Being born at the turn of the century, visual artist, graphic designer and photographer Giuseppe Pettino tells us that “the 90s vibes are my first loss”. Having two sisters with childhoods heavily rooted in the decade who introduced him to pop music and movies, Fruits Magazine, and various other youth subculture trends, Giuseppe didn’t have much choice in becoming completely enamoured with 90s style and aesthetics. Still quite as obsessed with it today as he was then, with his brightly coloured, grainy and fashion-focused collages, the artist and designer has now set himself the personal mission of visually reviving the era.
Despite his recent work being so stylistically developed, Guiseppe hasn’t always been primarily focused on graphic design and digital collage making. He tells us that his main interest, in fact, has always been photography. Starting by taking “simple” pictures in his youth, the artist’s friends encouraged him to take the medium more seriously. Slowly becoming his “whole life” in the past few years, Giuseppe has done several editorials and worked on a magazine cover in 2019. However, in 2020, due to the restrictions of the pandemic, he found himself gradually approaching graphic design. Telling us that at the start of his career he “underestimated the power of social media”, it wasn't until he went viral on Pinterest last year that he realised how powerful the internet could be for his creative progression.
In practice, Giuseppe’s approach involves numerous, detailed stages but, first and foremost, he begins by choosing the photos that most affect him. Then completely erasing the background, he rebuilds it with distorted shapes and colours. Perhaps the most important stage is the final one, in which the artist prints and scans the work, “to obtain the nostalgic vibes through the paper's grainy texture”.
Having now completed work for a number of big names, Giuseppe has definitely solidified himself within the contemporary fashion scene. Seeing the past few months as a period of significant growth, one of the elements the designer has enjoyed most is working as a member of a team, and having the opportunity to express himself in “total honesty”. Discussing a few of his favourite recent projects, Giuseppe leans toward his work with Odda Magazine’s fashion week 21/22 collaboration with Versace. Featuring a full body shot and close-up shot of the model eating a large, decorated cake, in amongst vibrant pink airbrush hues, the artist sees it as a symbolic “declaration against the capitalistic society that devours everything”. But the project that has his “heart” is edits made to the Euphoria star Alexa Demie’s shoot for The Cut x Prada. Using his skills to create an icy style, which makes “contact with her inner energy” the edit gives the images an ethereal, intriguingly severe edge.
With social and travel restrictions easing, Giuseppe is looking forward to his “first love” of photography, whilst not completely neglecting his graphic and visual design work. He’s also recently founded a new fashion magazine Cluts, which he is hoping to expand and develop.
All you can eat for Odda Magazine collections FW 21/22 x Versace (Copyright © Teresa Ciocia, Giuseppe Pettineo, 2021)
About the Author
Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English literature and history, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.