We’re only days away from the opening and I’m already lit. Not like in a non sober way, but more in an emotional way. It’s been ages since I’ve done a show and this is going to be the second solo of my artistic career. Being away in London was a good time and now I’m fired up being back. There’s not going to be much time for me to paint since I’ll be busy setting up. I know I’ll savour the day when I walk into my own show that’s been set up by a curator and crew. That first look of your work on the walls must be insane to stay the least. Until then, I have no problem running around with nails, hammer, and the pugs as my assistant techs.Zarathoustra III, 2017 – Acrylic, ink, spray on polyester – 140 x 180 cm

London is a refreshing getaway and not because it’s raining all the time. You need to get out of your zone and see what else is happening. I lucked out and got to see my friend’s work at one of his shows. Antoine Langenieux-Villard has been a buddy of mine since we first met back at the academy. We both caused creative disruptions and left the school around the same time. He’s been progressing exceptionally well as an artist and his work continues to grow steadily. I was lucky to see some of his pieces and visit his studio at Saint Martins. Words can’t describe how proud I am of him. He’s in his element. I’ll always remember the days when we’d skip class to get beers and pizza before painting in our own studio in Florence. We were untameable. I personally think we still are, but we’re free now. Antoine is an artist to follow and he continues to inspire me to go further in my work.

As much as I think about the future, I tend to linger in the thoughts of the past. Not in a “should of, could of, would of” way, but more like a historian examining a timeline. Paris was the right choice for me. Everything until now has been shaping me for this debut show in my atelier. College era Armando was still figuring out the difference between charcoal and graphite. University period Armando would be a complete dick head to cover up his fear of uncertainty. Florence Armando needed to just work and be alone in his studio. I feel I’m ready now to take those steps towards becoming who I need to be here. This is what I’ve been learning for.