Illustrator, cartoonist, musician, with a fluid style that over the years has often changed its formula with a more pioneering than adaptive spirit. He has already marked Bullfrog with his ink, giving life to unique productions, a meeting between his distinctive irony and the aesthetic taste of barbershop. We interviewed Dario Maggiore, formerly Bullfrog Artist 2019, to ask him how an artist is doing in these difficult quarantine days.
What is your typical quarantine day?
Nothing special. Unlike what everyone is recommending us, such as training or eating well, I prefer to spend time with my children. I mostly take care of them and between one thing and another, I put in some jobs when I can. They are six years old; there is a lot to do! Then with video-lectures and homework, – he explains me smiling – it ends up they absorb me all day. This is my typical day: I am a full time dad. Obviously, as soon as I can, I try to draw. I am carrying out some projects, also started in quarantine, which are taking a lot of effort. In short, I try to be concrete: there is not much time for laziness. I try to make the best use of time, without taking for granted that as soon as everything is over, there will be the same certainties in life.
What are your sources of inspiration now?
My sources of inspiration are always the same. I can’t say I changed references in quarantine: I always rely on my background. I noticed though that if I have to do a new job, maybe I’m kinda guided more by melancholy. Right now, I let myself be inspired by the old days, by the things that are no longer the same.
How did quarantine affect your work?
That’s what I’ve been finding out just in the last few days. The impression I have is that demotivation had the upper hand over me, probably because it is a natural consequence of what we are experiencing. I try to put a limit on reading the newspapers or the media in general, because they are truly alienating, yet the heaviness of the whole situation has pervaded me. The way I approach the white sheet now has changed. Now there is almost a fear in doing things, so that you don’t waste time, because in this situation you have to be effective, concrete. It is not a pressure given by the typical deadlines or the novelty of a project, but precisely by the uncertainty of my future. I’m just a lot less relaxed working and with a different concentration. I am in a hurry: my last works have been one-shot, without drafts. At the end of the day, I try to see the bright side. When it is all over, I will probably continue working in a more direct, essential but effective way. I want to consider it as a small growth.
Is there an art form that you rediscovered during the quarantine?
No, but I discovered a beautiful TV series, casually linked to art. Tales from the Loop, a science fiction series inspired by the paintings of Simon Stålenhag, a Norwegian artist just a little younger than me, who makes wonderful oil paintings. They represent immense, snow-covered countryside, where, however, wrecks of perhaps alien civilizations are thrown in the middle. Maybe next to the boy with the car from 80s, you can find strange geometries, huge illuminated towers, and technological spheres. The series is very suggestive and also melancholic. My wife says I am insensitive, because I never cry during movies, yet this series has destroyed me: it touches delicate buttons. I can assure you that in this period it is very dangerous: if you are not mentally prepared to take a hit of melancholy, it kills you. Aesthetically, however, it is a hallucinatory experience.
What is the first thing you will do as soon as the quarantine is over?
I hope to hag my parents and brother. And of course my friends too. I would really like to reunite the family and be together, even for my children. The rest will come.
What is your relationship with Bullfrog products?
Aside from the indispensable Agnostico, which has miraculous effects on the skin under the beard, I discovered the perfect combination of Delicate Cleansing Fluid and Energizing Scalp Lotion. I have a very sensitive scalp and I must say that these products are excellent for those who, like me, are looking for something delicate and soothing. I also used Super-fixing Shiny Pomade, now there is no more need, especially because I cut my hair very short by myself!