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Franco Recchia is a unique artist known for transforming used computer parts into works of art that resemble cityscapes. Amongst other talents and skills, the acclaimed results are achieved using four welding techniques, each performed by the man himself. The Italian artist recently sat down with Agora Gallery to discuss his works, inspiration, technology and more for his forthcoming exhibition to be displayed at the gallery. Recchia’s latest selection of works will be showcased amongst “The Odyssey Within: An Exhibition of Fine Art by Greek and Italian Artists,” which opens December 16 and will remain at the Agora until January 7. Excerpts from the interview can be seen below.
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What was the original impulse behind your idea to use pieces from broken technology to create a work of art?
I always have been fascinated by objects of common use because they were, originally, made by a person who put creativity, intelligence, and passion into designing or making them, from a screw to a complex technological system. In every single piece I come across in life there lies behind it the personality of the person who thought about it and built it.
Where do you get the components you use? Do you harvest them from dead devices or buy them separately? What is your favorite source of material?
I prefer to find the pieces that I put in my artwork in places like trash heaps, where others throw away what they think is not useful anymore; though many pieces have been given to me as gifts. I almost never buy the objects that I use in my creations. The things that I do buy I keep as part of my private collection – they’re not for use in my work.
What would you say is the main message of the work displayed in the exhibition at Agora Gallery?
The message I would like to transmit is passion and respect, both of which are essential to create something of value. This is true both in life, and in work.
Do you have much technical knowledge? For example, would you know how to assemble your own computer?
I don’t know anything about my computer in that sense, I couldn’t reassemble it. I have other people around me who know how to do that. But I know the technology, and it fascinates me to know what is inside the computer, as well as how the individual compoments work – which is obviously relevant to my work because I use the parts, not the whole. It’s like with a car, I drive it, and understand the individual parts, but I wouldn’t start to work as a repair man. But I’m happy with what I do know.