Teo Pirisi, aka Moneyless, is an Italian-born artist, who has made the country his home since his birth in 1980. The artist grew up as a member of the 90’s graffiti scene in Tuscany, which he attributes to the development of his artistic identity. Pirisi further devolped his signature geometric style through his studies at Multimedia and Communication Design at Carrara Fine Art Academy and Isia in Florence, respectively.
By combining his graffiti and fine art backgrounds, the artist has been able to develop a unique style of geometric art. This year, he was involved in a cultural exchange project with Mark Lyken that involved painting murals for two weeks in their respective hometowns in Scotland and Italy. Also, Pirisi has worked with the Katowice Street Art Festival, Wooster Collective, and Converse.
No matter what surface his work takes, Moneyless is always striving to explore different ways to interpret dimensionality. While he grew up as a text-based graffiti writer, Moneyless has adapted to creating geometric paintings and yarn installations because, as the artist says, “I wanted to undress the letters from the alphabetical presence. My efforts were intended to abandon the symbolic meaning of the letter.” In these installations, Moneyless still strives to engage unused spaces, just as he did while spray painting on walls. Utilizing wire to anchor the yarn he uses to make his sculptural shapes, the artist is able to engage these spaces on a three-dimensional level. The shapes he forms jut out into space and also thrive in environments without walls, such as forests.
Within his geometric forms, the artist not only breaks away from the limitations of his graffiti background, but also explores the meaning behind these forms. The philosophies that support the artist’s abstractions can best be defined in his own. When asked to define his artistic journey, Moneyless responds, “The world of pure and simple geometric forms is the course of my endless search, what I carry around as a child, and that nowadays still affects me. I think my route goes towards continuous abduction. I always try to get a certain simplicity and cleanliness, but at the same time, also complexity and fullness. My goal is to always create minimal shapes (at rock-bottom), but with an inner tension, an invisible movement.
My figures often hide a variety of views, different perspectives, hidden in a single structure. In fact, simpler forms can be found inside a seemingly minimal form. Far from being mere collections of lines, my works are not abstract representations, they are always inspired by actual items; those I’ve transformed into idealized and unrealistic elements; non-earthly elements. More than abstract, they are alienated, they live in the world of ideas, far more than the physical. They represent ideas, ideas of reality. My work has begun experimenting with geometry only the two dimensions, using a variety of support, from walls to canvases, from paper to wood. The evolution in those early days was to make gradually thinner the lines of my figure following the solid need of simplification.”
2012: Katowice Street Art Festival, Katowice, Poland;
My Turn, Carmichael Gallery, Los Angeles, USA; Trespass Calendar, Wooster collective, New York. 2011: City Builders Wall Painting, Dresden, Germany; Del Muro Dipinto, Dozza, Italy; Spot Converse Foot Locker Moneyless, Berlin, Germany; Abstract Graffiti (book), Cedar Lewisohn Merrell; Parallels Zelle Arte Contemporanea, Palermo,Italy; Stroke 04 Urban Art Fair, Munich; Indoor Mural Project, 941 Gearey Gallery, San Francisco; Linear Empire, White Walls Gallery, San Francisco. 2010: Wall Painting for Nissan, Italy;Tuscany Street Paradise Collective, Milan, Italy;Slam Arte Urbana in Laboratorio, Viareggio, Italy; Milano Sweet Sheets III, Zelle Arte Contemporanea, Palermo, Italy. 2009: Galleria Prometeo Wall Painting, Santiago Sierra, Madrid, Spain; Moneyless Serate Illuminate, Livorno, Italy. 2008: Pop Disaster Limited, No Art gallery, Milano, Italy; Festival Margini, Livorno, Italy. 2007: Where Is 107, Trento 107, Milano, Italy.
Sourcess: Information and texts compiled by Rhiannon Platt from the artist's website (www.moneyless.it); an artist feature on Graffuturism from 2010; and an interview from Elitism Style, 2011.