My name is Ale, I run since 2004. I started bombing in 95 and I still do it a little bit. I curated, together with M. Klefisch, the “MInameis – writers a Milano” exhibition and some other exhibitions in the previous years.


MInameis is a book but also an exhibition, can you tell us a bit more about it ?

The Minameis book documents the past of the Milano graffiti scene with more than 30 interviews to most of the people that built the city's style (legends like Flycat, Rae, Tawa, Airone and some of the ones who are getting up – too many to mention). It also documents the current scene in a way, as it contains dozens of writer's portraits realized by Alex Fakso and the report of a big graffiti jam (Bovisa in Linea) .

The exhibition (you can see some flicks at ) was an opportunity to collect and show almost every Milano’s name on the walls, a huge quantity of tags, flicks, footages, magazines (some of them are digitized and available for the download here ) and to catch up the evolution of the graffiti-related materials, from spraycans to markers to everything that writes.

catalogo_minameis catalogo_minameis catalogo_minameis
catalogo_minameis catalogo_minameis
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Nowadays there are graffiti exhibitions and galleries which regularly present so-called graffiti & street-artists. But there are not so many exhibitions about hardcore graffiti. Why such a choice?

We badly wanted it. Street art is "sweet", it's often easy to get and to explain, it's friendly and it's everywhere these days. BUT it would have never happened without graffiti.
We wanted to document and explain the true roots of this underground form of communication. Street art makes people say "oh, THAT's pretty! that's art!" as opposed to dirty tags and vandalism.
We wanted to uncover and explain the aesthetics of the worst vandalism, so they can understand this phenomenon that lives and grows in their city since years. Because graffiti in Milan is everywhere and almost every kid in the city paints or painted at least once. It’s “massive”.

And it was crazy and stupid that, with plenty of events dedicated to street art, no research and no thinking were, ever, devoted to the origins: the letters.
Moreover, we wanted to say “fuck you” to the ones who think that tags are bad graffiti and hall of fames are good graffiti, there’s no such a distinction: in our opinion tags, trains, bombing, subways all represent graffiti writing in the same way.

catalogo_minameis catalogo_minameis catalogo_minameis catalogo_minameis
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You had already run street-art exhibitions before, and documented them with one book named Street-virus...

Yes, I had the opportunity to let some artists paint in a publishing studio, Ready-made, in Milano. I chose the people who painted based on their experience in the street: D*Face, Alexone, Santy and the Krudality crew, Rebel Ink had all a strong street background and some of them are still bombing. The exhibition series wanted to tell a story, from the tags to the stickers to the prints, as the evolution of a graphic stroke, of the way you can use to get up.

The book itself is hand tagged (by Krudality crew and Bean One from Rebel Ink), every book is different. It’s an hand-made collectable, printed in 999 copies. We tried to do our best to do something new, with the highest possible quality.

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minameis_expo minameis_expo
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It seems Milano graffiti/street-art scene the most active in Italy, is it ? What about other cities ?

No, it isn’t.
That’s because internet distorts our perception of the scene.
Even if Milano is, without any doubt, a very important city, we are aware of people getting up with fresh styles in many other Italian cities, like Rome (check the website) and Naples, like Venice and Turin, if you are talking about graffiti.
If you’re talking about “the rest”, the Milano street art scene is dead these days. I see very few new things in the street, and the famous people only paint abroad, probably.
Smaller cities are blooming. Check Turin, check Florence, check Bologna and Rome again.

minameis_expo minameis_expo minameis_expo
minameis_expo minameis_expo
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Vittorio Sgarbi is a politician that was communist then joined Forza Italia, he is also an art-critic. It seems to be for the legalisation of graffiti. It sounds quite incredible even from someone controversial like Sgarbi. Can you explain us his point of view about graffiti ?

Vittorio Sgarbi is a showman, he needed a strong theme to drive attention on him, and he found out that he could promote and exploit graffiti easily. So he compared the graffiti in the Leoncavallo squat to the Sistine Chapel , one of the masterpieces of Italian art. He declared that the Leoncavallo hall of fame had to be saved: I can agree with him on this point (a lot of great hall of fames in Milano were buffed in the last years, on the behalf of Sgarbi’s party colleagues).

Now he’s curating an exhibition with randomly chosen artists (from the fifty-years old former writers to the kids with the stickers, from the oldschool wildstylers to the friends of the friends who write poetry in the street) that will paint, on canvas, on demand. The exhibition is held in an institutional museum for contemporary art. The show is sponsored by an art gallery, who will retain and sell the artworks.

I feel that graffiti is being exploited to obtain something else (political or economical), once again.
I feel that graffiti this days is going through a progressive commoditization, it’s easy to have graffiti on-demand if you want them, and the price is often low.
“Don’t they know that graffiti can’t b stopped? Writers, unlike rappers, can’t go pop.” Promoe says in a famous song. The Italian political situation proves that Promoe is wrong.

Who might you say represent the future of Italian Street Art?
Really, I’m not seeing anything fresh these days. Maybe it’s the mainstream that kills art :).
I’m sure that someone powerful will arise in a year’s time, when the hype about this stuff will be gone again. As Dave the Chimp puts it, “Things bloom, then die, and only the strong survive”.
I think the future of Italian vandalism is in its past, people being in the scene since the early 90s and pushing things forward, like Rebel ink, Santi, pane trv , blu, dem and 2501 for instance. Plus, all the people in the yards.

rebel ink santy at readymade street virus book
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You run, are you a web-addict ?

Sometimes I have to work online all-day-long, but luckily I have a First Life account.

What are your favourite websites ?

I like fecalface a lot, I think it’s the bible. Then I check everyday hurt you bad (now temporarily closed), (porn\urbanism) and recently cctv. In italy the miresidenza gallery is amongst the best.
I could waste hours on flickr.

Could you tell us what was the last records you played at home ?

Colle der fomento – anima e ghiaccio (Italian rap), promoe – the long distance runner, and some mixed tracks by 7l and esoteric, jedi mind tricks and ill bill.


to order Mi name is book
more informations at fatbombers



ekosystem march 2007