Paolo Guarnaccia aka Johnny Cobalto, is a super prolific and active artist born in 1988 in Italy. His amazing work is full of juicy patterns, devilish figures and captivating colors. He’s easy to find in many collective exhibitions, music festivals, zines and Italian and international illustration conventions (check out filler).
Can you resist the hypnotic, charming style of Johnny Cobalto? I can’t, so let’s get closer…
Welcome to Visual Satiation.
1) Introduce yourself: who’s Johnny Cobalto and how is his life?
Hi there, I’m an illustrator who loves to lay down on his couch all day long. I don’t smoke cigarettes, I don’t drink coffee, I’m in love with a med student and I like tuna on spaghetti and nordic landscapes. My life is pretty good and I’m definitely an happy guy.
2) What collaborations have you been involved with that have satisfied you the most?
It’s always nice to work with Eastpak team. I’ve done with them an illustration for Gay Pride last year and a couple of live painting on their backpacks/store, good guys and good vibes. Then, orking with Filler and Vans it’s every time more than funny and we ends up with massive results.
3) Speaking as both an illustrator and a tattoo artist, why do you think people find it more acceptable to pay for a tattoo rather then for an illustration?
I really don’t know, maybe “people” think it’s more important get something that you can always show and bring with you – instead of hang a print on your wall, in a private space. If you don’t show it, you don’t have it – or something like that.
4) What movies shocked you the most when you were a child?
There was this X-Files episode that shocked me in a particular way: a tiny mutilated indian guy on a homemade cart following people in silence, just standing at them with a sinister look. Creepy little bastard, I didn’t slept for two months. Another one who has scared me af was a very bad movie with Harrison Ford, Michelle Pfeiffer and a corpse jumping out the bathtub.
5) What kind of music can’t you stand the most and what’s the best, current band of the Italian scene?
Well, this question makes me think about how ignorant I am in music facts. I use to listen everything I find. If I have to choose a genre I could vomit on, I’d may answer latin music (“bachata” and stuff like that): it’s so ugly it make me wish to become totally deaf.
6) Why Cobalto?
7) I give you one minute to sketch a portrait of yourself. 3, 2, 1, go!