“The work in itself has its own alphabet; the idiom changes every time and I just try to listen to it”
AT: Where are you from and how/why did you start engaging with art?
NM: I was born in Florence; art is a site where I found myself being at different stages of my life, passing through them.
AT: When did it become serious?
NM: A site is neither serious nor naive; the recall of that place is an understanding tool and a memento.
AT: Are there any person who has been significant in your breakthrough as an artist?
NM: Walking through that site is a breakthrough itself, and every encounter in that path is important; that being said, there are few of them, but I’d take their identities private.
and welded skin | Installation view, Galerie Philipp Zollinger, Zurich, 2020 | Photo: Conradin Frei.
AT: What is your first approach to the work? How would you describe your practice?
NM: The work in itself has its own alphabet; the idiom changes every time and I just try to listen to it.
AT: What do you aim to reach with your work?
NM: Multiple levels of knowledge, moving around the outskirts of possibilities.
AT: What do you feel while you work? Do you usually think about the final outcome beforehand?
NM: It is different every time/all the time: working is not an extraordinary action. It’s not possible to answer that question.
Senza Titolo, 2020 (Molten series), Phenolic sand, epoxy resin, aluminum honeycomb, 116x48x7 | Courtesy: The artist and Galerie Philipp Zollinger, Zurich | Photo: Conradin Frei.
Senza Titolo, 2020, Phenolic sand, epoxy resin, aluminum honeycomb, 150x80x4.5 cm | Courtesy: The artist and Galerie Philipp Zollinger, Zurich | Photo: Conradin Frei.
AT: How do you understand that a work is finished?
NM: As the whole point is listening to the work itself, when it’s confirmed I understood, then I believe it’s “finished”; at the same time there is a paradox, as I’m just a sparkle to activate something, the word finished loose its meaning here.
AT: Where does the inspiration for the work come from?
NM: See question no. 4.
AT: Are there any artists who influenced your works? Why?
NM: Sure, not many but I believe so. You always belong to something, even if you don’t want to.
Testimone, 2019, PMMA, demineralized water, powder obtained from grinded works from 2012 to 2018, 167,5 x 30,8 x 15,7 cm | Courtesy: The artist and Galerie Philipp Zollinger, Zurich | Photo: Conradin Frei.
Testimone 8, PMMA, demineralized water, powder obtained from grinded works from 2012 to 2018, ceramic clay, iron, graphite, 101 x 17.2 x 7.7 cm | Courtesy: The artist and Galerie Philipp Zollinger, Zurich | Photo: Jacopo Menzani.
AT: How important is the role of social media for you?
NM: Personally, not that important, but on a wider context is obviously extremely big and dangerous when it’s in the wrong hands: generating post-truths, boosting populisms and fertilising human weaknesses.
AT: As an artist, what is your point of view about the contemporary art system?
NM: To stay healthy, I need to be inside it and outside of it. That being said, I don’t think it’s possible to fully answer your question here.
AT: What do you do besides art?
NM: For me, it’s all merged together, either if it’s climbing, cycling or paying the bills.
Molten | Installation view, Dittrich&Schlechtriem, Berlin, 2018 | Photo: Jens Ziehe.
Nicola Martini (b. Florence, Italy, 1984) is a an Italian sculptor currently living and working in Milan, Italy. In his sculptural practice, Martini employs various processes of destructuralization, embracing an object-oriented philosophical approach while shedding new light on the nature of materialism. Composed of organic and inorganic liquids, minerals, metals, plastics and re-used or archived materials, the work reflects the artist’s unique discourse on history, durations of time, and perception.