Art of The Shepherd: An Interview with Stefano Cardoselli
Our second installment of The Art of the Shepherd interview series is focused on Stefano Cardoselli, an Italian artist based in Orbetello, Italy.
Born in 1971, Stefano Cardoselli is seen as an established career contemporary artist. Cardoselli's creative work was primarily inspired by the 1980s. The 1980s were an era of growing global capitalism, political upheaval, global mass media, wealth discrepancies and distinctive music and fashion, characterized by hip hop and electronic pop music. This had a strong impact on the generation of artists growing up during this era. The fall of the Berlin Wall at the end of the decade signified the end of the Cold War, yet the era was also distinguished by the African Famine. During this time prominent art movements included Neo Geo, The Pictures Generation and Neo-Expressionism, which took a strong hold in Germany, France and Italy.
Stefano has been published with a myriad of publishers such as Heavy Metal Magazine; Simon and Shuster; 2000 AD; Antarctic Press; Bluewater Productions; Devils Due; Independent Legions Publishing; DarkSlinger Comics; Cut-Up Publishing; Markosia; Caliber Comics; and Scout Comics. This list is by no means exhaustive!
Okay…impressed yet? I am. It represents a huge body of artistic activity.
Still…it’s funny, but as I read all that, I feel compelled to tell you about the Stefano I know.
Suffice it to say that we need to keep Stefano supplied with many cups of Joe.
Stefano is also very humble. When I consider how many times he has been published and the publishing houses he has been published by, I am in awe. Yet, Stefano remains utterly approachable and as far away from a diva-like personality as one can be.
Stefano also has a great sense of humor. I tease him all the time about his penchant for drawing ridiculously big guns and for his tendency toward outrageous levels of violence in his stories. He laughs and comes right back with even bigger guns! Gotta love him for it too!
Stefano and I have worked together extensively as writer and editor. I have helped him with English translations of his work, particularly with titles that went on to be published with Caliber Comics (e.g., Live Die Reload and Sunshine Doom 1971) and Scout Comics (e.g., Fish Eye and Planet Caravan) and Cut-Up Publishing (Hell Cross).
Back in 2017, Stefano did a commission for me of The Shepherd. It took my breath away the first time I saw it. Roberto loved it too. It has since become one of our most sought after prints. I am proud to say that Stefano gave me the original which has been framed and is hung in my office.
When Roberto and I conceived of doing a series of interviews that focused on our favorite pieces of art, we knew this piece from Stefano would have to be one of the first.
Roberto: I’ve heard a lot of artists say working with watercolor is unforgiving. Mind telling us your viewpoint on using watercolors?
Stefano: It's definitely not easy. But it's just a question of discipline and trying and continuing to try even if it means throwing everything away at the end of the day.
Roberto: In your artwork of The Shepherd and Legio, I find it interesting that Legio is depicted almost as a smoke that wraps himself around Lawrence in this piece. Anything that drove that decision?
Stefano: I like the idea of the fog which obviously does not have a specific color in itself. I added the color blue because I remembered a film by John Borman "Excalibur" where in some scenes the fog actually colored.
Roberto: Is there a particular element to this piece that you like more than others?
Stefano: The color rendering on the paper, because I used a smooth type of paper, generally for the watercolor you use a rough paper.