by Martina Maggi
The original article was written in Italian –“La Potenza del Genio” che arriva da Marsala – intervista a Fabio Ingrassia. The English version was translated by Martina herself. – Il Volo Marsala Fan Club.
Naro, May 2015. It was time for the Eurovision Song Contest, for unrest, for the preparations of the celebration parties for Il Volo, because of their participations to the prestigious singing contest – then suddenly an idea materialized: why don’t unite in a singular great love the two Sicilian towns in which two of the three guys grew up? And so Naro, Piero’s hometown, called from Marsala, town in which Ignazio passed his childhood and youth, another young artist who was already successful in his field – and was also promoter of a project dedicated to them: the collection of paintings named “La Potenza del Genio”, which means “The Power of Genius”.
The artist is Fabio Ingrassia, who I had the pleasure to talk with, feeling myself too a little bit marsalese for a moment.
«Introduce yourself: name, surname, hometown, profession… tell us who is Fabio Ingrassia»
My name is Fabio Ingrassia, my stage name is “Fao Design”. My youngest cousin created it, because he wasn’t able to pronounce correctly my name due to his young age, so he called me “Fao” – I thought it sounded well and so I decided to keep it. I live and work in Marsala – that I think is the first Italian town: town of the wine, of the sea, of the wind… it has wonderful landscapes that are unique in their own kind.
I live of every kind of Art, from painting to aerography, from the restoration work to the murals: I get fascinated from everything a man can create with art.
«When did you discover you had a particular (let me say “spectacular”) gift for the drawing?»
My love for drawing revealed itself quite early. According to my parents and relatives’ stories I did my first picture in 1993, when I was 4: since that moment I didn’t stopped myself. I attended the Istituto Regionale D’arte di Mazara del Vallo, where I really understood and admired art; then I went to the Accademia Belle Arti in Palermo that I left very soon – I didn’t feel myself. I preferred start a road full of inconveniences, of hard work, of technique… to start it alone, attending courses specialized for every field.
Thanks to my experience and perseverance I did important works that gave me the strength to aim high. Then I was able to create covers for albums of important Italian and foreign artists, like Guido Maria Ferilli, Alessandro la Vela, Anonimo Italiano (working with Amedeo Minghi), Tumba Dj. I also made scenographies for Roberto Vecchioni, Jimmy Fontana, Valerio Scanu, Baby K, Edoardo Vianello, Stefano Scarpa and many others. In 2012 my 373 co workers and I won the Guinness World Record for the longest painting in the world! It was a wonderful experience ended with the victory of that important prize!
«In a time in which photography is the fastest way to capture pictures, how did you defend painting? Did they communicate different feelings? Why?»
I can answer in a few words: with a photo, you can capture moments and transmit an emotion. With painting instead that emotion goes beyond all the feelings we are used to see and feel. The painting paints your soul.
«Speaking about that… how the idea of painting “upside down” came out?»
It was influenced by my love for music. I love playing guitar and piano and so I thought it might be wonderful being able to unite my two passions – for art and for music – in just one, so I studied a pre-existing technic and personalized it. I showed that with my hands I’m able to paint music, describing it as I did a tribute video of Grande Amore. It can be understood that is possible to describe music as is possible to hear it and the people’s positive reaction confirms my belief: with the union of music and art the emotion goes strong, straight to the heart.
«And what about Il Volo; did you met all the three of them? How came out the idea of a collection of paintings dedicated to them?»
I’m a big fan of Il Volo, I became quite early interested in their music and the message they want to transmit with songs. They represent in music what I want to represent with painting: Italy – that Italy that the world envy because of its history, its landscapes, the culture, the historical personalities, the food, the wine, the Made in Italy.
Our country has always been in the heart of the world due to the general quality in all the fields, and it’s good to remember to people that this thing continue even now.
Speaking with Ignazio the project “La Potenza del Genio” (= The Power of Genius) was born. It means so much for me. It’s a collection of paintings dedicated to their personal power of genius, that genius that all the world envy… but we will talk about this later.
«Lately you were invited as guest in Naro to celebrate the participation of Il Volo at the Eurovision Song Contest. The Fanclub gave you a prize. Was it an emotion?»
The Narovision was a wonderful event: millions of people met to support Il Volo at the Eurovision! In a few minutes I tried to represent with painting the path of those guys that thanks to the music transformed a youth dream into the Italian proud in the world. Their success is the proof that competence and quality make the effort worthwhile, that if you believe your dreams come true. The people in Naro appreciated that and received the message I wanted to transmit – it was an emotion that I will bring with me forever… thanks to Il Volo and Naro!
My works are currently shown in quite all the world and this gave me the strength to carry on and follow my path… I would like to end with a quote by myself:
Art is will to communicate… to move… to smile… to love… I enjoy art in the shadow, in both black and white and colours. [Fabio Ingrassia]