Luca Barcellona (Milan 1978) artist, musician, graphic designer, and point of reference for calligraphy worldwide, presents, for the first time, never-before-seen works, a summing-up of his artistic endeavors of the past 30 years.
With Lost in Strokes Luca Barcellona goes beyond legibility, breaking away from the text and the meaning of words, forcing viewers to lose themselves amongst the strokes, free of references.
The graphemes are progressively reduced to single letters in a process of abstraction whose ultimate horizon is the pure beauty of the gesture.
Asemic writing that contains the complexity of de-structured and decontextualized lettering, clear and vast backgrounds, and elements of writing. A compositional process based on the balance of visual weight, the solids and the voids, distributed in space using solely the eye. For the artist, filling in large quantities of text, almost ending up inside of it, withdrawing himself from the meaning of the words and from the gesture itself, becomes a mantra that, through repetition, transforms itself into a profound meditative act.
An immersive experience that is enhanced by a soundtrack produced by DJ Craim specifically for the works on display.
Luca Barcellona, born in Milan in 1978, artist, musician, graphic designer, and point of reference for modern calligraphy worldwide. He was part of the Italian ‘90s hip-hop movement as an MC and as a writer.
Having always loved lettering, he began working professionally as a calligrapher in 1999 in every field, from type design, to letterpress, to engraving, and even experimental virtual reality. Letters are the building blocks of his work, he brings the manual skill of the ancient art of lettering together with the languages and tools of the digital era.
The refined blend of his studies in classical styles and his experience in the world of graffiti writing has inspired new generations of calligraphy enthusiasts. For him, writing is a profoundly meditative act, a means for reclaiming sustainable paces and gestures of the past while in the frenetic race of modern-day life.
He’s done lettering for major fashion and clothing brands, albums, films, theaters, and books (and on an Absolut bottle), and has received important commissions from museums.
Since 2007, he’s been teaching calligraphy at “Associazione Calligrafica Italiana” and in important design schools (IED, NABA, Domus Academy), since 2017 he’s been a lettering and calligraphy teacher at Raffles Design Milan. He’s held workshops and conferences worldwide: USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Turkey.
He’s been in solo and group shows in various European galleries, his works are part of the permanent collection of Akademie der Kunst in Berlin, the State Archives of Zurich, and the Harrison Collection in the San Francisco Public Library. An important part of his work is the live writing performance, which he began in 2003 with the Rebel Ink collective together with Rae Martini and Marco Klefisch, he has even performed in a theater with the pianist Cesare Picco.
He’s an avid collector of vinyl, jazz and rare soundtracks, which he uses in his DJ sets and on the blog Wax Up!.
In 2012 he published his first monograph Take Your Pleasure Seriously with Lazy Dog Press, the publishing house he is co-founder of, while in 2021 he published Anima & Inchiostro with Utet, an essay which is a veritable act of love toward lettering.