Featured Artist: Joetamponi
Joetamponi’s bold style is a startling mix of the outrageous and the hilarious. The brightly-colored graphics showcase elements of skateboard culture and make you feel like you’ve traveled back in time to 1994 in California.
Although from Italy, he is fascinated by California and its culture. He imagines living there and spending his days surfing, skateboarding, and creating art. In fact, he recently traveled to California with his brother and says, “I loved the kindness and the overall mood” of the people. He even jokingly confesses to meeting a “girl in the cookie shop” who he hasn’t been able to forget. To him, California is “paradise”; he can’t deny the allure of the culture, the art, and — possibly — the girl from the cookie shop.
Joetamponi would love to have had the chance to visit California in the early 90’s because it is “very important to feel surrounded with what you love, when you create art.” He shares that his work is inspired by the culture surrounding “skateboarding, surfing, and punk rock feelings.” He is especially interested in the skateboard artist family the Phillips, the tattooist Mike Giant, as well as, the illustrator Aaron Horkey. He admits that their creative work is the perfect reminder that a “human being has no limits.”
He believes that “creativity is a very hard concept” and that he is always looking to the world around him for creative inspiration. However, he’s found that — for him — music is the greatest motivator. He confesses, “in a world without music I would never [have] touched a pencil”. He also believes that an artist must follow the design in whatever direction it goes, rather than trying to control it. However, if the art is leading him nowhere, he always goes for a ride because “skateboarding is an incredible source of inspiration” or he goes surfing because it is “a mix between adrenalin, spiritual energy, and fun.”
For him, art is a way to express that feeling of “fuck you” when you are overwhelmed by life and its insecurities. He shares, “everything that happened, good or bad, could be turned in something good for someone else” and that art is what makes that possible.