Giulio Scalisi


“My practice wants to simulate fictional daily life episodes in which the structures that hold our system are more apparent”

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

GS: I’m from Sicily and since childhood I’ve loved drawing. There’s no reason for that I think. I have a feeling that there’s little rationality in the decision of being an artist.


AT: When did it become serious?

GS: Art in itself has not yet become serious to me. I enjoy the possibility it brings once you think of it as a superficial act. Something I’m more serious about is probably linguistics of arts and my effort in trying to create a form of expression that is significant to me and the time I live in.


AT: Is there any person who has been significant in your breakthrough as an artist?

GS: Many, and most of all, all the amazing queer people, who work in the art world and create spaces of free expression.


AT: What is your first approach to the work? How would you describe your practice?

GS: There’s usually a recurring thought or phrase or even just a title. I usually don’t write it down at first and if it spontaneously comes back then it means that I should do something with it. My practice wants to simulate fictional daily life episodes in which the structures that hold our system are more apparent.

Installation view from the show “A house for a gentleman” at Kunsthalle Lissabon, Lisbon

AT: What do you aim to reach with your work?

GS: A shift in how we look at our life using self-realisations towards ourselves and the context we live in.


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

GS: I would say words and moving pictures.


AT: What do you feel while you work? Do you usually think about the outcome beforehand?

GS: There’s not a singular feeling, it changes every time, as each time I try to challenge myself and make something different. With time I understood that there’ll always be a discrepancy between the idea you had of the work and the work that you created and that it’s standing in front of you, and that’s ok.


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

GS: Mostly when I don’t want to or I can’t work on it anymore.

Blessed by the Algorithm | Installation view and frames of the video from the collective show “Primary Domain” at Ordet, Milan

AT: Where does the inspiration for the work come from?

GS: It could be everything, a phrase you read, an image you find or an experience, significant or fleeting.


AT: Are there any artists who influenced your works? Why? 

GS: I’m just gonna write a list of those who come to mind, they are all important to me for what they said and how they have said it: Mark Leckey, Jim Shaw, Fortunato Depero, Masaaki Yuasa, Wendy Carlos, David Lynch, Q Hayashida, Camille Henrot, Andrea Pazienza, Hidetaka Miyazaki, Sophie, Anna Maria Ortese, Philippe Parreno, Ryan Trecartin, Shigeru Miyamoto.


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

GS: I don’t particularly like it, quite honestly I think it’s all fake, but I’m not against it, it serves the purpose I use it for.


AT: What is your opinion about NFTs and their impact on the art world?

GS: I’m not that knowledgeable about it, to be honest, but, to me, it seems just another way to monetise with art? Maybe one day I will make some.

Angelo Azzurro | Installation view from the show “1999” at Spazio Maiocchi, Milan

AT: As an artist, what is your point of view about the contemporary art system?

GS: Many interesting people work in it, but it’s very very small.


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

GS: The hardest thing is that you don’t have any guarantee and the best one is that you are somewhat free.


AT: What do you do besides art?

GS: I do comics, commercial videos and illustrations.


AT: What are your goals and expectations for the future?

GS: 🙏

Dalle stelle alle cellule, 2016, Video, 16:9, 1080p, 6 min on loop
Giulio Scalisi (b. 1992) is an Italian visual artist currently living and working in Milan, Italy.

"My artistic practice wants to simulate episodes in which these changes are more apparent, sometimes obvious, to the point that they almost feel comical. Playing with characters, environments or different time settings, I shift certain elements of our reality, while maintaining others, to create a window on a possible, yet absurd, but still frightening, because it’s almost believable, parallel world. I believe that it’s at the brink of contradiction, that someone can decide what it’s true for themselves".