Interview with an Artist

It is our pleasure to publish on our blog interviews to people we admire.

Last summer in my hometown, Lido, just near Venice, I met my old school friend Emiliano Donaggio and it was a surprise to see how we both established a creative career.

Funny enough we both loved attending  art classes at school. I went to visit him in his atelier, and we had a genuine catch-up chat over a good glass of prosecco.





What is the first piece of work you can remember making?

I created a huge amount of art works, nearly three thousands: paintings , installations, coats, shoes, motorbikes, furniture, drawings and notebooks and more. My goal is to transform the every day object in art works.

Looking back, I can see that every single piece was important, it was part of my journey, and all my work together allowed me to be what I am today.

However, if I have to pick one my personal favourite one, it is a copy of the painting Sant’Anna, la Vergine e il bambino ( Saint Anne, the Vergin and the child). I made it around the age of 17 years old, a challenge after my intense 5 years study on Leonardo . It is jealously kept in my study and I do pray in front of it to help me to face the hard times.


img_4545How did you get into making art?

Since I was born, since my first breath, my world it is only art. It is far from common people, and completely different from standards logical schemes, not understandable for many, but perfectly meaningful and logic for me.


What are you favourite materials to use?

No-one, and anyone. Anything that surrounds me. I love experimenting. I like to work on the objects that attract me and which they “call on me” .


There’s an obvious inspiration of Basquiat in your work, how did you start to feel inspired by him?

It is like if we have been working together, in parallel, just, with 20 years of delay. I find in my paintings notes and signs that only he and myself, can know what are about. It is like magic.


Why do you do what you do?

I do what I do, to live, breath and tell w ho I am through my work. I simply couldn’t do anything else. It is like air in the lungs. Inspiration runs in body, it reaches my brain, my heart, to be transmitted to my hands, which they express the work.


How has your practice changed over time?

Every thing changes continuously. Mostly my own desire to improve, challenging myself constantly, transform myself, to study and understand what I do and to enter the path which it will hopefully give me one the gift of knowing myself for what I really am. An artist which loves what he does more then his own life.


Your work is very moving, have you ever thought about using different mediums to represent your work?

Positively, my work is always evolving, evolution that thanks to the variety of the material and medium I use, will never stop. I can see in the future new topics coming up: feelings, family and true values, those one we often forget about.


What jobs have you done, other than being an artist?

I have done plenty of small works, to have the chance to keep on working on my research.

I worked at washing water taxis with one my architect friends, replenishing sneak distributors, I distributed phone books and I taught. Which is what I love most. I deeply enjoys to share my experience and researches to the younger ones to inspire them, to let them into my world, I wan them to learn that they have to believe in what they want to do, that they don’t have to never give up on themselves and their dreams.


What memorable responses have you had to your work?

Well I had plenty of them, but my favourite it is when someone, looking at one of my works will say, “ah, look this is a Donaggio’s”.


Where’s your most inspirational place?

The place where I receive the most of inspirations is my studio.



You said Venice is the hardest place to make work, why is that?

Yeas, Venice it is the hardest place to work, because despite is high creative and artistic potential, it doesn’t allow the artists to be visible and to display their work.

Venice is becoming a golden display, shining outside and rotten inside.

It will shine only of the glory of its past.

It is not its fault, just the management at its back, likes it this way.


Nice catching up with you Emiliano, I hope to have the chance to collaborate with you closely, and thanks for the beautiful bag, I will always bring it with me.

Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.
Website Subscription