Thanks to the Milestone Festival, we have had the opportunity to contact a person who has made drawing a part of her everyday life. Erica Il Cane, gives us a glimpse of her humanity and “animalism” in these words.
Where is Erica II Cane from?
Italy, between woods and mountains.
How did you develop the urge to paint; that first contact with the pencil, the creation of your first forms, the discovery of volume, the necessity for color?
My father is a painter and as far as i can remember i’ve always been drawing. A few years ago i did this exhibition with drawings i did when i was 5 years old, re-drawn now. After that, some friends at MODO infoshop in bologna published a book about it, called ‘Potente di Fuoco’. In that book there’s a connection between the kid i was and who i am now. It all happened in the years in between.
At what stage did you decide to express yourself on the street?
I’ve always felt the urge of doing something that makes sense and in such a compromised reality one very important thing is communication. I thought that working on the street, on a public level, rather than the private space of a canvas or a drawing, was a good opportunity to express and generate communication.
What made you decide to work within these dimensions? Seeing the proportions with which you work, would you be capable of returning to a small/medium sized format? Or would your work lose its meaning?
It’s not really about the size, i just paint and draw most of the time, big surfaces are more fun. I like facing a huge wall, it doesn´t have the same intimacy of a piece of paper but i just want to paint.
From what inspirational sources do you draw from to develop your visual narrative? Stories? Fables?
It’s more a personal thing, memories from when i was a kid, feedbacks i get from the city i live in, or the places i travel to. Friends and stories. It’s all in.
What do you hope to communicate with your work? Does the public’s response concern you? Working with a lot of symbolism, do you think that your art is within reach of the general public?
The general public is usually nice with me, but when i paint i don´t really think about the public, unless it’s a very specific situation where the site and the people of the place gives me inspiration for the subject i´m going to paint.
With your characters, do you try to represent the attitudes of human beings, camouflaged in animal form?
Aren´t human beings animals anymore?
At what point did this go from being a hobby to being your work? How did that transition come about?
I guess it happened randomly, when the world realised they could make money out of these guys, painting in the street we all had an opportunity too. I’ve never really stressed about these things though, as i said, i just like to paint and draw, and do shit… if occasionally this brings some money in, i’m happy to be able to keep doing it and keep ignoring the money issue.
Is there a difference for you in when you paint for yourself and when you paint on commission or at festivals?
Not really. I never paint for commissions, i do festivals around cause that’s a great opportunity to travel and meet people and exchange views, which is the same goal i have when i paint for myself.
How did you meet Blu? Apart from sharing the same nationality, what is your relationship in front of and away from the wall?
We’re good friends. We’ve met while we were students and we realised we had things in common, especially the urge to go fuck around and paint at night.
What’s your opinion about writing/ graffiti?
All good. I find it good fun but i don´t follow it that much. I don´t know if i follow anything lately.
Right now, painting in a public space is penalized and criminalized… what’s your opinion on that?
It sucks, of course. I’ve been lucky getting into this world of people inviting artists to paint and providing them big walls here and there, but when i think about artists that have to risk their ass when they want to do it it makes me sad. Anyway, that’s what i’ve been doing for years (and i still do it actually), and i also love the adrenaline of it. Legality has never been something that got my attention.
You’re now here for a few days to paint at the first edition of Milestone in Girona. How is the experience going? What piece are you going to gift our eyes with this time?
People here is cool and the place is very nice. Still don´t know what i´m going to paint, that gets clear only when i touch the wall and there’s paint i can use.
* Special thanks to Erica Il Cane and Milestone staff for the interview.