Vinyl mon amour: interview with omino71 and Electrovinyl for the exhibition Po (P) rtraits Show

The exhibition Po (P) rtraits Show will be open for one month (from November 16th to December 15th 2019) which proposes a selection of works created by omino71 inspired by the tracks of the discs proposed by the new space dedicated to vinyls, Electrovinyl Corner inside the Contemporary Cluster, an hub in the heart of the capital. The exhibition, curated by Dario Pellegrino and Giacomo Guidi, proposes a dialogue between the artist’s works and the precious design objects found in the premises of Cavallerini Palace, through an exhibition itinerary proposed in three different environments.

Fifty artworks created to give expression to the traces engraved on historical vinyls, which refer to icons of the 60’s and 90’s music for an event that allows you to retrace the history of the music of those years in an ironic and amusing way. We talk about it with omino71, the artist, and Dario Pellegrino, creator of the Electrovinyl Corner project.

What is the idea that inspired this exhibition?

omino 71 – Dario contacted me to verify the possibility of creating an exhibition event for the Elctrovinyl project, in line with my production and with the offer of the Vinyl Corner that had just begun. From the very first meeting we realized that it was possible to work together given the common passion for music and visual art, which are the distinctive elements of vinyl compared to other media for music reproduction. The idea that came to us was therefore to connect a disk to each exhibited work and thus compose an imaginative playlist for an exhibition event that from November 16th to December 15th will fill the “hall”, “mezzanine” and “cave” spaces of the Contemporary Cluster.

Dario Pellegrino – Po (P) rtraits was born from the need to express in an organic way, the nature of two disciplines: Neo-Pop and Music. in their simplicity, creativity and evolution in an environment so ancient but at the same time contemporary of the Contemporary Cluster art gallery, representing, The bond between art and music that is absolutely indissoluble. To document it then, we will think of the unique pieces through the exhibition and an all-vinyl opening party. They will see musical phenomena of the 60s and 90s and the related subcultures in the production of Omino71, transforming, reinterpreting and celebrating the super icons of pop culture. Masks vs throw-ups, between #MickeyMouse, #AndyWarhol and vinyl rock stars from #DavidBowie to #MassiveAttack, passing by the #Bauhaus. An imaginative track-list that creates the common thread with the Electrovinyl Corner Vinyl Corner.


How did you choose the combination of records and artworks? 

omino 71 – To make the combinations between the works and the discs, I drew a real conceptual map in the narrative logic of the “ready fake”, starting from my name “omino71” to which I have long added the title of “nonstreetartista”, which is a quote / reworking of the “non-musician” of Brian Eno, intended as an artist technically lacking in skills but strong in his creative genius. The narrative came by itself, it was enough to put on the plate “Before and After Science”, read between the liner notes that “By This River” was composed together with Moebius and Roedelius, that is by the German duo of “Cluster”, the whose debut album was “Cluster71”, in short everything was already written … Following Eno’s career I found a thread between my works and some of the most iconic records of pop-rock culture, in a series of connections, coincidences and impossible narratives, where sometimes the connection is immediate, even declared, others more subtle, linked to the productive genesis of the works, in short, it is a state of a real journey that I invite you to redo with me, almost a treasure hunt from which perhaps we will discover that Andy Warhol was not only the star of pop art but also the initiator spirit of punk culture.

Art and music united by vinyl. What does vinyl mean to you?
omino 71 – I’ll tell you with an anecdote from childhood. On Sunday morning a collective ritual was celebrated at my house: we listened to the music all together. My father used to turn on his automatic record player which allowed him to listen in sequence to multiple vinyls stacked between them, in a sort of ante litteram playlist alternating a disc of his (from Adriano Celentano to Pink Floyd) and a record of ours, that is my and my brothers ( from the songs of the Zecchino d’Oro to the theme songs of the cartoons), so everyone sipped the taste of the other and learned something new. While listening we passed the covers, we looked at the figures, we read the texts of the inserts and maybe so, thanks to vinyl, as well as training the ear, I learned to read and above all to scribble by copying the cover drawings.

Why come to see the exhibition?
omino 71 – Because it offers an overview of my production, fifty works including canvases, mixed media, vinyl records, skateboards and art toys, including pieces of repertoire and unpublished works created ad hoc for this exhibition that is hosted in one of the most beautiful spaces of the capital.
Because the Vinyl Corner is full of beautiful records.
Because we have reserved a surprise in the “cave” space, that is in the Contemporary Cluster underground floor, but being a surprise I can’t tell you anything more.

Dario Pellegrino – Only the Nino-Pop by omino71 is worth discovering and for those who know the Roman artist, one more reason to get excited again. Colors, shapes and of course music are the essential elements of this project, which I care a lot about. I like to think, to be able to transmit to the public the same emotional intensity that I feel when a project takes shape and you see it realized, to let people know the creativity that lies behind the “sick” minds of us artists and of course to live a different evening and very European, both for the fabulous location in the historic center of Rome, and for everything that characterizes it.

Vinyl Yes or Not … Why?

omino 71 – Yes, yes! I admit I am a collector, I have all the 45s of the Smiths and all that was printed of the Cure, including the South American editions with the texts in Spanish, I inherited my father’s record collection and I never stopped feeding it, listening and buying new and used records, even when no one wanted them anymore, mocked by friends who trashed entire collections of records to go to the most comfortable CDs, up to disposable liquid music, which you listen to today and tomorrow have already forgotten. The reasons are many, I could decant the qualities of the recordings, from the warmth of the sound reproduced by the grooves, all of which are sacrosanct truths from a true audiophile, but then we end up talking about pins, arms, cymbals, hi-end systems and the essence is lost , that is the intrinsic value of vinyl as an object that contains different elements: the songs to be reproduced with the right care, the artwork on the cover and the inserts, the complete texts of the songs, the liner notes, in short, we are talking about true and own works of art.

Dario Pellegrino – I start with one sentence: the only way to physically own the music is to buy vinyl, and for me it’s a beautiful thing. Undoubtedly I am fascinated by technology and its rapid evolution and discovery of new instruments for music and its listening, but in my opinion, vinyl is a separate instrument, I consider it as one of the 7 wonders of the world, nothing can supplant it.

What is your favorite piece in the show, and why?
omino 71 – All the works exhibited are my “daughters”, so it is difficult to choose one among the others. But I can mention a few unpublished ones that have had a life of their own, even before becoming a work of omino71.

“MoroDerMaus” I made by painting on the cover of Giorgio Moroder’s 45 rpm I inherited from my father, so I consider it a tribute to those who introduced me to life, as well as a passion for music and art.

“Sad Smurfs” instead I created directly on an old Cure poster that I bought more than twenty years ago at a concert in Florence (where I often went to buy records from Contempo, a cult store for all vinylmaniaci) and which I kept hanging in all my houses, moving after moving, wearing it down so much that turning it into a work was the only way to preserve it and give it a new life.

Dario Pellegrino – It’s difficult to choose one, a playlist that should have anyone who is passionate about music and vinyl. Chosen: Moro Der Maus / Giorgio Moroder “From Here to Eternity” 1977. I am very attached to Moroder, source of inspiration, innovative and influential in the field of electronic music and disco music, especially when I started to think and organize events in Rome.

What would you like to convey and leave with this initiative?

omino 71 – Like any other exhibition, I leave a piece of myself, of my imagination and its three possible interpretations: the declared one, the intimate one and the one left to the free interpretation of the public, which is always different for everyone. In particular, as the title suggests, “Po (p) ratraits” is a collection of pop culture icons, created in my two typical ways: “super masks” versus “throw-up”: from Mickey Mouse to Andy Warhol passing through David Bowie, Bela Lugosi and Donald Trump, a series of previously unpublished and repertory portraits that for the occasion I combined with a selection of fundamental records, from “I Wanna Be Your Dog” by Stooges to “Killing in the name” by Rage Against The Machine “passing through” Planet Rock “by Afrika Bambaataa with the sampling of Kraftwerk … in other words” lots of stuff “.

Dario Pellegrino – The Electrovinyl project is born from the desire to give the public, a new way of experiencing music, able to weave a style in which experience and quality merge. A mental and sensory concept that is renewed and regenerated, winking and coming out of the usual stereotypes.

And if we look to the future …
What is the Vinyl corner: just born what do you foresee for the future?
Dario Pellegrino – In the heart of the historic center of Rome, in the art gallery of Palazzo Cavallerini Lazzaroni, Contemporary Cluster, between art, architecture, design and mixology bar, we propose to the guest, a mix of new and used DISCS, rare and collectable, ranging from Jazz, Indie, Pop, Deep, House, Techno, in all its facets. During the artistic season, we will invite our audience to participate in a series of “hallmark events” quality events, events able to embrace the Musical Culture and evening entertainment with DJ mixes, talks, discographic and literary presentations, exhibitions in symbiosis and contour to the “microgroove” with selected and uncontaminated music. A Vinyl corner with a contemporary touch, a space to be experienced as a real refuge in which to get lost in the constant demands of everyday life, from morning coffee to afternoon tea, to continue late into the gallery events.

Will we still find vinyl in your future projects?
omino 71 – Surely there will be other opportunities to work with vinyl and vinyl and it would not even be great news, considering that I have always used it as a support for painting, a practice that I share with hundreds of artists from all over the world who in 2009 I gathered in the collective project “Vinyl Factory”, boasting numerous attempts at imitation, almost like the Enigmistica Week.


Nonstreet artist, born in 1971 in Rome, city where he lives and works. From the late nineties he spreads his idea of ​​pop art between superheroes, saints and toys in a “mash up” with decidedly saturated colors. In his production he alternates street interventions with an exhibition activity that is recognized in the neo-pop current. Since 2011 omino71 operates in institutional contexts such as the Museum of Contemporary Art, the House of Architecture and the Palladium Theater in Rome; the Italian Cultural Institute of Rio de Janeiro, the Museum of History and Archeology of Constance, the Palace of the Parliament of Bucharest and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sofia, without ever abandoning the activity for the most active self-managed spaces in the capital ( MAAM, Urban Area, MURo., Muracci Nostri), boasting numerous national and international artistic collaborations (Alessandro Mannarino, Cartoon Network, Emergency). His works have been reviewed in various national media (Sky Arte, L’Unità, La Repubblica, Corriere della Sera, L’Espresso, Il Messaggero, XL) and international (Le Monde, Time, CNN, Huffington Post), as well as on sector publications (Hi-Fructose, Exibart, ArtTribune), catalogs and art books (Lantana, Ultra, Bordeaux, Castelvecchi, Olmata).

Dario Pellegrino
Creator of the Electrovinyl corner project within the Contemporary Cluster he is a graphic designer who followed in his father’s footsteps. After decades of experience in the world of analogue and digital cinema, he traces his father’s teachings, in the world of fashion and specifically in screen printing and hand-made, always looking for the best way to communicate, through, the organization of non-contaminated events, passing then through virtual “corridors” on the net … up to becoming first as social media marketing and graphic projects manager, and then responsible and creator of the Electrovinyl corner project, inside the art gallery Contemporary Cluster.

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