Embarking on a fresh chapter within Foscarini’s “What’s in a Lamp?” editorial project, Italian artist Luccico pushes the limits with an unparalleled artistic interpretation of ‘augmented reality’. The sophisticated product shots by photographer Massimo Gardone meet Luccico’s imagination, giving rise to unexpected and surreal narratives. Iconic lamps take center stage, transforming into protagonists in a visual fairy tale.
Luciano Cina, better known as Luccico, is not just an artist; he’s a storyteller who breathes life into the ordinary. With a background in Ecodesign from the Polytechnic University of Turin, his artistic journey began with a serendipitous nickname —”Luccico”— crafted during his college days. Fast forward to 2014 Luccico introduced the #MoreThanAPics project on Instagram: everyday landscapes photographs metamorphosed into surreal using only his fingers, a tablet and some unique fresh strokes of creativity, playfulness, and irony. Thus, a theater is transformed into an aquarium, an asphalt pothole into a polar bear, an oil slick becomes a wild horse, and the colonnade of St. Peter’s is a jazz music ensemble. To Luciano Cina’s eyes, even the most ordinary detail can be turned into a work of art.
Foscarini, trailblazer in design and innovation, discovered Luccico in 2015, marking the beginning of a collaborative journey. Today, this collaboration takes center stage in Foscarini’s “What’s in a Lamp?”— the editorial project that transforms Instagram’s @foscarinilamps feed into a virtual gallery, showcasing both established and emerging artists each armed with a unique vision and artistry, interpreting Foscarini’s collection in ways that are distinctly their own.
Luccico’s series for “What’s in a Lamp?” is a unique blend of photography and illustration starting from six meticulously composed product shots by photographer Massimo Gardone, that become the perfect canvas for his reinterpretation of Foscarini’s iconic lamps. The result is a series of images that invites viewers to explore enchanting stories that extend beyond photography. In this visual narrative, lamps emerge as protagonists, weaving tales inspired by their distinct design stories and features, infused with a touch of his whimsy.
“I’m always on the lookout for little details that connect to my imaginative world —a dream place where imagination knows no bounds. The flexible rod of Marc Sadler’s Twiggy floor lamp became the catalyst for a wonderful fishing story. Every subtle gesture contributes to kindling the flame of creativity, and I aim to always see our surroundings with the unfiltered wonder of a child.” Luciano Cina aka Luccico
Read the interview and immerse yourself in the enchanting world of Luccico’s imagination, where each stroke of creativity breathes life into the ordinary, transforming it into something extraordinary.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your artistic journey: how did “Luccico” come about? When did you start drawing?
Luccico is a nickname from my university days. I was just playing around with my name—Luciano became Lucio, then Luce, and boom, Luccico popped up. As for drawing, it all started quite by accident. When I secured a plane ticket to what would soon become my new city, I was lost in my thoughts and ended up sketching an airplane amid clouds on my smartphone. I shared it on social media, and that changed my life. Almost a decade later, I’m still telling that story.
In 2014, you began publishing on Instagram your “augmented reality” photos, that come to life with your overlay illustrations. When and how did your creative project originate?
‘Augmented reality’ is indeed a spot-on description for the #MoreThanAPics series, born in 2014, because it goes beyond just snapping photos. The idea sprouted from a desire to add something extra to pictures—a message or a thought. I’m always on the lookout for those small details that can act as a bridge to my imaginary world. I enjoy blending everyday scenes with fantastical and surreal landscapes, creating a dream place where imagination knows no bounds.
Your images tell stories through the visual language that resonates universally. In your creative process, how do you develop the narrative, crafting a tale from an image?
I definitely let emotions guide me in the creative process. To find the right inspiration, I observe everything around me. Sometimes, it’s the same subject seen from different angles that sparks my creativity.
The collaboration with Foscarini began in 2015, almost by chance, and is now renewed for the “What’s in a lamp?” project. Six product shots by photographer Massimo Gardone meet your imagination, resulting in unexpected and surreal scenarios. Can you share more about the inspiration behind this work?
Oh, the first collaboration is a memory etched in my mind. For a design student like I was, it felt like a dream coming true. Foscarini is renowned for its originality and innovation, so being associated with such a globally recognized brand is a source of great pride. Massimo Gardone’s elegant photos, marked by a clever and subtle use of light and color, provided me with the opportunity to explore and ironically reinterpret the design of Foscarini’s iconic lamps.
Which illustration(s) in this series do you like the most and why?
I’d say Marc Sadler’s Twiggy floor lamp. Its flexible rod, resembling a fishing pole, was the perfect inspiration for a wonderful fishing-related story.
Your creations require both creativity and the knack for perceiving reality from distinct and original angles. How do you keep your ideas fresh and what serves as your wellspring of inspiration?
Training creativity takes time. I dedicate moments to explore, experiment, and play because through imagination, we can unleash our creative potential. Whether it’s a quick sketch, a stroll through the city, reading something outside my usual genre, or just gazing at clouds—every little gesture contributes to keeping the spark of creativity alive. And I hope I never tire of observing our surroundings with the eyes of a child.
Do you have a favorite subject to draw?
I enjoy sketching paper airplanes as they symbolize the weightlessness of thoughts. Oh, and here’s a sneak peek—I’m in the process of crafting a character that will consistently appear, becoming a familiar presence in my upcoming works.
Do you have a drawing ritual?
I usually draw at night. After a hectic workday, it’s my way to unwind. I try to keep my drawings under 30 minutes—direct, simple, clear, with just a few lines. Anything beyond that makes the message harder to understand.
What does creativity mean to you?
Creativity, for me, is a spark that ignites the imagination and transforms the ordinary into something extraordinary.