Experiments in symmetry to rediscover the beauty of everyday moments
Interview with Marco La Fratta
Curiosity is a driver for scientists and artists alike. It is the “what ifs” questions that have brought us the most dramatic advancements in science and the most creative works of art.
Artist Marco La Fratta, curious explorer passionate about human creative expressions (as he describes himself), makes of curiosity its main driver for creating art: My inspiration comes mainly from my curiosity, the will to explore and try new things; […] I use photography and filmmaking to express and shape my ideas.
Marco is a true multipotentialite: his quest to explore and try new things has brought him to branch in many fields, from design, art direction, illustration, animation, and, of course, photography — all tools and endeavors that he uses to avoid restraining himself to a single way to convey messages and ideas.
His main profession focuses on Sustainable UX design, motivated by his “sensibility to nature and the will to act along with the environment and not against it,” to understand the impact of humans on climate and to work on optimizing the digital environment to have a softer footprint in the real one. It is possibly this aspect of his life that have inspired Marco on a life-long passion for research, learning and science.
“Science is part of my path of growth, especially the scientific approach to hypothesis and ideas: the continuous questioning and searching for answers, facts, the observation, the logical thinking and the building and experimenting over personal and others’ knowledge, reliably channel my creative side.” Marco comments when asked about his personal connection with science. “Design and science could be very similar: data-based knowledge to experiment and test.”
Science is part of my path of growth, especially the scientific approach to hypothesis and ideas: the continuous questioning and searching for answers, facts, the observation, the logical thinking and the building and experimenting over personal and others’ knowledge, reliably channel my creative side.
This scientific method is reflected in his art. For the Diagonal Scenes collection, featured at Gallery 1064 for the month of April, he wanted to experiment with photography to “create something unique while practicing with a new method using geometry and repeating patterns.”
On the same project, Marco continued: “At first, it was a challenge with myself: I had an Instagram account and I want to create something special with my feed, some repeating pattern that could be endless and every photo communicates with the others. […] After a few photos, I felt like a researcher: I wasn’t looking at the world as I normally do, I was constantly analyzing every environment searching for diagonals to frame. I was thoughtfully observing the world and recording with photos my observations. And the result of my research and exploration is a geometric pattern that creates diverse images and shapes depending on the order, position and rotation.”
As a result, Diagonal Scenes is a surprising artwork, experimental both in its creation and in the fruition by the collector. The two main pieces, Diagonal Scene /1 and Diagonal Scene /2, are a composition of twelve individual images, each featuring a striking diagonal composition across, that combine together to create a larger geometry; the work is portrayed in black and white, allowing us to concentrate better on forms, lights and shadows. The collector is invited to contribute to the creation of the artwork: they can decide to challenge the artist’s choice and rearrange the individual scenes with different and innovative symmetries.
While it might have started as a personal challenge, this aspect of the artwork was very intentional of Marco: “[at the beginning] the pleasure of creating some interesting shapes with the photos was only for me because I wasn’t thinking about printing and giving them to collectors. But I’m more than happy now: everyone could play around with my shots, change positions when they like, find new ways of arranging them. And of course, everyone could try and create their own diagonal scenes.”
This playful element of the collection, inviting the viewer to interact with the shots, creates a level of intimacy with the individual scenes too. The harsh geometrics that make the larger composition are counterbalanced by the much softer details in the scenes, often portraying images of intimate everyday life.
“Every picture has to represent something more than a black-and-white diagonal. […] The overall composition is only the first layer of the scene: each image is a scene in itself.” Furthermore, Marco comments on how the symmetry of the composition is a paradigm for reflecting on different moments of life, even when they might feel insignificant, as equally important: “Some of them are transitional urban spaces, like buildings, parks, public transportations while others are more personal spaces such as a bed, a carpet, windows and other objects. Treating them in the same way, with the same approach, eradicates the differences between places and make them a totally unique environment. […] Every moment could become a special moment if we make it one. And even if it’s normal, is part of the overall composition and there is where the magic happens.”
Every moment could become a special moment if we make it one. And even if it’s normal, is part of the overall composition and there is where the magic happens.
Marco confesses that the project was very intuitive at first, but with time Diagonal Scenes took as a special place in the artist’s life, thanks to “the simplicity, the revaluation of something transitory, ordinary that changes with the shift in the point of view.”
This sensibility to the simple moments of life is a core aspect of Marco’s philosophy on art. “I like the idea that every human (and every creature too) makes art every time they do something “useless”, taking a divergent path.” he writes.
“I’m making (and I’m surrounded by) art since I was a kid. I don’t remember what I ate every single day of my life, it was just food at the end, but I remember the extraordinary taste of my grandma’s pasta. I don’t remember every school exercise but I remember the ones that I resolve in a creative way or the ones that I totally skip, finding other ways around. I remember the pleasure of trying oil paint when I was eleven; the smells of paints and vinyl glue that I enjoyed while crafting little crazy sculptures. The sound of the shutter when my father let me use his film camera to take photos at ibexes on the alps. The wonder of those moments is what keeps me going on the divergent path and trying very different things, trying art in every form possible.”
Marco’s wonder and multi-faceted approach to art and life made him explore multiple paths. He is the creator behind a long list of artistic projects. Il Mecenate Povero, literally the poor patron, is one such project, dedicated to cultural dissemination about independent comic books and graphic novels.
The future reserves even more exciting projects. His love for independent creators and for unconventional art outside the radar of major fine art institution prompted him on a new challenge: to open an art gallery in the near future to give voice to crazy art projects that would not be conventionally defined as art. He is also interviewing people from all over the world for the second season for a podcast about tea culture (In Viaggio col Tè, in Italian language). Marco is also thinking about launching a new podcast to speak about uncomfortable topics (to be called “Sgabello”, the Italian for Stool), as well as branching out of photography for his next art project and starting to experiment with sculpting and engraving using natural elements.
It is comprised by two main artworks of twelves scenes each. However, collectors can decide to acquire the art as triptych or individual pieces. Each artwork is accompanied by a posted featuring the original composition as originally designed by the artist.