A chat with Giorgio Dazzi
interview Elisabetta Colombo, photo Emilio Bondioli, Giorgio Pigatti
Hello Giorgio, you’re the illustrator of the project “Hannibal Army Project”; can you tell us what your background? How and where did you grow up?
As a teenager I grew up during the late 90’s and its subsquent decline. I grew up among the last punk / hardcore concerts and a skateboarding scene with a pretty brash attitude, I was almost always with people older than me. This has helped me from making a lot of mistakes because I was able to see the actions and consequences of others, and then figuring out what was the best for me. Turin is a beautiful city to grow up in, especially if you grow up in the midst of a rowdy band that was almost ten years older than you. They were the ones who still enjoyed that ascent of punk / hardcore both in music and in skateboarding. Caravans of people going to Marseilles, concerts at El Paso Occupato (an old abandoned building in Turin that an anarchist group turned into a venue) and a whole series of wild adventures. I grew up with a lot of big brothers, living and experiencing every situation imaginable: three months in the van in the Canaries, Portugal and Spain with Andrea Fazzolari, a guy I kind of knew at the time but now is like a brother, or when I lived with Mattia Rossanino and slept on a cot in the living room hidden behind a couch with his dog Cido, trips to Berlin and the spending summers in the south of France.Meanwhile I was sporadically around the environment of graffiti, of course satisfying the desire to tag a couple of trains. I always made ends meet to afford what I wanted to do, between high school and evening courses and some mornings around a hardware shop, I began to turn my passion for illustration into a job, working as an illustrator for a couple of years with a Turin company, “El Santo skateboards” and with some skate magazines. The last time I was living with Mattia I bought a tattoo machine at a convention in Milan, and of course he was my first guinea pig. My everyday experiences are the foundation for everything that comes out in my work.
Where does your passion for drawing come from?
My whole life is inside my drawings. That includes graffiti, tattoos, love and sex, politics and religion, everything. Illustrating has no filters other than those of the observer, and its my method of communication, much more that using words. As a child I was convinced that for me drawing was not a passion, but was characteristic of mine of draw for me was not a passion but a characteristic of mine, a quality, a strength that could help me transform it into a job.
How did the collaboration with Hannibal store come about?
I knew who Fabio was because I had seen him around back when there was xDestroy Babylonx and then later EBLOOD, which sponsored many of the really good skaters of the Turin skate scene and clearly over the years we have always crossed paths in various situations. I have to say that even though we didn’t know each other well, we both had a lot of respect for each other and thought highly of each other. When he contacted me a couple of months ago, I didn’t think we would be doing this. We met in one afternoon in front of Hannibal and got a coffee. He asked me if I would want to work together on a project, and from there we’ve come up with a series of ideas, thoughts going back and forth, and being on the same wavelength, a perfect alignment between the two of us. We both wanted to same thing, our idea was to create something with a strong identity and recognition of belonging is what gave life to “HANNIBAL ARMY PROJECT”.
Why did you choose this name and where did your inspirations for the creation of this collection come from?
Hannibal Army project has a double meaning. The first is a direct reference to Hannibal, one of the greatest generals and strategists in all of history, who inspired Fabio 10 years ago to come up with the name of the shop in Turin. The second is the desire to create a community, a sense of belonging and immediate recognition. We believe in a particular historical period like the one we are experiencing now it’s nice to create something independent, detached from the logic of
mass production and mass distribution, one that goes back to quality, research and real meaning. The collection is a tribute to the origins of streetwear and those subcultures which we are super grateful for. Fabio has a long past and a lot of productive experience with EBLOOD during the 90’s and 2000’s, which he took to really high levels and the idea is just to create a full collection rich with details that create blend of images from that era with a revisited fit and modern taste.