Who does not remember the water of the Trevi fountain dyed red? It was 19 October 2007. The following year, 500,000 colored balls tumbled from the steps of Trinita dei Monti, many ending their run at the foot of the Barcaccia Fountain. Graziano Cecchini’s visual provocations have been shown throughout the world. He, performer, painter, photographer, sculptor, a futurist without nostalgia with branches in pop art, is an artist and multifaceted culture man, and was also Councilor at Nothing and justice in the municipality of Salemi together with Vittorio Sgarbi and Oliviero Toscani. Meanwhile about him have written the New York Times, Corriere della Sera, La Repubblica, among others. Graziano Cecchini is a friend and it is a pleasure to interview him for the Rome Central readers.
Graziano, nine years have passed from the red water of the Trevi Fountain… It is out of the question, by the gesture, from that action your fame increased exponentially … and the time elapsed from the action admission that you had it has been absolutely functional to the message … I remember even someone spoke of a terrorist attack in the early hours. And today we see copies of that provocation.
As we know, imitation is a form of respect, but what do you think?
It is certainly a form of estimating. Imitation when you recognize the headmaster. When instead has made, for example, from an institution like the one in Genoa you emulate taking also economic gains and ignores the headmaster so I get pissed off.
It happens, at least here in Mexico to make your name. It happens that they do not know who you are, but then when I say about the Trevi Fountain water colored in red everyone knows what I’m talking about … the thought and action faster than man?
The action and the arm of a thought … is evident in this case the strength of the message.
You are the founder and leader of the artistic movement, FTM – avanguardiafuturista – created in 2007 so I ask you: what is left of the old Futurism? And what it means to be futurists today?
The old Futurism today is talked about just by old fart in a lounge. We are doing Futurism today right now with my smartphone… Today is the bit rate.
Art still scares?
Art and culture always scares. Especially today … an era of mentally constipated men evaluating just by their bank account.
Today you are based in Liguria, but I would like to ask you how much of your Roman being you carry as a man and as an artist? Do you believe being a Roman influences in some way your view of the world and Art?
Having had the good fortune to be born in Rome is very important. In Rome one breathes culture any subways station and that fortune I carry proudly on my back.
When we met in Rome, I remember that you spoke to me of institutionalized rebels. There is a kind of fictitious rebellion, that is required by the system to claim to live in Democracy…so I ask you: who are and especially where are the real rebels? Who are and where are the true free minds that are scary for the system?
The rebels are all those people men and women who don’t want to be consumers or numbers… but men and women.
You have also told me that there are your works that in Italy you definitely can not propose … what is it, a form of self-censorship? Or are you waiting for a truly free country which offer these works?
In Italy my works want them buy them without exposing them … you know they are like clandestine love affairs. I hope to be able to expose in a country that accepts art provocation without doubts. Free art in a free state. A country like Mexico is fine …. a borderline country.
There is still hope for our Italy? If so, where and what are the resources for the new Renaissance? Who are the artists and free minds that you respect today? Name some Italian but also someone on the International scene if you want …
The artists that I admire today are still the same … Michelangelo, Leonardo, Brunelleschi, Borromini… Marinetti, Dante etc … these hold high the name of Italy, and we must give them the strength to get out of the slime.
Today more than ever I think that Art should be given to the people and not talking to an elite. I think you will agree with me …
Art has always belonged to the people.
Who owns the future?
You see a Caravaggio and you understand. The Future is definitely ours, of the free men.
Born in Rome (Italy), Alex Coghe is a photojournalist, publisher, writer and street photographer, currently based in Mexico. He started taking photographs at age 10, with cheap point & shoots, photographing urban landscapes, but his inclination was for documentary and social photography and started in 2009 to get serious thanks to street photography. Since 2010 he moved to Mexico where he began photographing a new and surreal world in Mexico City, but always through a documentary eye. In those years he collaborated with several newspapers, online magazines and agencies. Some articles from politics to culture were published for La Stampa, Il Giornale, and he was correspondent from Mexico for Prisma News and L’Indro.
In 2011 he participated to the photography show You Are Here, a competition/exhibition in Los Angeles, California, an event sponsored by Leica. Exactly from that experience he start a collaboration with Leica Camera AG for The Leica Camera Blog, interviewing worldwide photographers. In 2013 he worked on assignment for Leica Camera AG, realizing the documentary project “People of Chapultepec” published worldwide in the Leica X brochure. All over these years he has worked for prestigious clients like Samsung, Burberry and at the same time coming to realize an important experience in social photography for Basilica de Guadalupe thanks to the work on assignment dedicated to Villa Mujeres, a home hosting people abandoned in the streets.
He has published among others on Lens Culture, Witness Journal, Il Messaggero, Doc!, Photowoa, The Phoblographer, Cuartoscuro, and Excelsior. His work so far was exhibited in several collective shows from Los Angeles to Miami, from Barcelona to Hamburg arriving to exhibit his work also in a theater in Rome.
As a commercial photographer he is specialized in editorial photography, fashion, erotic and portrait photography, working with several models and clients. As a publisher Alex Coghe is currently editor of the electronic magazines THE STREET PHOTOGRAPHER NOTEBOOK and Louÿs. Alex is writer (with many books published about photography technique) and photographer, because he thinks that currently both pathways are closely related. He loves the streets and people: the contact with people is something he loves of his profession. He is also giving photography workshops and photo tours in Mexico and all over the world, thanks to the fact he speaks 3 languages: Italian, English and Spanish. For Alex Coghe, photography is a creative act that goes beyond a simple click.