andrea locci - upcycled metal characters
Metal upcycling art
Born in Busto Arsizio in 1970, he now lives and works in Calci (Pisa).
Andrea uses recycled materials as his medium of artistic expression, giving new meaning and vitality to millions of objects that he collects and systematically categorizes in his laboratory. Comsumed and riddled wood, rusted and corroded metals, every day objects that have been rejected become his “living material”, the skyline of his skyscrapers, old coffee makers turn into robots and inner tubes find new life as tribal divinities…His work is intended to awaken the imagination and delight the observer.
His work was showcased at 2014 WONDERWALLS-International Art Exhibition in Milan, at the Biennale of Contemporary Art ,Casablanca, Marocco in 2012, at the Italian Pavilion of the Biennale of Venice in 2011 and many others.
Tell me something about you, how did you become a sustainable artist?
I am a self-taught artist. I have beautiful memories of the time spent with my brother dismantling, assembling and painting old furniture, chandeliers and objects of all types and shapes for our friends' apartments.
We could do anything that we feel like creating and we did it from a to z ... People liked our style so we opened a laboratory where we could better organize our work and carry out our ideas and works and soon after we had our first artistic exhibition.
I was young, I listened to Punk and Hard Core music and followed everything that the music and artistic scene of that period offered. I liked the Mutoids and the amazing mechanical creatures that they built with the waste pieces of engines. I was fascinated by the use of recycled materials so the first time I found myself in a landfill in front of a mountain of iron scraps ... it was love at first sight, I decided in that moment to use waste materials as an expressive mean for my art.
What inspires you?
As I always answer this type of question, I am inspired by many things, but more than anything the inspiration comes from my passions: comics and science fiction fiction, all pop art, underground culture, primitive art, Dadaism, the nature and beauty of the landscapes where I live and work .... dark chocolate 99%
What is the message behind upcycling art?
I would say: Object! You provoked me and I found you!! It's reuse as a regenerating practice of ideas and good humor, it is an invitation to play, the search for discarded or rediscovered materials, to be used as an alchemical mixture to improve our creativity.
How can quarantine be a good moment for becoming more conscious and sustainable?
Certainly this period will make us reflect a lot on the fragility of our political, economic and environmental system, the lockdown has stopped many activities. We must contribute more actively to a more ecofriendly and sustainable development, always practice reuse and upcycling!! e
Enough with the disposable and the waste of resources, we invest in ethical projects that break down economic and social inequalities. We save not only what is thrown away but also the places, we rethink the territory we redevelop the cities: more nature, more spaces where we can express ourselves, create social environments .... Art can help us, being a powerful mean of transmitting greater sensitivity and better attitudes, but all this change can only work if we collectively act together.
How did you create the series of 'the fishes'? What's the inspiration behind it?
The inspiration behind the fishes collection comes from the sea,the summer memories and the curiosity these animals awake in me. In order to get different shapes I used old thermos bottles, you can find amazing ones in old vintage stores. The tails are made out of used plaster scrapers and ladles. To make the heads I used a part of a vegetable mill, metal funnels and a bicycle light; the big round bottons of grandma were perfect for the eyes and finally I cut and painted tomato sauce tins for the fins.
The red devil - The creatures of the deep sea are at the same time elegant and monstrous with large, round, telescopic eyes. They have huge mouths and are able to glow in the dark, they seem to me from another planet, perhaps the moon.
I started from a red piece from a tool they use in the countryside to spray plants and used it to build the body. After that i wanted to recreate that grotesque aspect. A wooden ladle gave the mouth the perfect expression, then I used cutouts from tin cans and i painted them to give more movement to the scales and fins. A black glass marble is the protruding and deep eye. To make it more realistic I just needed to add that little "bait" they use to attract the preys, which I added, using a chandelier cutout: A baroque touch never hurts !!
The suckerfish loves reefs and lives in shallow waters, which it keeps constantly clean using its long muzzle and small cylindrical mouth to suck the most stubborn dirt that lurks between the rocks: nothing is harder to eliminate, not even the oil stains !!
How did I build it? I thought that an old blue water bottle was perfect for the body, suitable for containing the liquids and substances it aspires. For the muzzle I have adapted a metal lampshade, the eyes are made with bottle caps and buttons and finally cut, shaped and colored tin cans to make the fins and the tail.
How did you create 'the robots'? What's the inspiration behind it?
I love robots !! as a child my favorite TV shows were Japanese cartoons full of steel technological heroes ready to defeat evil and save the Earth from the threat of monsters. I also read many science fiction books and comics and so I decided that one day I would build my own robots.
Calamity Spritz - In the whole galaxy you will not find a robot faster than her to shoot spritz and cocktails: she is famous for that!! It all started when I found two old spray paint guns in the landfill: how wonderful!!
I had read the legend of the gunslinger Calamity Jane so I decided to build a cowgirl robot. A beautiful blue glazed pot was used for the body, for the arms, that hold the weapons, I got two supports of the trunk of a car, that the mechanic was throwing away. Two electric insulators in resin are the legs and give the design the taste of an old science fiction film , and the head is an ancient nebulizer to make sparkling water also called seltz, with a nice metallic turquoise tone. The eyes and the big eyelashes that give more expression to it are made with buttons and a coffee filter. Finally, a nostalgic knob disassembled from a gas oven is pinned to the chest like a sheriff's badge.
Mokazinga - He will always defeat his enemies, no matter how big and strong they are!!
I am very fond of this robot that combines two passions of mine: coffee and Japan. The first one is already part of my DNA. I used the base of an old moka, the Italian style coffee machine, to build the armor. To make the head, that reminds of of a samurai helmet with the crescent moon symbol on the forehead, I used an upside down coffee filter holder. The claw-shaped hands are two teaspoons, for the arms, legs and feet I used old hydraulic pieces in rubber, aluminum and iron, finally his central eye is a button.
Forckettone - When i did my first robot art exhibition he was the face on the posters to advertise the event , what a star!!
He is a unique character with a retro' aesthetic, like the toys from the late 1900s. The inspiration came when i found in a basement an old wooden carpenter's vise, it was still in good condition and I wanted to use it for the body and the legs. The screw that opens and closes the mechanism already seemed like the gear that would make him walk. Now I needed dated pieces to maintain that antique look: for the head I used the oxidized headlight of a bicycle and turned it upside down, the eyes are brass bolts, the arms are the rusty springs of old mattresses and the hands two silver forks, that's where the idea for the name came from. At the center of the body, once again the coffee maker filter.