1) Alright so thanks for taking the time out to do this interview, can we get a brief run down of who you are and how long have you been in the game? What crew do you rep and how did you get the name Mr. Wany?

I’m Mr. Wany and I started at the age of 12, in 1990 in Brindisi in southern Italy. I tried my hand at Rap and was a decent B-boy in the golden age of Europe (1990-2000) and since then I’ve been a non-stop Writer for 34 years.

Ive gone from graphic design to illustration, comics, and even Sculpture and Painting on various media. I represent for the historical crews TSK, PDB and for the still active crews PUF of which I am a founder in 1996/97 and the international crew of which I am a member HA.

2) You did a previous article with us awhile back and at that time you were getting ready to launch http://www.theamazingart.com for the publisher Whole Train Press. It looks like that is still going on, how has this transformed your journey and work as a artist?  Are the works there all your own work or do you have other artists sell their work there as well?

The Amazing Art is the studio that I founded in 2007 in Milan where I work on projects involving other artists with an e-commerce shop for which we produce or resell self-productions by artist friends and organize our cultural event called “The Amazing Day“. It’s the longest running event of its kind in Italy, as its been going on since 2006.

In 2020 during the lockdown, my good friend Ryo (Rest in peace) and I edited together a book that encompassed its first 14 editions. Inside were pictures and interviews with some of the most representative artists who participated.

3) You mentioned in this previous article that you now live in Milan Italy and work fulltime as an artist, I’m curious how the history of Italian artists has inspired you over the years to become the artist you are today? Do you think the rich history of the renaissance and the many art movements of Europe inspired your current approach to work, if so how?

I paint my first canvases in the second half of the 1990s, But I didn’t do my first exhibition until the early 2000s with a international group exhibition/live performance in Rome with the American artist Chaz Bojorquez and then another one in Milan called ‘AirBrush Show‘.

In 2004 I had my first solo exhibition in Bologna called “25 strokes” An exhibition that combined analogue and digital. In 2006 I started to work with a real gallery in Milan and in 2007 I left my job as artistic director of Dynit (Japanese Anime and Manga House in Italy) to open my own studio in Milan, the atelier The Amazing Art.

In the first years I sold about 130 works. Since then I have been working fully in the world of painting, while continuing my passion for style writing and Hip Hop culture. In 2011, I dedicated my solo exhibition to historical artists who somehow inspired me by doing a tribute portrait in my style. The exhibition entitled ‘One of Them’ will commit me to painting for three years.

After this exhibition, many other solo and group exhibitions followed, moving in different directions. The most extreme being ‘Semiotic of Bboying‘ in which I make a semiotic study of signs left by Breaking. I studied the pictorial and gestural sign that creates every single step of Break dancing. Now I am returning to classical studies for a new solo exhibition that I will take around Italy in 2025 on tour together with my monographic book due out in December 2024.

4) One of the things that  www.theamazingart.com seems to have turned into is these events you will be holding in at the Multifunctional Opera Cultural Center in Milan, Italy. Can you tell us alittle bit about what that is and how these came about? 

In reality, it’s the opposite. The Amazing Day event was born first in 2006 as a birthday party that I celebrated with my “partner in crime”, Blef. At the beginning a party between a few friends which gradually became the longest-running event of hip hop culture in Italy with 100 artists including painters, musicians and dancers from all over the world and an attendance of 3000 people over the three days

This year Amazing Day celebrates its seventeenth edition, on May 31st and June 1st and 2nd at Opera, Milan. Among the confirmed artists Mediah from Canada, Debza from France, Shore from Spain, and many many others… Over the years, around 700 artists from all over the globe have participated such as: Aroe, Roid, Storm, Swet, CmpOne, Mr.Puppet, Reso, Opium, Zeus, Rota, Felipe Pantone, Gary, Pref, Serval, Musa, Dems, Wes21, KKade, Rae, Mind, Blef, Luca Bracellona, ​​Zero-T, Raptuz, Tawa, Verbo, Made, Tres, Dheo, Pariz, Poesia, Zed1, Remi Rough, Vesod, Hunto, Phen and many, many, many more…

So in 2020, during the lockdown, I created the book of the first 14 editions with the publisher Whole Train Press, which is almost sold out. If you are interested, hurry up and find your copy at the link below.

The Amazing Art, on the other hand, is my atelier studio where I promote, create and organize my artistic projects, often involving many artist friends in exhibition projects, prints, projects for brands or editorials such as Ill Fame magazine, or technical projects such as “Roll Art” colours. Paint” or AD event, with an e-commerce site www.theamazingart.com

Which I should renew soon. Stay tuned!

5)  It looks like your role has expanded past being an artist to almost being a curator or promoter of other artists. From what I can see you put a lot of effort in being a part of projects that bring creatives together, was this something that was always a part of the plan? How does it feel to be in this role now as someone who not only creates art but puts the spotlight on other creatives?

I don’t believe much in the artist who is also a curator, as he is too ambiguous as a figure, but I also think that many artists know better than many curators which artist has most influenced this movement with attitude, credibility and skills. Then it’s up to the intellectual honesty of each of us. In reality I have always promoted artists of all age groups or even in some way taught many artists who are now quite established.

I have always organized events, even illegal ones, since the 90s. And I founded my magazine in 1996. I organized exhibitions, calling on curators I considered capable, and wrote projects for brands or social networks involving many artistic personalities. I never felt in competition with them. I think my entire journey is unique compared to others due to my sincere approach, first and foremost towards my personal stylistic research and sharing it with friends and talented artists is priceless. We also get to exchange our philosophical points of view and this leads to artistic growth I believe.

6) Another one of your projects is this RELOADED magazine, can you tell us a little about this project and what inspired it? Do you take submissions from artists, if so how would people reach out to you?

As I said, I founded the magazine in 1996 when I was about 17 years old.

From 1996 to 2004 I published about one volume a year. Then with the advent of the web I stopped. In 2011 I did a collection of Ill Fame sketches in a volume with an exhibition in Milan or contest or exhibition projects during the AD event.

In 2022, fed up with looking at work from my cell phone, seeing people posting trains with their face in front of them or new generations struggling to get the right references, I decided to start again with the magazine project calling it Ill Fame Reloaded.

Everyone can send their best material in high resolution here: [email protected]. But be warned, the selection is ruthless and even though there are 150 pages there is no room for crooked or badly done photos, regardless of the artwork. We prefer to publish individual artwork, with a bit of background, done to the best of your ability and at maximum resolution. Thank you.

7) What is your favorite documentary or book that covers the history or major players of graffiti and why?

Certainly, the work of Martha Cooper and Haenry Chalfant was instrumental with ‘Subway Art‘ and ‘Spray Can Art‘ in getting some amazing works into our hands and to the general public. Also the magazine IGT, but I have only seen copies in person recently.

In Italy we were lucky with the book “Graffiti in New York” by Andrea Nelli and “Arte di Frontiera” by Francesca Alinovi but especially for “Style Writing from the Underground ” produced with the magazine Aelle and edited by Phase2 who lived in Italy.

I particularly like “Mascots & mugs“, I was lucky enough to see the documentary premiered at the cinema and the book of “Wall Writers” by Roger Gastman in New York in 2016. I remember that occasion well, as I was able to meet Taki, Snake, Bama and many other pioneers in person.

Surely there are a lot of interesting books out there right now along with many other authors or artists. But some I don’t like. I won’t say they are useless, but maybe less interesting and others done badly by clueless people and done just to ride the fad of the moment and speculate on it.

8) What’s your go-to hip hop artist to listen to while you’re working? Who would you say is underappreciated in either hip hop or graffiti that deserves more recognition?

Usually when I work I listen to classical music like Paganini. As far as rap goes, there are many unknown or totally underground groups of very different genres. I listen to older stuff but also to recent rap music as well. Especially in Italian, I prefer stylish rap but with breakdowns and metrics and fresh productions. I still love music that has a message and songwriting as if it were a poem with even complex and polished vocabulary.

Some favorites of mine:
The Doors, Megadeath, System of Down, Gil Scoth Heron, Commodores, James Brown, Rakim, Beasty Boys, Bone Thugs’n’Harmony, Yela Wolf,  Jhonny Marsiglia, Claver Gold, Lanz Khan.

9) For those coming up, what kind of advice do you give? Do you think you have to give your heart and balls to it in order to get good, or do you think it’s ok to be casual about it?

I believe that everything we want to express is within us. We have to look for the expression that best represents us and makes us feel good. Not conforming to movements of thought or standard ways of writing is a piece of advice I would give to the new generations. Also to try to have real and sincere points of reference I think is important in this moment, where the huge amount of things you see on the web confuse and mystify the historical perception of the movement.

10) Thanks again for taking the time out to chat, Any shout outs you would like to give? Where can people follow you and purchase your work?

There are a few galleries I work with, but I am always looking for dedicated and serious galleries with whom I can work on good solo and group exhibition projects.

In recent years I have deliberately participated in very few exhibitions. I take part in more institutional exhibitions in museums and with already listed or historicized artists such as Andy Wharoll, Dali, Picasso. I will soon have works exhibited at the Mambo museum in Bologna. 

Right now I don’t want to publish many of my artworks on the web, but if I decided to do so I would certainly publish them on my website wanyone.com or theamazingart.com

But the best thing for me would be for you to come to my exhibitions or visit me in my studio in Milan. You are all invited from now on. Thank you for giving me space and see you soon.
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