MNGBlog is expanding its culture section and there’s no better way to celebrate than with this special feature on an incredibly talented Italian artist inspired by music.
Fabio Ingrassia, who also goes by the stage name FAODesign, is a native of Marsala, Sicily, with a love of art that goes back longer than even he remembers. According to his parents, though, his art career began at the early age of four. While he now most often works in oils on canvas, his medium of choice, he also creates in graphite and airbrush.
Not only is Fabio a Guinness World Record holder (in 2012, he and 373 of his colleagues achieved the feat of creating the longest painting in the world), but he is also a musician, playing piano, guitar, and violin. Therefore, it is not surprising that he finds his inspiration in the place where the worlds of music and art collide. “Music has a very important role in my artistic being," he explained. "…I try to unite the art of music with that of painting in a single message.”
During the course of his career, he has had the opportunity to work on a variety of music-related projects. From scenery to album covers, he's done it all. A few examples include a cover for the single "Superdisco" by DJ Tumba, a cover for "Our Anthem" remix with Nikka Costa, and an album cover for Romano Anonimo's Five.
As one might imagine, Fabio listens to music while he creates his one-of-a-kind masterpieces. He has a varied scope of favorites that ranges from Guns N' Roses and Bon Jovi to Stevie Wonder and more; and, when asked to name a few songs on his iPod right now--among them Wonder's beloved classic "Ribbon In the Sky"--it turned out we had one in common: “Grande amore” by Il Volo.
MNGBlog loves Il Volo and it is crystal clear that Ingrassia, like so many others, finds incredible inspiration in them and their music. In fact, you might have seen the video in which he painted the 2015 Sanremo-winning Italian trio, which proves that music has the magical ability to manifest in an array of mediums, especially through the hands of an artist who is so deeply connected to its powers. He told MNGBlog: “In my videos where I paint upside down with Il Volo’s song, I tell the story of a great love. Then turning the canvas, Ignazio, Piero, and Gianluca are illustrated, and I end the video saying 'Painting music can be done.'"
Il Volo invited Ingrassia to perform live at their concert on March 5 at Bank United Center in Miami, where painted an inverted portrait of the trio in front of an audience of almost 8,000 people. When recounting the experience, he stated: "Initially I was a little tense because I had to finish the upside down painting by the end of the song 'Life Is Beautiful (La vita è bella).' I turned the finished painting around and the audience exploded in a great and long applause. I think it was one of the greatest emotions of my life. Miami will always be in my heart."
Fabio's trip to Miami was an important step in his career, allowing him to meet many new artists. It was also there, he said, that "I realized that art speaks different languages but that they are all united in a unique message: that of emotion.”
And speaking of that upside down painting technique, or "dipingere a testa in giù," it is now becoming a trademark of sorts for him that is mesmerizing thousands of spectators. Surprisingly, he began painting upside down "by chance" during an art event in Petrosino. On stage alongside his friend DJ, in front of about 1,000 people, he revealed: "...we created a union of music and art. In front of a black canvas, with my back to the audience, I wanted to create a landscape, so with two hands I began to paint. During the performance, I noticed that I was creating a face upside down, so, continuing, I finished and rotated Marilyn Monroe. The audience appreciated my performance so much and since then I began to do it at many events all over Sicily and beyond."
In all this discussion of music arose the curiosity as to which of history's greatest artists and painters impact Ingrassia's artistic vision. He graciously provided some insight:
MNGBlog: Who are your favorite artists/painters?
FI: It’s difficult to say precisely who my favorite artist is. Each has his own style and story…from Caravaggio to Dalì, Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Picasso, Guttoso, Lucian Freud…to more/most recent artists like Corella, painting is like a book--you can’t begin to read it from the end.
MNGBlog: Name three artists you would want to have dinner with.
FI: I would definitely go to dinner with Corella, a Spanish hyperrealist; with Picasso to better discover his cubist world; and with Dalì to understand his genius.
Fabio sells his works all over the world. From the United States to Japan to his native Italy and everywhere in between, he communicates his passionate, music-inspired message with all who listen.
All images courtesy Fabio Ingrassia