Meet 24-year-old Giovanni Contardi is a visual Artist from Italy who’s officially represented by Gallery 104 in New York. He’s known for creating portraits using hundreds of Rubik’s cubes (roughly 700) using each single piece of the cube as a pixel to create an image. He shares his work on Instagram and now it has been seen by millions of people around the world, including being shared by celebrities like Will Smith, The Rock and Kevin Hart.
Can you give us a look into your background story?
Giovanni: At the age of 14, I first learned how to solve a Rubik’s cube, thanks to a high school friend. Since then, I fell in love with this puzzle, and started practicing everyday – trying to improve my solving times. I later found out about official Rubik’s cube competitions, and through my Speed cubing career, I’ve achieved more than 60 National Records, 9 European Records and 3 World Records – the most recent one being solving a Rubik’s cube One – Handed in 9.43 seconds (Rome – 2012)
What made you start creating portraits with Rubik’s cubes?
Giovanni: After years of practice, I wanted to apply the skills learned into something more creative – rather than spending 3 hours a day trying to improve my times 0.1 seconds at a time.
I had already seen other people try to create art using Rubik’s cubes, and because of my competitive nature, I wanted to fully explore this form of art and become satisfied with my results. My first full size portrait was ’The Scream” by Edvard Munch, that I made for a high school project in 2012/2013. After moving to Melbourne in 2014, I bought my first set of 700 cubes and started practicing with Rubik’s cube Art – spending countless of hours trying to improve my designs. Later I started uploading on Instagram, although it wasn’t a serious thing until I decided I wanted to fully immerse myself into this, at the start of 2017 – I can now finally say I’m a full time artist.
What advice do you have for anyone who wants to take their branding to the next level?
Giovanni: I am very passionate about businesses and how they work. The most helpful thing in this regards was reading this book called “The Personal MBA – by Josh Kaufman” It gave me a lot of insights about running a business, as an Artist I also feel half entrepreneur at the same time. There was also this video made by Casey Neistat called “How to Be Heard” that talks about how important is to be able to communicate what we do, to reach our goals. It’s almost an hour long, but worth every second.
What is your definition of success?
Giovanni: Big question. I think success is defined by each person’s values in life. Rather than tell you about my personal definition, I think it’s better to recommend this book called ’the Subtle Art of Not giving a F*ck – by Mark Manson “ it has been a great tool over this past year – to understand my own values. I’ve read this book 5 times, and it helps me keep in track with my own path, don’t take it as a bible, it’s simply a logical explanation of things, from a different perspective – pretty cool!
Where can our audience get in contact with you?
Giovanni: You can find my work only on Instagram @jvenb I don’t use any other platforms.
Follow me to stay in touch with all my next projects, 2019 will be big!
You can Dm me on Insta or write me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org I always answer as soon as I can!