donnoh • Artist Spotlight

Federico Fellini, the acclaimed Italian film director of La Dolce Vita, known for his distinctive style, which blends fantasy and baroque images with earthiness and realism was born in Rimini. Another Rimini native is 19 year old donnoh (Luca Donno).

Donno is a generative artist who is fond of minimalism and geometry. He entered the cryptoart scene when he began to create and upload art onto KnownOrigin at the end of 2019, with 77 artworks sold to date, he is already recognised for his talents within the growing community.

How does a student in Computer Science at the University of Bologna merge his interests in mathematics, philosophy, game theory and consensus algorithms into groundbreaking art forms? Without any formal art training, but with a scientific and mathematical background Luca wanted to challenge the 'status quo’, to prove that technical geometric expertise and arts prowess can co-exist.

the feeling of mathematical beauty, of the harmony of numbers and of forms, of geometric elegance. It is a genuinely aesthetic feeling, which all mathematicians know - Henri Poincaré

His separate interests in ‘art’, ’crypto’ and ‘blockchain’ came around the same time. His studies at an IT-focused high school and University brought him into contact with algorithms and generative art. Then, via Twitter he met fellow countryman Mattia Cuttini - who was already established on KO. Mattia introduced Luca to KO and the idea of selling his art for ETH.

Donno uses Processing3 for many of his editions on KO. It’s a flexible software sketchbook and language for learning how to code within the context of visual arts - data, geometry, modularity and algorithms, for example. Luca has certainly found the ‘beauty in numbers’… and we are grateful.

When asked to define his style, Donno confirms, “I started creating minimalist artworks as a personal challenge: how much can be removed from an object while keeping it recognisable?  So, I created artwork like stack, river, woman and sunrise, where geometry became a very welcome necessity. Then I shifted my attention to representing emotions (anxiety, escape, calm, energy) and abstract concepts and ideas (identity, solar wind, creativity, destiny), while keeping my minimalist and geometric style.”

Solar Wind is one of Donno’s favourite personal works. Subtitled, “Fear the Corona”, its roots arise from the coronavirus epidemic at the start of 2020. Many commentators and critics have described their admiration of the work - “fluid and perpetual motion, with no start and end point”, “the Solar Winds emit from the suns crown (corona) in a continually hypnotic manner”, “simply mesmerising”.

Luca appreciates the open and collaborative nature of the KO community, describing it as “not only supportive, but it provides great motivation to be surrounded by great artists and collectors”. His favourite artists include Kjetil Golid , Vansdesign , Mattia Cuttini and Pak . One of his favourite artworks is Golid’s Topollock.

Donno has received plaudits and critical acclaim from fellow artists and buyers too. Jason Bailey ( @artnome ) stated, “Many artists try to stand out by being the loudest (brightest colours, the most shocking images, the most visual details). For that reason, I think restraint is really undervalued in this space. Luca Donno’s work uses a minimal colour palette with mostly earthy tones. These calmer tones make it easier to appreciate the subtle contemplative motions in the work, which I think of as a series of motion studies or meditations.”

Fellow artist Hey Hazmus selected Donno’s Moon in a recent KO Guest Editor spotlight, saying “I love the scale and detail and the simple colours, very natural feeling but mathematical too, it's a satisfying dichotomy, a sphere made of lines”. You might expect such compliments to go to the head of 19 year old artist, but Luca is modest and confirmed that such feedback “is a great honour”.

Luca is excited about the future of Crypto Art, “with so many experiments still to run”.

He is bullish about the prospect that artworks will become more connected to the viewers, via digital art galleries and new formats. Great news for fellow artists, in the near future, he is open to collaborations to test which styles can blend with his own. Form an orderly queue!!

Finally, Donno revealed his main sources of inspiration are those who try and explain mathematical and geometric concepts in a visual way; Matt Henderson, Berger Dillon, 3Blue1Brown, to name a few. There is clearly a love and excitement for Luca to learn new math and computer science concepts which he can use in his artworks.

Life is sweet for Donno and we are grateful for the art he creates and shares.

We would like to thank donnoh for giving up their time to collaborate on this with us. Article by @bjnkemp.