We recently made contact with Luigi Gallo, a digital artist, based in Napoli, Italy, for an interview. His fantastic images of landscapes are beautifully surreal and magically realistic. See his images on http://www.behance.net/GallusCelf. His own website is http://luigigallo93.wix.com/luigigallo-art# and he is also featured on deviantart.
1. How does digital art play a role in your work?
Digital art plays an important role in my field since I’m a freelancer. I deal with most branches of graphics, especially advertising. When the others ask me to do something with digital art I do it because it brings me much enjoyment. I prefer the technique of photomanipulation of photographs.
2. How would you describe your personal vision with the work on your website?
My works consists of photomanipulated images. I take individual pictures of objects or whatever I want, and then shape them and assemble them to create a composition, which can be a landscape, a scene of everyday life, and much more. My style is a bit fantasy, leaving all of the work to my imagination. As regards to the technique, I apply an artistic style, transforming the photomanipulation into something pictorial. Often it is used to make things inherently photorealistic.
2. How is digital art/photography currently impacting the contemporary design world in your opinion? In the next 5-10 years?
Digital Art is a factor in the evolution of art, because it goes beyond; it’s a bit like installations in contemporary art. Everyone can do “art”, knowing a little bit of technique and enjoying the tweaking process on suitable programs such as Photoshop, The rest is up to the imagination and creativity of the individual. The fact that this is accessible to everyone doesn’t mean that it is something less than what are perhaps considered the classical arts. It is a type of artistic communication that is much more democratic, which is much more accessible to all thanks to the Internet. That gives exposure and even fame to artists that live in disadvantaged countries that were once overshadowed. So I think digital art with the help of the web can help to raise awareness of other artistic cultures in a more rapid and simple way.
3. Who are some digital artists that we should all know about (or any flying under the radar)? What are your influences?
Look on the web and there are many really talented artists. Look at Deviantart to see how much talent there is in the world. In my opinion the following artists deserve a special mention. Ben Heine with his “pencil vs camera”, a really brilliant idea with an impeccable realization. Dave Hill is a real champion in this field. I also find Erik Johansson incredibly good and the many artists who use the technique of “digital painting.” My source of inspiration is to observe things, especially nature, but also machines and things created by humans. Everything around me including books and documentaries are a great resource. I do have to thank a great artist, Martin Benes, because he shared many tips on how to adapt and orient techniques.
4. How do you balance digital vs. traditional when making a design?
Digital Art was created on the foundation and the construction of traditional art, so basically I think many artists like myself start from a sketched idea on paper in the traditional way and then carry out the work in digital techniques. The perspective and light is always based on the canons of traditional art. So we can say that digital art lives on the shoulders of traditional art.
5. Can you describe your printing methods for your work?
My method of working is mainly to do a search of stock images suitable for what I create. Then I take each image, manipulate its colors and give to the image a form suitable for the composition. Once this is done, I meticulously put all the objects together giving the right quantity of light and shadow. Then I give the image a painting style and balance the color to unify the composition.