Interview with Lorenzo Di Mauro
Who are your main influences as an artist?
Classic Pinup Art has been part of my imagination almost always. When I was a boy, in Italy, barbers were used to give clients, as a present, small scented calendars with Vargas and other classic master's pinups. So Pinup Art met my growing curiosity about women. I was dreaming of pinups and trying to draw them.
I love vintage Pinup Art, above all Gil Elvgren. Sure he has had a great influence on my art, even if I give my paintings a personal rendering that comes from the many years that I worked as a freelance illustrator in the advertising industry.
I was always inspired by the masters of the Italian Renaissance and also J. C. Leyendecker, Norman Rockwell, Frank Frazetta, Boris Vallejo, The Hildebrants and Hajime Sorayama, just to mention the most important to me, but there are others.
Can you tell us about your career?
I draw since I was a child, when I started doing it professionally, next to comics and commercial illustrations - mainly in advertising - I also painted my first pin ups.
I started with brushes and airbrush, creating comics and illustrations, and freelancing as an illustrator with Italian subsidiaries of the most important international advertising agencies. At that time the advertising industry in Italy was offering alluring chances of financial reward and professional recognition. My time was booked up doing mainly hyperreal illustrations. Later my rapport with advertising remained quite intense, but I was no longer having so much fun. I got curious about multimedia and I experienced the creation of a number of interactive CD ROM, including a series done for DeAgostini, and animations for internet. Now I got back to the creation of pinup paintings, digital painting, since now I substituted traditional brushes with the graphic tablet.
How would you describe your style?
Normally, inspiration is an image in my mind which I try to secure on a rough pencil sketch. Sometimes the image is already as it will be on the finished piece, some other time there are changes in the progress. I look for the needed photo references, giving space to any improvisation to improve the composition. Though it's realistic, my style is never exactly reproducing the photo references, sometimes models do not even understand which of their photos I have used… in fact, I like taking inspiration and references from several photos and wherever I find what I need to reach the result I'm looking for. So no reproduction of something real, I love creating unreal, dreamy beauties with realistic rendering.
What is your opinion on the cultural climate in Italy?
It 'a question that is difficult to answer in short, there are fields in which the cultural atmosphere is lively and creative, there are others, instead, in which conservatives prevail, hostile to innovation.
In visual arts, categories like illustration in general including Pinup Art are generally undervalued and snubbed by critics in my country.
What is the most difficult aspect of creating effective pin up art?
Not sure to understand your question ... I have no difficulty at all when painting pinups, it's so fun to work on images of beautiful girls with lovely, mischievous expression... but if you're referring to the difficulty of finding market in my country, I would say so, I find more appreciation in other countries.
If you like nude women, you'd better check: this