Giuseppe La Spada

Giuseppe La Spada is an Italian interdisciplinary artist inspired by nature, poetry and sound with a strong passion for systematic thinking.
Particularly known for his engagements on ecological matters, especially concerning pollutions in our seas and general abuses of the water business.

Giuseppe La Spada

Giuseppe La Spada is an Italian interdisciplinary artist inspired by nature, poetry and sound with a strong passion for systematic thinking.
Particularly known for his engagements on ecological matters, especially concerning pollutions in our seas and general abuses of the water business.

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“Water is a moment of suspension, a suspension between ancestral dualisms, light and darkness, visible and invisible, in the flow of this eternal movement that is life.
I have made a lifetime commitment, devoting my life to Water”
“We are turning into plastic, within, and the way we think alike. Endless plastic in the seas are generating the embryo of the future.”

Giuseppe La Spada



Giuseppe is an interdisciplinary artist inspired by nature and sound.
Devoted to Water Issue. The purpose of his research is to make art, sustainability and spirituality coexist.
A 2007 Webby Award winner, alongside Beastie Boys, David Bowie, YouTube founders, thanks to the ecological web project “Mono no Aware”. I
n 2008 he collaborates with Ryuichi Sakamoto and Christian Fennesz in the tour ‘Cendre’, culminated with the show at Ground Zero, New York.
In 2010 he gave life, to “Afleur”, a live show which he also illustrated in a very particular and ecological object-book, that in 2011 was part of Digitalife2 art exhibition, between the works of Marina Abramovic, Christian Marclay, Carsten Nicolai, Ryoichi Kurokawa and many other contemporary artists.
In 2011, with the participation of more than 600 people, he staged an impressive tree in Piazza Duomo (Milan) in order to raise public awareness of the problem of pollution.
In 2012 the video ‘Hana no ame’ with Ryuichi Sakamoto composer for “Kizuna World” project to raise donation for Japan Earthquake victims.
In 2014 his digital manipulation were exhibit in ‘Tate Loud Collective’, in Tate Britain.
In 2015, his artwork ‘Migrants’ was digitally displayed at Louvre, Exposure Award. In the same year in October the artist present at Triennale a Milano “Sublimis”, his interdisciplinary project related with Humans and Water, developed in collaboration with eminent international scientists and artists, as Ryuichi Sakamoto who create the indent music composition “Shizen no Koe”. The same project was presented also in Seaport Museum, New York, in 2016.
Always in 2016 he had his solo-exhibition ”Underwater” at Ecomuseo del Mare, Palermo.
In 2017 he presents the project “In a Changing Sea” at Mia Fair to raise public awareness of the environmental issue of marine pollution.
Now he lives and works in Milan, in a relentless research, embarked as not only an aesthetic artistic mission, but also a truly human and ethic one, aiming to give a real contribution to human society. The exclusive use of natural elements (water in the first place) positions him as one of the Italian artists most  sensitive to environmental issues. One of his peculiar characteristics is the ability to translate communication needs and raw ideas into 360° creative projects, making skilful use of all the different media available today.
He’s member of The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (New
York), Contract Professor at Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera and Istituto Europeo di Design in Milan.


Interview “Giving something back to water” on Image In Progress Magazine, 2017

Q: Before we deal with much more important subjects – which we must talk about, considering the object of your research – I would like for you to tell our readers something more than your biography suggests… I think it is important because it is clear to me that your “creative battles” are personal. There is no doubt that your career has been marked by considerable achievements from the very start. What makes you better than your contemporaries?
GL: “I would not put it in terms of being better. I think there has always been a single-mindedness and the awareness that life is short. So, I would say a great desire to express things that I had inside and things that I saw before others; let’s call it observation of reality, insight, a grasp of the essence of things and willpower.”

Q:In particular, when you are young and are just starting out, some people show off their talents while others tend to keep to themselves and focus intensely on those talents, but with modestly as though they were embarrassed by them… What was your experience?
GL: “My experience has always been closer to the latter. In my case I always consider myself as a student, so I will never be presumptuous. I believe it is also a matter of character, but if you set high standards for yourself, you will always feel inadequate. The greatest people I ever met in my life are very humble and unassuming; that’s the model that I admire.”

Q: As a teacher, how should these aspects be managed in your students?
GL: “Teaching is necessary to learn, at least for me. Every lesson can be a new stimulus, teaching is a mission, to convey values not just technicalities or professional aspects. I do not meet cocky students very often; giving them an overview of things well done from the start helps them
put things in perspective.”

Q: In your opinion, to what extent has your opening to multi-disciplinarity developed, evolved and finally established? I am referring to your mental openness and your ability to address themes in all their facets with an innovative approach, to produce multi-sensorial emotions…
GL:“I still remember the color and smell of the paper in the book “Concerning the Spiritual in Art” by Kandinsky, which described colors and sounds, where the concept of “total work of art” was mentioned for the first time. Then, a computer received at the age of eight, the appeal of the early video games, and having parents that dabbled in photography, painting and philately did the rest.”

Q: I would ask our readers to visit your website carefully, because I don’t think we will be able to answer all the questions raised by the observation and analysis not only of your photos, but especially the totality of your work. In fact, I believe that the creation of evocative photos and videos, interactive exhibitions and related publications – those that I would encapsulate in the word “experiences”– require a planning complexity that is uncommon in the creative sector. What studies or steps have you taken and what encounters have helped you the most to develop this approach to your projects?
GL: “I believe that curiosity, observation, attention to all the other disciplines have been fundamental for my own self-education. Meeting people is the most beautiful things that can happen in life, learning notions that can be systematized may be very interesting and contamination is the true propeller of innovation in our lives. We live in an age where there really is no school that can offer an education that is in lockstep with the times, as things innovate so rapidly that you have to follow them and train yourself, by observing, disassembling, assembling back, adding and mixing disciplines.”

Q: In the way you that “communicate” your work and your single projects, I find a certain sophistication, cultural as well, which is managed carefully, maybe because you do not want to appear ostentatious. I don’t think that your proximity to intellectuals and associations for the causes that you have embraced is a coincidence. How important is it to interact with them to understand from the outside the potential of professions related to art, creativity and communication to explore higher themes?
GL: “I believe that, as Italians, our competitive advantage is our humanistic approach. I believe in the value of the project before it is implemented. I think that we are in part also cultural and social operators with a great responsibility towards the younger generations. My intellectual
journeys are rooted in anthroposophy. Today, the world’s great problems can be solved by tearing down the barriers of disciplines and by opening a dialogue on fundamental themes. Art is the emotional support par excellence to engage people.”

Q: Not everybody has sense of responsibility, especially in such a difficult and competitive market. Is there really room (and the money) to focus on such elevated themes as Earth protection?
GL: “Today the theme is about survival and not everyone is aware. I don’t believe much money is spent on these issues and I don’t even think that this might be the main driver. Money often soils ideals. I am happy there is no money in this sector; there is this large filter and you have the opportunity to meet a large number of “pure” people. Everyone plays a role in society and some are charged with protecting Nature.”

Q: How should these solutions be funded to disseminate such important information and concerns?
GL: “Luckily, today there are many free communication media. Years ago it would have been much harder. It is necessary to deal also with what you have available. An artist has talent and the large number of works that he or she creates. Today, with the digital you can produce a lot. I
decided to create a platform (www.gls.gallery) where many of my works are sold at very affordable prices, also in spite of a higher “positioning”, precisely to have the chance to fund my initiatives or projects of those who work in the non-profit sectors.”

Q: How did your collaboration with Worldrise come about?
GL: “I saw the founder, Mariasole Bianco, on TV. As the association is linked to the sea and pollution, it was natural for me to seek them out, to try to give back something to water. Ultimately, an exchange took place. As a marine biologist, Mariasole gave me material for my research.”

Q: Water and underwater photography have been the focus of Image in Progress’s interest from the very beginning. By the way, we are working to have a dedicated Festival, The Underwater Photography Festival, and I am formally inviting you to be part of the organization, if you want to…
GL: “I am very happy about this project. It is paramount for the growth of this relatively new sector, also to create a space where artists can share their common love for the sea, which is definitely a key driver for those who work with these kinds of photos.”

Q: Out of the many battles to save the Planet, you chose the preservation of water. When did you become aware of this issue and why?
GL: “Being born in a seaside town is something that stays with you forever. That happens also when you are born in water but maybe we tend to forget as time goes by. Dali said that we all long for an intrauterine return. That’s my way to stay close to my roots. However, I experienced true change when I met Ryuichi Sakamoto, the person to whom I owe my artistic growth more than any other. One day he told me “what else can I do for my children other than leaving them better air?”. He is buying forests to preserve them. It was then that I understood that there was another Giuseppe.”

Q: Can you really teach someone to fall in love with water?
GL: “We live in an age where image is fundamental; it is the door to a story, to a perception. Many people are hungry for images and even though they live hectic lives they are unconsciously fed by us, content producers. Image creators write, produce music… have now more than ever a great responsibility: to transfer the love of beauty, ethics and the protection of Nature, of which we are part. I think it is a great privilege to see still so much beauty in the world. To think that everything can change for the worse because of our actions depresses me.”

Q: What other developments do you foresee for your career and your cause?
GL: “All these years I have developed expectations and a sense of wonder for new possibilities. Technology keeps opening new vistas. Inner quest and spirituality add power to vision. These two themes have always been present. I expect to meet people increasingly willing to cooperate and, as time goes by, I will be always fighting for this and other causes, hoping that it will not be in vain.”

You can count on us!

sublimis_laspada_sakamoto_1min version from giuseppe la spada on Vimeo.

Exhibition Lists:

Mare Nero | Palazzo Muzio – Sondrio – Fai + AmyD Gallery (solo)
Shizen no Koe | Museum Oceanographic of Monaco
In a Changing sea | Museum Oceanographic of Monaco – NM Contemporary Gallery (double solo)
In a Changing sea | Mia Fair Milano – AmyD Gallery (solo)
La luna e il mare | Luisa Catucci Gallery – Berlin (double solo)
Mare Sopra Mare Sotto | Acquario Civico – Milano (collective)
Artists4Whale | Forte Santa Tecla – Sanremo (collective)
Underwater | Eco Museo del Mare – Palermo (solo)
Sublimis Preview | South Street SeaPort Museum – New York (solo)
Ab Origine | Porto4 – Marghera (solo)
Sublimis | Triennale Museum – Milan (solo)
Exposure Award | Louvre – Paris (collective)
Tate Loud Collective | Tate Britain – London (collective)
Between VISUAL and SPATIAL | Tokyo Japan (collective)
Underwater | 7.24×0.26 Gallery – Milano Italy (solo)
Digital Life 2 | Ex Gil – Roma Italy (collective)
Sicily goes by | Trump Taj Mahal – Atlantic City USA (solo)

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