In the Studio with the artist: Leo Cogliati

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Leo Cogliati, 1998 - was born in Milan and his research is focused on his personal experience with narcolepsy. His way of seeing and dreaming made him see his life more vividly experiencing everything under a different light. How can humans relate and mold the environment they inhabit using tools and language? This is the mail question at the center of Cogliati's work.

How can humans relate and mold the environment they inhabit using tools and language?

He attended the Art Institute of Chicago and studied audio technology and music for images participating in workshops dedicated to experimental ceramics. What is crucial in artistic vision are the intersections, the tools and the essential. In fact, beingpottery and wood being ones of the oldest human inventions, it is a very interesting tool for Cogliati to work with making his path quite unique.

Leo Cogliati's studio | Courtesy of the artist

What are yur first steps in becoming an artist?
Of course your perspectives must be clear. Also train your mind to be flexible creating connections between different events, always considering the two sides of the same coin. Is a state of mind that is always active, sometimes more vividly ,sometimes less, but for sure it never quits.
I think that it’s not really my job to define myself as an artist. Of course my intentions are clear and I strongly believe in what I feel and what I do, but in the end other people are the ones you’re speaking to. The self, the contexts you act and live in are not defined only by your intentions. So being an artist is not something you decide on your own.

Leo Cogliati's studio | Courtesy of the artist

How do you define yourself in the creative industry?
I believe that the world we live in hasn’t always been like this. Things are always changing and it’s important to dedicate energy by constantly searching for connections and interactions. Being creative is not just about “creating” on a blank sheet, I think it’s more about being able to sneak through existing contexts making connections and finding new ways. It’s about being dynamic and generous with others, building bridges to connect further grounds.

Another side of Leo Cogliati's studio | Courtesy of the artist

What is indispenable while working in your studio?
A screwdriver, screws, ropes, hammer, japanese saw, pliers, paint, brushes and why not a computer and a printer and a near scrapyard.

A detail from Leo Cogliati's studio | Courtesy of the artist

What are your favorite artists that helped you your creative imaginery?
Newspaper rock, Tutankamon’s alabaster vases, Exekias, Choula ceramics, Yves Tanguy, Salvador Dali, Henry Moore, Taapio Wirkkala, Andrè Breton, Alexander Calder, Mark Rothko, Adolph Gottlieb, Erich Mendelsohn, Philip Parreno, Anselm Keifer, Dieter Roth/Bjorn Roth, Jean Tinguely, Blu, BomK, .JPEG crew, Secse (writer), Spiner (writer), 108, The Designers Republic, and many others. For what concerns music I can think of Autechre, Tool, Brian Eno, Philip Glass, Antipop Consortium, Penguin Café’s Orchestra, Boards of Canada, Knut Muller(rhem game), Dominick Fernow, Omar Souleyman, Aphex Twin, Squarepusher, Limp Bizkit, Proc Fiskal, Warp Records, Pan Sonic, Sahko Records, Ryoji Ikeda, Chemical Brothers, Higher Intelligence Agency, B12 and many others.

Leo Cogliati, The Red Projectile, 2021 | available here on Artsted

In light of the beginning of the end - hopefully - of the pandemic, what are your future plans?
I will have a solo show last week of march at ON-OFF, here in Milan. Then I don’t know precisely, I guess I’ll continue my work and research with ceramics, maybe (re)open camera oscura (an audio/video experimental space equipped with a darkroom which I ran starting from summer 2021 with a group of other people). Give a boost to my production (selling, exhibiting, creating networks) and more.

Leo Cogliati, jordan125 series (1), 2022 | available here on Artsted

What is your relationship with social media?
I don’t really enjoy using it, I often feel it’s a kind of obsession. Of course it’s great tool for discovering inspiring stuff all around the world but most of the content is crap. I feel it is getting way too invasive, the most popular ones are designed to make money from users data rather than giving them an open source tool to share and make interconnections.

Written by
Anna Frattini