N: Hi! I am excited to get this interview started ! To be fair, it was almost impossible finding information about you beforehand.. you keep such a low profile online. So let's start with your name VVXXXII, where did that come from?
V: Hi! "VVXXII" was a rushed name picked for trying to get some distance from the graffiti world and yet not becoming something completely alien to it. Eventually, becoming alien became the main activity, lol. But anyway, depending on the graffiti, you don't really want to be too easy to find online. At that time, I had that urgency to go stealth, and I guess it lowkey became a trait that suited me a lot. I didn't need to live online as much as I am currently doing. So I guess I am still paying homage to my pre-socials era. I didn't use socials until 2016. Before, I was a lot into being lost in disconnection. So I guess "VVXXII" is a random name that collides with a highly connected world and life and gives up on dragging all my private identity into it.
N: From what I could gather online about you, it seems like you’ve started your practice by doing graffiti, but I might be wrong! Is that how you started making art?
V: Well, graffiti is the core of all my activity under the VVXXII sign. It started with a very simple tag, evolving after trial and error, or rather through positive feedback loops slowly organizing themselves into something gradually more and more complex. I guess I started making art by meditating on how to learn – intuitively - to see what's next through very small, subtle, and eventually radical changes. To be completely honest, I graduated as a set designer, and throughout my graffiti activity, I started to seize some dimensional and spatial ideas into the equation of my work. The most abstract signs on a flat surface can disclose so much if unleashed from their flatness. And dimensionality offers so much more than design and functionality.
N: I find your more recent sculptural artwork to be reminiscent of early 2000s horror video games featuring necromorphs/xenomorphs, aliens, and gore elements, like “Dead Space” for instance. What do you want to express through your art? What are your inspirations?
V: I think the horror vibe – which I nonetheless completely embrace - is in my work nothing but a secondary effect of my main interest. And this main interest has been clearer and more intelligible only in the advanced stages of my research.
I started trying to give visualization to something obscure and amorphous. That's aligned with how I was feeling when I started the VVXXII project: isolated, spaced out, and in a state of positive non-knowledge.
I was reading a lot of dark and horror speculative realism theories, for sure, alongside Negative Theology and mystic literature. I have never been too interested in showing something. I wanted to see something completely abstract and obscure, full of vibrant life. Like when you are reading the darkest fiction or playing the most disturbing video game and see the fiction taking over the world around you and triggering into you a thinking process that the world alone couldn't provide you with.
We can definitely find this vibe in horror, but personally, I wanted to commit to horror the other way around: not a horror as a spiral towards the afterlife, dragged into oblivion by scary undead entities, but as a vector from nothing, from utter darkness – “explicated” by the unknown and the unthinkable - towards life, though never really reaching that point.
I am interested in something xenogenetic, or rather abiogenetic and embryonal, something that cannot and doesn't want to specify into an actual biological entity but lingering in transformations and teeming amorphously. A stem cell horror.
N: I see that you’ve been experimenting with garments also, is this something you wish to pursue more?
V: Yes, I am currently working on some new garments. Maybe even a collection. It has been something that has completely fascinated me since forever. In a way, it completes the research on occultism. In this case, it's about how to make a body the least human-like possible, how to visualize it as an entity capable of being unknown and obscure, and abysmally wondering about the potentiality of its own nature and identity.
More prosaically, I'd say - except for very few exceptions - I find no joy in human fashion. I'm thinking of garments as an encounter with alien entities.
My skin craves symbiotic encounters, not getting disguised by clothing items. And also, garments are for me connected to a theater of transformation. In real life, I'm pretty much lowkey. That's why I still consider garments sculptures.
N: I’ve checked one of the projects/collectives that you seem to be involved with called “Dissenso Cognitivo”. After looking through some posts, I’ve read about you briefly touching upon the topic of “Simmetria Horror”, which translates to “Horror Symmetry” in English. This involves working around the concept of a DNA code that wishfully mutates and becomes a contradiction of itself. Could you tell us more about this thesis?
V: I think I was mentioning this concept concerning an abuse of design instances in art. I was meditating on the revival of symmetry in so much I was seeing at some point online. The algorithm already pushes creativity into matching gestalt-like patterns based on flat and impactful images, and I had a, say, epiphany, suddenly perceiving symmetry as nothing but an impoverishing of the potentiality of vision and art. Like a real proxy for our capacity to catch what's behind what's visible, dooming it to get caught in empty mirror references of a flat image rooted on a central axis.
Meditating more on the inescapability of the algorithm, i thought that if there had to be symmetry then better it be a subtle exercise of a diverse vision, leveling down the importance of the central axis and gestalt-like lures of something that matches anthropomorphic visual expectations.
Horror symmetry is about the auto-determination of something that cannot match product design standards but still wants to evolve into something functional and strong.
In short, although I was interested in the central axis I wanted to make it visually felt through unevenness, thinking of geometry as something rather ritualistic than visual.
N: Thank you for answering these questions with us today. To close this little interview, I would like to ask you what to expect next for VVXXII!
V: I expect to meet more people interested in new ways of collectively creating weird and dark art and I definitely expect that these creations are meant to be displayed in very immersive and nonstandard ways.
All images courtesy of VVXXII