Crude and explicit, Luca Loreti‘s (1990) erotic illustrations strike the audience with an ironic and dramatic language. The Milanese visual artist and cartoonist focuses his research on investigating the world around him and the relationship that we have with it, focusing in particular on the sexual sphere.
The comic book format, allows Loreti to deal with his own obsessions: sex, mechanics, food, history and punk music, but also to talk about what doesn’t directly involve his private life.
Luca Loreti’s works – pictorial, sculptural and illustrative – are often monochromatic and with flat backgrounds, several influences emerge including those from the tattoo’s world and Japanese Ukyo-e prints. The simplicity of the forms and their immediate recognition are the methods by which he represents the subjects in the works: sex toys and physical elements that refer to eroticism and the sexual sphere. Among other subjects, we frequently find the cat and the mouse, characters inspired by “Itchy & Scratchy”, the Simpsons cartoon.
Loreti’s first comic book, titled IO has recently turned one year old and in the last weeks has been the protagonist of several drawing sessions organized in Turin and Milan, where he will be featured on Thursday, Feb. 23, at Vetra Recicli in the Navigli area, from 7 p.m. In IO strikes the initial irony but also a violent psychology in which the reader can see himself and compare his own personal experiences related to sexuality.
Collater.al asked Luca Loreti a few questions to learn more about his research.
What was your first approach to eroticism?
Fortunately or unfortunately, pornography. Sex and eroticism have always been a part of my life, the attraction I have for this world has spilled over spontaneously into my research and work.
Does censorship hinder your work?
I think I am my own first censor, I have never had a particularly negative response to my works, maybe they interest some people more and others less. Certainly, King Koala Press had the courage to invest in my first long comic book work, it was a leap of faith for both of us.
The character on the cover of your comic book IO – who is constantly dealing with his sexuality – looks like you, somehow there is something about you and your personal experience?
When I started thinking about the character, I wanted something universal. I wouldn’t say that the stories in IO are my direct experiences, but rather are the result of my own reasoning, thoughts or intimate stories of other people. IO looks like me because maybe I am not that good at drawing and the easiest thing to do is to draw what you are most familiar with, there is definitely so much of me in it.
I define the protagonist of the comic as an alien, a boy without a nose, with a flame instead of hair, these big holes instead of eyes that the reader keeps diving into, an alien discovering the world.
In your illustrations, sex toys recur frequently, is there a specific motivation why you are interested in depicting them?
I depict sex toys because I think they are a very interesting and useful tool and market. As I was trying to explain before I wanted a work that told the real life of people. Personally, in my private life, hardly use sex toys and you know what I think? What a pity!
In the past month you have held several drawing live sessions in contact with the public. Tomorrow, February 23, 2023, at Vetra Recicli in Milan, there will be a new meeting where people can see you at work and meet you personally, tell us more about these meetings.
Vetra Recicli is a venue on the Navigli that has already collaborated with King Koala and has the publisher’s entire catalog for sale. Like the other times, I will sit on a small table making dedications on the comics that will be bought and with a pad of paper I will draw something. By “something” I mean the only things that I can draw: cat, mouse, cock and pussy.