The sustainable brand, Ucon Acrobatics, celebrates its 20 year anniversary by collaborating with 20 artists from 20 different countries all over the world for Motif 2.0, a collection comprising of a kaleidoscope of cultures, voices and ideas. Ucon Acrobatics is based in Berlin and upholds values of contemporaneity, minimalism, durability, creativity and functionality. They prioritise transparency on their manufacturing practices and promise to never exploit people or the environment when creating their unique bags, beanies, and wallets.
Born in the 90s and raised in Lago Maggiore, Italy, Marco Oggian is one of the 20 voices of uninhibited expression featured in Motif 2.0. His personal work touches on contemporary social issues through colourful illustrations, accompanied by bold existentialist statements. Marco’s recent collaboration with Ucon Acrobatics brings to the fore an elegant yet stylistic collection of poly-chromatic bags, with his signature use of primary colours and geometric shapes resulting in a funky aesthetic. We speak to Marco about X.
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You are a proclaimed multidisciplinary artist, founder of Brutto studio, and have recently collaborated with the sustainable brand Ucon Acrobatics. Marco, one could say you are a modern renaissance man – how do you balance so many projects day to day?
Well, first of all thanks so much for your nice words. I simply trust the people I work with I guess. I'm not saying I have plenty of spare time, that would be absolutely false but I try to not worrying too much about what's going on in the studio to be honest. My guys know what they're doing. Still, I have some time to do my groceries and cooking at night - sometimes (laughs).
Let’s start from the beginning. You were born in Venezia (Italy) and have lived there for the majority of your life, later attending the Liceo Artistico Angelo Frattini, an art school, in Varese. What could you tell us about the period between your infant and high school years? How did you develop an intrigue for the arts?
I was born in Venice but lived the majority of my young age in the Lago Maggiore rivers and it was just amazing. I naturally developed an intrigued for the arts when I was a kid and later a teenager. My mum was an architect and art teacher and we used to go to a lot of exhibitions and openings in Lugano and Milan whenever we had a chance.
In 2010, you had what some would call a make-or-break moment, after you were expelled from your course at the University of Switzerland. Though many people would be demoralised by such a misfortune, you didn’t let that stop you. Instead, you went on to create one hundred and fifty projects in just 10 years! What kept you going?
I prove them wrong.
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Moving on to your other creations, your studio Brutto, which you founded in the midst of a pandemic, is the direct translation of the word ugly in English. Most would stray away from a name tied to such negative connotations, but you embrace it, along with your idea that ugliness is relative and “what is beautiful is bad and what is bad is beautiful.” Could you tell us more about this?
Well, you just said it! In my opinion Brutto is a beautiful word but, just to give you an example, I can't really say it in the right way because of an "R" speech impediment I have since I was a little kid. This means I could choose a good word even if my pronunciation is bad and or vice versa because everything is philosophically relative.
Ucon Acrobatics emphasises every characteristic which is essential in fashion today, including affordability, functionality, and contemporaneity. Who and for which lifestyle would you say the brand is aimed towards?
I don't know, I just really like what they do. I think people love what they do.
Motif 2.0 is a collaboration of 20 artists, each selected from one country around the world, yours being Spain. When did you first come across Ucon Acrobatics?
I came across Ucon Acrobatics back in early 2010 when I was in Berlin. A friend of mine was a huge fan of the brand and we went to have a look at their showroom there. It was really cool.
How did you become involved in this multifarious collection?
I just grabbed the phone and said yes.
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The collection Motif 2.0 is made up of bags, backpacks, and wallets of minimalist design, coloured in earthy shades. The corresponding campaign captures models covered in neutral-coloured body paint, holding stylised and expressive poses which reflect the fluidity and ease of the Hajo, Jasper, Una and other backpack models. The way the campaign is featured on the website looks like a virtual exhibition. What is it that you want to express through the new collection and its campaign?
I think the campaign went beyond my expectations. When I saw the photos, the website and everything I was like damn, this is so great! I don't know if this is what I wanted to express but I don't really care about it, I'm just happy about the work the team has done.
The products are an impressive collision of Ucon Acrobatics devotion to minimalism and elegance, and the twenty other artistic minds which collaborated with them. Your contribution is evident in your use of geometrical shapes and primary colours. What was it like incorporating your style with other visionaries’ ideas?
It's always great. When you can see different hands on the same canvas is always a great thing.
Finally, Marco, what is on the cards for the future? Are you planning on collaborating with more brands or perhaps to expand your personal style further?
I don't know. Tonight is Star Wars night, then I'll think about.
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