Manuel Fois


“It’s all outside of me, it should only be ‘captured’, a bit like when you go to the park and try to catch the most colorful butterflies with a small net”

AT: Where are you from and how/why you start engaging to art?

MF: I come from music, I have always been interested in composition and in electronic music but my impact with painting came 4 years ago when I decided to exchange my knowledge on the digital part related to sound in image, so I started to paint my components. I realized that by changing the management of mp3 audio files I could open them in Photoshop and thus obtain an image file derived from the audio data I recorded.


AT: Are there any person that have been significant in your progression as an artist?

MF: I have always looked at Roman Opalka’s work as inspiration for his conceptual determination in carrying out his work that has always motivated me strongly. I could make many names because every day I reconsider my key points even if  I’ve always tried to make my way.


AT: What’s your first approach to the work? Where does your process start?

MF: My process starts by going to places that are often not accessible to the common people, embarking on journeys. I go to environments that can offer me interesting cues at the audio level, mount a microphone and register for hours, even for hours, the surrounding sounds that the environment offers me. The sound choice part is the longest part in my work. Arriving in the studio I convert the material into a graphic and start painting the glitches created by the PC based on the audio recorded on the outside.

“FP54_115 / FP54_715”, sound recorded 160×120 cm / 200×140 cm, oil and ink on canvas, 2017

AT: What are your favourite tools and materials for working?

MF: In my practice I use microphones for environmental recording of good quality audio, a lot of patience and, obviously, oil and canvas as more conventional instruments.


AT: Do you leave your work open to interpretation? Or do you think the viewer should engage with your work in a specific way?

MF: The interaction that I propose to achieve is emotional. I like the idea that the viewer in a show can move part of himself by observing the lines/glitches of my works, after all if it is true that every image is potentially carrying a message: my images produced by a PC can also generate a reaction and this intrigues me. I enroll my work in the new artistic aesthetic current known to exalt bring attention to digital images created by machines.


AT: How do you feel while you are working? You think of the final result?

MF: I like working, being in the studio and watching the tracks recorded during the day otherwise I wouldn’t do what I do. In my work the final result should not be thought, it should be discovered instead. Always arrive an instant when you are in the studio and you realize that everything coincides, that your reasonings lead to a common result. In that moment you understand that you have to take a break because you have reached a good stage.

FP445_668, oil and pencil on canvas, 140×100 cm, 2017
E466_714, oil on canvas , 140x100cm, 2017

AT: How do you understand when a work is finished?

MF: When you have been working on that for a month and you realize that there is nothing good to add.


AT: Where does the inspiration for the work come from? Do you find inspiration outside or it’s all inside you?

MF: It’s all outside of me, it should only be “captured”, a bit like when you go to the park and try to catch the most colorful butterflies with a small net.


AT: Do you think art can be learned or it is something innate?

MF: Art can be learned like any other discipline, but doing good work is a different thing.


AT: How important is for you the role of social media?

MF: Today the contents arrives at the home of each of us every second through the Internet so I believe that the web is a reality parallel to the physical one, where things happen. Personally I strongly defend the role of web-artists, the future of honest art far from commercial rubbish is the internet and maybe it is already present.

AUD_SS574-M, 50×70-cm, serigraph on mirror, 2019
AUD_6774-M, 50×70 cm, serigraph on mirror, 2019

AT: What’s your opinion about the contemporary art system nowadays from your point of view as an artist?

MF: The art system has never changed, times are changing ways and uses, there is a hierarchy, and there are people who decide whether you can succeed or not. The world of art today is sometimes very unfair, but if you work well and believe in what you do you can give a damn about this detail.


AT: What do you find to be the most challenging or daunting thing about pursuing art? What is the most rewarding part of working as an artist?

MF: The most challenging part for my is that nowadays art it’s tied to money. In my view works are not actions, but devices with meaning. Everything would work well “in the world I would like” but we know that utopias are things that cannot be achieved. On the other hand, the most rewarding part of working as an artist is when the work reaches people and when  you have things to say and see the reaction, the relationship with the public.


AT: What do you do outside of painting?

MF: Out of art I’m a common guy, maybe because I spend most of my time working in the studio. I like singing, I like traveling, I like dealing with people.

AUD_76284-H, 75×145 cm, serigraphy on mirror, 2019
Manuel Fois
1995, Cagliari
Lives and Works in London


Central Saint Martins, London

Solo shows:

- Sound Recornings, Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, 2015
- Flexible Distances, Galleria Macca, Cagliari, 2018
- The Wall Project No. 1, Galleria Angelo della Pergola, Milano, 2018
Group shows:

- CONTEMPORARY Art Festival, Dusserdolf, 2015
- CONTEXTO, Contemporary Art, Edolo, Brescia, 2015
- EE Project / Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, 2017
- Sound paintings, Central Saint Martins, London, 2017
- So Far So Good, Lm Gallery, Latina, 2018
- Tradito Tradito, Deanesi Gallery, Trento, 2018
- Artverona Fair, Deanesi Gallery, 2018