Is a graphic designer, and art director, He is mainly focused on the development and design of visual identities and he works between Rome and Milan.
He graduated in Industrial Design and started his activity in 2001.
Designer published on the ADI Design Index 2008, he was nominated to the XXIIa edition of the Compasso D’oro award
His work has also been published on Wallpaper * (UK), New Graphic (China), Etapes (France), Kak (Russia).
Winner in 2010 at the European Design Awards, recently held a conference at Bern University Arts as part of a series of meetings on type design.
Alessandro Costariol, remote future visual designer
Cinzia Ferrara (Vice-President Aiap)
July 2010
Were it possible to sum up a person with a single term that provides a concise, clear, definitive portrait, the word I would choose for Alessandro Costariol would be “atemporal”. A rather recent term, first used in the late 1800s, an expression of the contemporary condition that recurs in the fields of philosophy and linguistics, marking a sort of seam between the object and time, bestowing on the former a privileged condition that enables it to range across the latter, ignoring its sequence and rhythm and thus gaining an advantageous, detached, suspended position.
Atemporal takes on a meaning that suits him like a finely tailored garment, as it does his works, which conserve a simultaneously ancient and modern savor, at times mixing contrasting aspects, as happens in cuisine when salty flavors unexpectedly harmonize with sweetness.
Alessandro Costariol stands out for his very refined use of illustration, reminding us of the rigor and obsessive precision of Liberty graphics and the works of Kolo Moser; the visionary quality and full forms and colors of Futurist graphics and the works of Fortunato Depero; the continuous contaminations between text and image of Giovanni Pintori and the capacity for expressive synthesis of Paul Rand. But beyond any possible references, his style is hard to define, very personal and – precisely – atemporal, suspended over an entire century of history of graphic design from which to borrow at will, inspired by the works of the great masters who made use of illustration, deriving elements that are grafted and crossed, in turn, to generate a system of mysterious proportions and composition.
His illustrations enliven different graphic projects, where together with the use of lettering (usually designed by him for the occasion) they establish a single but open system, triggering a dynamic balance among the parts in a highly expressive result that achieves hypnotic power in the best works.
The works in which lettering alone plays the leading role are less forceful, as if it had been left to its own devices on the pale stage of the paper, hesitating to launch into a long monologue in front of a demanding audience. But when the relationship between text and image – more graphic than photographic – is restored, everything starts to work perfectly again, in a continuous play of dense, ongoing dialogue between the two.
While photography is seldom the project material in his graphic works, it has a major role in his video installations, where it is always cropped in an unusual way, bringing out the detail separated from its context, in a composition where form and color take on an absolute value, a syncopated rhythm.
Straight and curved lines ranging from thin strokes whose impalpable quality is a reminder of nibs dipped in India ink, rigorously black or in other pure colors like cyan, used with its viscosity for subtle line drawings, to lines so robust they seem to become two-dimensional forms in their own right, brimming with color, relentlessly and almost completely colonizing the whiteness below, are also extremely important.
Of equal importance are his colors, primary, secondary and composite, chosen and combined in an unusual, irreverent way, with that arrogance that comes from a confident grasp of what one wants to achieve, creating a chromatic rhythm that is not obtained by means of reassuring, harmonious sequences of color, but by courageously seeking balance precisely by investigating the themes of contrast and cacophony.
Alessandro Costariol undoubtedly stands out for his inborn ability to design and manage the space of a project, combined with a capacity to gather references and to draw on spheres that may also be distant from that of visual design, such as cinema and literature, not only contemporary but also historical, through those examples that due to their intrinsic, innovative value have been released from a specific time, and travel undisturbed throughout time’s fullest breadth.
Then there are other aspects that could be assessed in his work, like the interesting surreal vein seen in the bestiary created for Massa 29, but I would like to see other examples in his future works to understand if this can represent a dominant note or whether it is simply a random encounter. For the multibrand clothing store made in Martina Franca, in Apulia, he designs specimens of monkeys and birds whose natural colors are accentuated and exaggerated, with stunned, enigmatic gazes, big heads grafted onto geometric collars, like displayed trophies hung on the whiteness of the typographic wall.
In his latest work “Oltredove, Oltre il tempo dove guardare le stelle” (Wherebeyond, beyond the time where one looks at the stars), he displays a maturity that allows his illustrations – an elegant, enigmatic reinterpretation of the fourteen plates of the Apocalypse by Albert Dürer – to take on a life of their own with respect to the entire metaphysical, visionary project. This work conceived and made for the Salone del Mobile of Milan in 2010 by DWA Interior Architecture (Alberto Artesani, Frederik De Wachter) and Alessandro Costariol, presents us with a collection of enigmatic, timeless objects from a place where technology has never existed or has become completely obsolete. The installation is evocative, suspended in time between a distant past and a future to come, composed of a few element whose use is unknown to us or has been forgotten, a carpet woven by hand, certain “useless” objects, two large sieves, fourteen illustrations, two pairs of eyeglasses, a video shown on a small monitor in which we also see images from “La cagna”, the film by Marco Ferreri in which Marcello Mastroianni protects himself from the dazzling light of the Mediterranean with the glasses faithfully reproduced for the Oltredove project. Precisely the glasses, a device of defense and selection, that seem to have been donned by Alessandro Costariol, who looks at reality through two long, thin openings that allow him to crop the gaze according to unconventional proportions, framing small portions of space to offer us visions, through his work as a visual designer, that have the sensation of a remote future.
Works by Alessandro Costariol