities that interacted with each other: the band Eugenio in Via di Gioia creating an original piece produced and arranged during an artistic residence at the company’s headquarters, which for the occasion became an amphitheater and rehearsal room. To complete the project, creating the visual backdrop for the video of the song, the street artist crew Truly Design answered the call and created a giant anamorphic work of art inside GAS HQs that represents a double rainbow, the emblem of GAS and of those values of freedom of expression, inclusiveness and passion that unite the company and the artists involved in the project.
GAS si fa così portavoce di attitudine autentica e positiva, di creatività e collaborazione condensate in un arcobaleno di sfumature blu come il denim che l’azienda italiana presenta alle nuove generazioni.
#BeARainbowMaker s also the hastag with which Eugenio in Via di Gioia will involve their fa in a challenge. The challenge will consist in collecting and filming on their social channels a great little action that can have a message and a positive impact for someone else, so as to tell and bring their contribution as “Rainbow maker for someone else”.
We at Collater.al were lucky enough not only to visit the beautiful GAS headquarters in Chiuppano in the province of Vicenza, but also to see up close the creative process that saw Eugenio in Via di Gioia and the Truly Design collective as protagonists.
Truly Design is an unconventional visual communication studio founded in 2007 in Turin and directed by three urban artists active in the graffiti scene since 1996. In these years the guys from Truly Design have collaborated with architecture studios, brands, companies, communication agencies, museums and cultural institutions all over the world, always remaining faithful to their artistic approach.
Specializing in 3D and non-3D graffiti, wall art, illustration, painting, applied graphics, and anamorphic art, the collective is the recipient of the Cannes Golden Lion Award in 2018, the industry’s most prestigious honor, for their “David Bowie is here” piece set up for Spotify inside the New York City subway.
We had the chance to have a chat with Mauro149, Production Manager of Truly Design and founding member of the collective, here’s what he told us:
How and where was Truly Design born? What are your roots?
Truly Design was born as a group of friends who got into graffiti when they were 13/14 years old, so we were born as writers and that’s what we did in our very first years together. For our generation (I am 40 years old) graffiti was still an underground art form, very cool and mysterious that lived by word of mouth. The friend would tell you where you could get the best sprays, where to find spots to paint, etc.
All this passion for graffiti comes directly from the passion for drawing that we all developed from a very young age, which then transferred to graffiti because it was the tool through which we could express adolescent discomfort in the best way.
It was a gesture of arrogance, none of us ever gave graffiti a political meaning, but it was a way to impose our presence and it was done for the sake of doing it and the adventure that was behind it – going to paint at night, in the dark, trying in every way not to get caught – because painting illegally as we did at the time is a whole other world compared to doing it when you have all the necessary authorizations.
How important was it for you to grow up in Turin?
We were lucky enough to live and grow up, artistically and otherwise, in Turin. A city where getting permits to create more structured works from the artistic point of view and working for two/three days, instead of having one/two hours or maybe only twenty minutes, has always been easy. The city gave us the opportunity to develop our work because having more time, we tried to go beyond the classic graffiti and we started to throw in all our interests: graphics, illustration, classical painting, etc..
Would you have ever imagined that your interest and passion for graffiti would eventually become your job?
If someone had told me twenty years ago that this would be my job, I would have laughed in their face. The fact that it actually became our job was completely accidental and incidental. Having the opportunity to work on the street and especially during the day thanks to the permits that the city gave us, there were many people who stopped to look at what we were doing and asked us to create works for their store, for their company, for their room. One job led to another until 2007, when we were all 25 years old, when we decided to go all-in and open our own studio.
From that point forward what changed?
Well the story changed in a decisive but gradual way. The artistic works we did stopped being something we did exclusively for passion, to round off the salaries of our “real” jobs and that we did in our spare time and started to be our main job on which we put all our energy and hopes.
How has graffiti and everything around it helped you structure and develop your work?
Everything we have learned in ten years of graffiti such as teamwork, collaboration, trust, speed, efficiency, quick thinking, organization, spirit of adaptation and everything we have learned from graffiti we have translated and applied directly in our work. All these things take at least ten years to learn and develop, we started out as if we already had ten years of professional training behind us thanks to our beginnings and passion for graffiti.
How do you manage the work internally? What are the dynamics that set your collective apart?
Originally there were four of us, the four founding partners, and it has been like that for many years. For the past three years there have only been three of us, and recently we have been enlisting the help of collaborators and employees because the jobs have become so many and it is necessary to have a team to count on. Our approach is a bit like an artist’s workshop of the 1500s where there are maybe the older ones who are in charge of doing the more detailed, complex and technically difficult work and around them there are a whole series of collaborators who give the support they need.
If we had wanted to become an agency with 50 employees, we could have done that, but we’re not that world, we’re more like a studio of artists working together. We wanted to maintain the authenticity of a precise and independent artistic path.
Let’s talk about the aspect that most distinguishes you from an artistic point of view, anamorphism.
As a collective, anamorphosis is what captured us, and it was a real stroke of lightning that happened in London at the National Gallery, when we saw Hans Holbein’s “The Ambassadors” of 1533. If at that time the references were churches, ducal palaces, etc., we thought of bringing everything back to our contemporary times, within our contexts, industrial archeology, abandoned or disused factories with all the difficulties that such a location entails. There we realized that we were interested in all those non-linear spots, perhaps that had protruding pipes or faceted bases where it is difficult to paint. We obviously went beyond the abandoned factory, painting in regenerated industrial contexts, interiors with a definite structural complexity playing with depths and shapes. We rely a lot on abstract-inspired graphic design, but we also do figurative work. These are the two strands of anamorphosis that we have always followed.
Tell us about the work you created for the occasion within GAS HQs?
This is an abstract piece but it has a strong concept behind it. The room where Eugenio is locked up is blue, the blue also identifies the melancholy of being isolated – a feeling we have all experienced during this past year – and the rainbow that passes behind it is a bridge that takes us beyond this dimension of the isolated blue box that is really just an illusion that if looked at from another angle we discover that it doesn’t really exist.