Pasquale de Sensi is a collage artist who knows how to cut out and glue strange beauty back together. Initially interested in collages for their marginal context he soon discovered that through his work he could recreate entire worlds of elaborate dreams and nightmares.
How did you discover your passion for collage work?
Collage is a medium I found by accident, when I was a student, mainly thanks to concert flyers and self-produced fanzines. During the years I deepened the study of artists such as Max Ernst, Jindrich Styrsky, Jiri Kolar and I did practice in shaping my own method.
I always loved the most marginal forms of expression and collage is the one I find more familiar among underground techniques. From dada movement to punk aesthetic , as well as in many pop artists, you can always find some interesting collage makers.
I am fascinated by the way connections are created by chance, or by the way an image spontaneously shapes itself in our mind. Collage keeps intact the vicinity between conception and execution, eliminating the boundaries between the two. And to a certain extent, the author himself loses his control in shaping his own work. Chaos eventually takes place within the creative process, affecting original intentions and results. As a matter of fact, something surprising happens, in both makers and observers.
What I also like is the sort of irony you can always find in collage, even when it deals with thorny or tragic issues. For example, in John Heartfiled’s photomontages we can see a weird coexistence of both furious and ridiculous elements, creating a mismatching and ambiguous result.
You also do paintings. How similar or different do you feel they are compared to your collage work?
In paintings, usually I work with a more abstract approach, starting from the sign and the gesture. It might seem the opposite of what I do with collages, but I think that the two are closer than one might think. The main difference is in the dimension: collages often are very small and they sort of keep a mysterious nature, like something sketchy and evanescent. In this I find a more real sense of beauty.
What motivates you to create? What are your inspirations?
I find motivation in the desire to transform everyday things, things that both amaze or disgust me, things that excite me or make me feel ill. A precise motivation is not always necessary. Sometimes the motivation comes when the image is already done. It is a sort of language I learned through time, and that periodically needs to be expressed.
Inspiration may come at any time and from any direction. It can be an exhibition, a poster in the street, a conversation or a book that I’m reading, but most of the times it comes from the music in my headphones.
What is your creative process and how do you pick what material you will put together in 1 work?
It’s all very casual in a first moment and that’s the biggest thrill of it. You don’t have a definitive idea of what your’re going to do but you have this deep urge to do it. And the pieces always fit in an unpredictable way. After this first instinctive moment, a more reflective and analytic phase comes, giving a proper structure to the image and the illusion of a possible meaning. I think it’s just the way most of our actions work in ordinary life. Sometimes I already have an idea in my mind and I search for the right pieces to form it, but it’s a very rare case and ultimately the image is less effective and a bit of schematic.
If you were to make a collage portrait of yourself, what do you imagine it would look like?
It would be some kind of fierce dinosaur overwhelmed by flowers.
What is your dream project?
So far, I have three dream- projects: to illustrate a children’s book, to make an album artwork for a sludge metal band and to create a collage big enough to contain the complexity of a picture like “the garden of delights” by Bosch.