Swide’s talent scout and blogging beauty, Tea Hacic-Vlahovic, was minding her own business when two guys shout at her, asking for a lighter. Believe it or not, she’d gotten lucky and spent the evening with Milan’s underground art collective, Nuovi Problemi. Over to you, Tea…
It’s a sweaty day in July and I’m walking home from school when across the street two boys yell at me. “Do you have a lighter?” One is a shirtless Surfer-Hoodrat and the other looks like some dude from Jackass. “Sorry!” I answer. “Is she British?” I hear as I turn around. “I’m Croatian!” I yell back. They smile at me. They’re cute. “Screw it,” I think to myself, as I cross the street. Something’s attracting me to these boys and it’s not just the fact that they’re pretty. I join them outside while they smoke cigarettes and tell me about themselves. Alvin works at a bike shop and his friend Diso is a waiter-but they’re both artists in their collective they call “Nuovi Problemi”. In their free time they make art and fanzines, organize gallery events and concerts (Alvin also plays in a band). After twenty minutes in the sun they agree to go for a drink. We walk to Colonne Di San Lorenzo and find a bar for Aperitivo and I order a Jack Daniel’s while they get plates of free food. The two Milanese locals describe themselves as Post-Post-Post Modern Horizontal Thinkers, and I try to get What They Mean.
How’d y’all meet?
Alvin: I knew Diso from mutual friends in high school. I liked that he was into rap when I was punk.
Diso: We spent a lot of time going to concerts and art shows and exploring new scenes and it became clear that we shared some ideas. So we started Nuovi Problemi.
What’s your work process like?
Alvin: In Italian there’s this saying, to “have your feet in two different shoes.” We have our feet in ten!
I don’t get Italian expressions unless they’re about pizza.
Alvin: We’re busy.
Alvin: Creating situations that represent us!
Alvin (L) and Diso
Your stuff’s kind of all over the place.
Diso: Well, that’s the thing, we love many different scenes but we take something from each one to create something new.
Alvin: Sticking to one thing limits you.
Who’s inspired y’all?
Diso: I love Matthew Stone. He’s really weird and interesting, I saw one of his performances a few years ago.
Do artists get laid more?
Diso: Everyone thinks I’m gay. But Alvin gets groupies because he’s in a band.
Alvin: That only happens on tour.
What’s the future of art?
Alvin: I don’t know. And I really don’t want to know. I live in the present!
Alvin (L) and Diso
Paz De La Huerta once said, “The Present is the only thing that is real.”
Diso: I think the future of art is optimistic.
What’s your current pop-culture obsession?
Diso: I’m really into the Zef Style. I think it’s amazing.
You mean like Jersey Shore?
Diso: No, no. Real Italian Shit.
Has living in Milan helped or hurt you?
Diso: Milan is where we were born, so I feel we have to do things here.
What do you mean?
Diso: Well all places in the end are the same. So it’s good to represent where you’re from.
That’s easy for you to say! What if you were from Boone, NC?
Alvin: We’ve had a lot of luck here. Milan’s good to us! However, it’s important to share your ideas with everyone, to not limit yourself to one place. So given the chance, I’d leave.
Your advice to young artists?
Alvin: Refuse current culture to create a new reality.
What’s your dream?
Alvin: I hope to wake up knowing I can do what I want everyday. I think that’s happiness.
Diso: My dream is to have a Frittata di Cipolle and a glass of wine every night.
Who’s your Dream Girl?
Alvin: Not boring and a little bit autistic-I mean, with her own objective.
Diso: A girl who can make the Frittata Buona.
Alvin and Diso are making a new Nuovi Problemi event this September, stay tuned!
Photography credits - Guido Borso