Friends talk about Lorenzo’s home as a den: a tiny surreal, chaotic, almost decadent space, where you can smell creative ferment and projects almost ready to be shown to the world, surrounded by notebooks-walls, books, travel memories and ocean view.
Shortly before our meeting, Lorenzo asked me to postpone for a few minutes to settle home. While waiting, I enjoy a cappuccino at Zinqué, breathing the surfer and hippie-bohémien atmosphere of Abbot Kinney.
Lorenzo makes me way up to the first floor of a typically californian housing complex, whose apartments with thin doors follow one another on a single long, narrow balcony.
Slow gestures, casual but tidy look, calm and reserved attitude of Lorenzo make the space around us look even more surreal.
His creative world instead is a wonderful chaos of magazine piled up, art books arranged on the shelves with the cover frontally oriented – always looking for visual inspiration – New Yorker covers hanging on the wall, world maps, sketch and travel scraps; sheets, ideas, drawings and photos as a brain-storming for his next project all around, even if you look up on the ceiling.
Huge backpacks are lying on the floor: I wonder if Lorenzo has just back from a journey or if is about to leave for one of those trips with no return date (I will soon find out a big life changing for him ).
Three windows on the virtual world and one on the Boardwalk as a personal workspace.
I feel like an intruder in such an intimate place, that seems like a piece of the artist’s mind more than a real space.
“It’s a mess”, he says, as if he is saw it for the first time too.
“It’s perfect”, I answer. This is his world, his purest, inner essence.
Lorenzo Fonda is a director, an illustrator, an artist who loves to bind together different kind of media such as film, animation, comics, installations, murals, photographs and writing.
He is an artist who choose to live on the touristically chaotic Boardwalk, because from the window you can see the ocean. And because just in front of his house there’s one of the most beautiful skate park in the world. Being a skateboarder definitely his art.
Lorenzo understood his passion for drawings and videos as a kid. He studied in Modena and at the Fabrica, a creative factory in Treviso, where he learnt how to give shape and achieve technically his ideas. His family understood right away his being an outsider, and decided to support him.
Lorenzo decided to fly to New York to show his work. The journey has apparently no concrete outcome, but Lorenzo returns to Italy and started working hard to refine his style and grow as an artist. After a year he received two phone calls – within a few days of each other – from two agencies in New York, the same where he had the interview: “We are following your work. Now you are ready”
Lorenzo spent a year following the as celebrated as invisible Mural Artist Blu through Messico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Argentina. The synergy between these two artists turn this deep experience together into the multi-award winning documentary “Megunica”.
Afterward he choses to embark on a cargo ship, the Portland Senator, crossing the Pacific Ocean from Los Angeles to Shangai. 17 days sailing that Lorenzo turns into a short-film: “10 things I learned about the sea”; Profound. Terrific. Restful. True.
Lorenzo work in personal projects as well as in commercial works with clients like Nike, MTV, Alfa Romeo, Converse e National Geographic Channel, Ugg Australia. Jovanotti, Scissor Sisters, Metronomy, Bright Eyes, Jamie Woon, Bernhard Fleischmann and For a Minor Reflection music videos are directed by this eclectic artist.
After five years living in LA, Lorenzo moved to NY: an important step forward for Lorenzo’s career, always being true with his artistic self. His videos are ironic, eclectic and refined. Seems like he is looking for something that only children’s purity can really see and only free mind can really feel.
I lose myself into the story of a life that wants to be lived deeply: his first illustrations, safe in an old folder; the drawing that Matt Groening (The Simpsons Creator ) sketched for him after saying beautiful things about Lorenzo’s work; the story of how he found a bullet hole in is bedroom’s wall and how, living in place without winter, is like living in a no-ending holiday.
I get lost trying to get him to take away a mask he put on his face while I start to take pictures; he explains me that as much he feels comfortable behind the lens, as much he doesn’t in front of it, and I realize that the sun is going down.
Going down the stairs and crossing an italian Venice mural, a huge iron structure is revealing in front of us, cold but with warm and soft curves, framed by palm trees, sand and one of the usual-breathtaking LA sunset.
Lorenzo loves lonely and noiseless places and I couldn’t understood his choice of living in one of the most popular touristic destinations in the world. Now I understand. Actually there’s a weird stillness in this chaos and in the skating sound on the asphalt. You can observe without being seen if you like.
“Temperaments that possess a feeling for the sublime are drawn gradually, by the quiet stillness of a summer evening as the shimmering light of the stars breaks through the brown shadows of night and the lonely moon rises into view, into high feelings of friendship, of disdain for the world, of eternity. The sublime moves, the beautiful charms”. Immanuel Kant