Beyond The Booth 019: Davide Squillace, the art collector
Beyond the Booth is a feature dedicated to the hidden side of artists that exists outside electronic music— a side rarely discussed with those outside their immediate circle. We venture “beyond the booth,” so to speak, and dive into their deepest passions that tie into their unique personalities. After some self-introspection, each participant then returns to the booth, providing an exclusive mix for the Dancing Astronaut audience.
For the better half of two decades, Davide Squillace has served as a groundbreaker in the house world, building a longstanding reputation for his fierce dedication to the scene and in bringing electricity into each of his sets. His residency at Circoloco over the past 12 years and multiple appearances at notable venues and festivals like Ushaia, Watergate, BPM, and Epizode festivals have driven in his reputation as a DJ and producer who continually pushes his boundaries in the ways he performs and creates music. Crosstown Rebels recently hosted his long sought-after Once Upon A Time in Napoli album, which was praised for its clean production and club appeal. Now, he’s pushing his boundaries further as part of a new electronica supergroup Better Lost Than Stupid alongside his colleagues Matthias Tanzmann and Martin Buttrich.
Squillace certainly has quite the packed musical schedule; that said, he remains committed his other love of visual art outside the studio. A connoisseur of haute art, the producer can be considered a collector by now, and even launched his Blended series as a way to combine his two passions into one. Curious to dig deeper into the other side of his artistry, we invited him onto Beyond The Booth for a discussion on fine art and current goings-on. He also crafted a special house mix for us to enjoy on the side.
Which love came first – art or music?
Actually I consider art as a whole and music as form of art. As sapiens we have always needed music to dance to, images to refer to. We are constantly creating content for our very demanding persona.
How did you get into the fine arts arena, and when did you start becoming serious about curation?
My grandfather was an art collector and so I have always been inspired by my surroundings. In my grandma house as well as there were pieces of art in different forms everywhere, it was maybe a natural process. I’ve never even thought about myself as a curator, but apparently here we are trying to give a meaning to ideas.
Which era of art is your favourite? – ie, impressionism, modernism, etc….
I love the avant-garde of the 20th century including dadaism, futurism, pop art of the 60s but also conceptual contemporary arts.
Is there also a preferred region of the world with your favourite art, aside from your home of Italy? Such as East Asia, Europe, America, etc. Why are you drawn to art coming from this place the most?
I think art from the Anglo-Saxon world. Modern and contemporary art from America and England but I also love the minimal aesthetics from Japanese culture. Modern and Ancient.
On that note, tell us a bit about the first piece of art that you ever bought. What did it look like, and what drew you to buying it?
Guido Schlinkler. Its a bomb shaped sculpture with razors all around.
Now tell us about the piece of art you’ve collected that you’re most proud of, and the journey it took to procure it!
A piece by Fabian Marti. It’s quite a funny story as I bought it from Giangi Fonti Gallery and it arrived with what I thought it was an imperfection on the installation, and I was like FUCK….it happens that was exactly the way the artist decided to install it.
You’ve planted yourself firmly in the art space thanks to your Blender event series. What sparked inspiration to explore the 3D medium? And what were some key components that got this project off the ground?
I have always wanted to create something from the events where I have been playing. I have always dreamt to be able and transform people’s emotions into art. My music, clubbers response and technology would have created the Blender art series. Originally we set up a collaboration with Belgian artist Fredeick De Wilde that is a master in producing data driven art. Then we created a software that was able to read audience data and use it live and interactively in order to output some sculptural forms. Later we had printed the resulting shapes with 3D prints. Today I wouldn’t do the same for Blender. The beauty of the projects is in fact its “blending” quality.
Are you planning to expand upon the Blender series in any type of way, or further explore the use of 3D technologies in your shows?
It is a possibility! Yes, But we are considering to work with the clubbers experience as such rather then develop my very own idea of visual arts.