Michele Gabriele


“I try to reach the anamnesis of reality”

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

MG: I come from the south of Italy. I was born in the province of Latina, in Fondi, because on August 10 my parents were on vacation around there. My family comes from San Bartolomeo in Galdo a small town in the province of Benevento but I grew up in Brianza, and now I live in Milan. I was interested in art since I was a child. I had shown a certain attitude (and passion) towards drawing, and my mother, who is an art history teacher, recognized this particular characteristic in me and helped me cultivate it. So since I was a child I always thought that I would be an artist “when I was grown up”. At the time I said I wanted to be a portrait painter.


AT: When did it become serious?

MG: During my studies at the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera thanks to the course of Alberto Garutti who gave me the right advice to transform my passion into professionalism.


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

MG: Many were important for my growth, first of all those who believed in my work even when what I was doing was not easy to “frame” and therefore to put in surrounding context: Emiliana Sabiu, Matteo Rubbi, Paul Barsch, Tilman Hornig, Matteo Mottin, Marco Tagliafierro, Monia Ben Hamouda, Domenico De Chirico, Pierre Clement, Derek Di Fabio.


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

MG: I would say something like Post-digital Hyper-materialism. But I’m looking for better words.

“Tangled Depictions” at Gossamer Fog, curated by Mattia Giussani, London, England; 2019

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

MG: I try to reach the anamnesis of reality.


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

MG: I usually build the tools I use myself, with needles, combs, and sticks. The materials I prefer are epoxy resins and silicones, oil and acrylic paints and the use of very special objects.


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

MG: Usually I design the work down to the smallest detail, and then I make it. Working helps me to reason more clearly about the work itself.


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

MG: When my gesture disappears and it seems to live independently from me.

“The Missing Link. On every point of a sphere.” at Eduardo Secci Contemporary, curated by Swan Station, Florence, Italy; 2019.
“It’s always so hard to admit that things are different than what we had believed at first sight”, 2018.

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

MG: From reflections in which selfish and childish personal needs and small and futile acts of rebellion against the language of art itself sometimes intertwine.


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

MG: Yes, there are: Philip Gaston, René Magritte, Pino Pascali, Francis Picabia. Although I think I have influenced more artists than other artists have influenced me. Of course there are others that do not come to mind now, but the truth is that my works are not very influenced by artists, but by other things: people, memories, cinema and real life.


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

MG: It is very important, but no more than it is for anyone else. I started putting my works on Facebook years ago, because I did not do much else in my life at the time. I did it spontaneously because my work was my life and my private life. This allowed me to make my work known even outside Italy, and thus find the right interlocutors that I was struggling to find around; but I hadn’t expected it. Now it is normal to do this, but a few years ago, many of my peers considered the artists who published their works on Facebook a bit “losers”.

“Context Matters” / “It’s always so hard to admit that things are different than what we had believed at first sight” at Alios 16ème Biennale D’Art Contemporain @ Théâtre Cravey Pavilion, La Teste-De-Bûch, France; 2019.

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

MG: The art system is for me the best place to make our work usable and enjoyable. My opinion is also that unfortunately, being a system, it is sometimes lacks the genius that belongs to some of its protagonists.


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?

MG: The most discouraging thing, as far as I’m concerned, is to feel love for art, but not to be able to love my works. The most rewarding part is knowing that I am important for an art student and future artist. Whether they love me or if they hate me. Knowing that I’m relevant, knowing that I’m a problem.


AT: What do you do besides art?

MG: I am not doing other things for the moment. Years ago I would have told you that I wasn’t able to do anything else, but in the meantime I realized that I can do almost everything instead. Who knows how it happened.


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

MG: In the future I would like to have the opportunity to co-curate a group show of European artists in an Italian museum with someone attentive and sensitive

“The Missing Link. On every point of a sphere.” at Eduardo Secci Contemporary, curated by Swan Station, Florence, Italy; 2019.
Michele Gabriele (b. 1983) is an Italian visual artist currently living and working in Milan, Italy.

Through the use of sculpture and the photographic documentation of it, his work explores the distance between the viewer and the artwork, through the use of a paradoxical disappointing sculptural forms. His work is a constant play between representation and materiality, time and spaces, searching another point of view with different priorities.