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Meet Claudio Parentela

Today we’d like to introduce you to Claudio Parentela.

Claudio, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I am an Italian visual artist and journalist freelance… I am 56 years old, I’m totally and fiercely independent and self-taught. I have been doing this strange and beautiful work for more than 25 years, it makes me feel free real true. I have exhibited my work on many many zines, magazines, and galleries around the world in all these years… For 13-14 years, I have painted and drawn only in black and white with streams of black Indian ink… I love the black ink and its thousands and thousands of shades, they are as the thousands of shades of the soul.

Suddenly then, and naturally I moved to the color and to use and to experiment with everything I had on hand, fabrics, many many different kinds of colors, photos, ropes. In the past four years, I’ve done a lot of photos, mixing my weird’’collages’’in and with the photos, the photography enchants me, and it opens many unthinkable and mysterious doors to my work… I plan absolutely anything, I need first all of much and good music. I listen to everything, then everything happens for magic every time, and every time a wonderful new adventure begins. I never know anything of what will happen but everything happens every time.

Punctually, the magic begins and I can not stop it nor I want. Colors, shapes, lines, knots, they intersect each other and all… Everything finds its place, everything goes in its place, everything goes in another place… Each image blends itself with the next one, every image quarrels and loves with the previous one… Every image loosens the knots of the next, all the images dance, play, cancel, merge themselves into a single image. I love to combine photography and collage together…

First of all, for a creative natural need, a natural evolution of my being and artistic feeling. A crazy and huge love for photography, my love for the white and the black… My passion for the black ink, the need to constantly to experiment in a free, crazy, anarchic way… My will to be always free, myself… The continuous to mingle myself and to mix styles, ideas, things, people, environments, books, magazines, fashion, comics…

In a single gesture, in a single chaotic confused idea. The follow incessantly the flow of my images without restraint, always overcoming my limits and the limits of the medium of the mediums… always merging all ….. always tainting all, pasting and cutting scenes, photos, collages, colors …. I empty and I fill my mind continually… I continually multiply, and I increase my seen countless times with 1000 new and different eyes. My muses and my inspirations, many many; Diamanda Galas, Ghedaliah Tazartes, Can, Sarah Vaughan and Nina Simone… Suicide & Alan Vega, Aurobindo, and the mother…

My beloved tarots, Kundalini Yoga and Qi Gong, Miss Carolyne, Sai Baba, Krishnamurti, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Virginia Woolf, Unica Zürn, Franz Kafka, Cesare Pavese, Derek Jarman, Vivienne Westwood and John Galliano and Moschino and Miles Davis and Ornette Colemann and Shirley Horn, Mickey Mouse, and Asterix and the Sex Pistols…

I like the Renaissance painters, the Byzantine icons and the Sacred art and Andy Warhol, Patty Waters and Joni Mitchell, Genesis P. Orridge & Thee Majesty… Coil, Merzbow, Masonna, Terry Callier, The Incapacitans, Frank Zappa, Boyd Rice, Can, Swans, Suicide, Patty Waters, NOT, Lydia Lunch, Pablo Picasso, Pablo Picasso, and Pablo Picasso… Oh, I love him so much… Tom Van Der Borght, Alexander McQueen, Marc Jacobs, Alexander Wang, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Karl Lagerfeld… Many underground comics, my books, many many zines, magazines… My cats, the flowers from my garden, my travels, people, my friends, the laughters; so much much more again….

Has it been a smooth road?
Absolutely no… Fraught and full of obstacles every day, but I love my ”work” because it frees me, makes me feel real, real, free, myself.

Problems and obstacles? With dealers, publishers, collaborators ….. but not all luckily. There are many and many successes every day. Freedom has a price no?

We’d love to hear more about what you do.
I started this wonderful adventure 25 years ago, alone and proudly alone… I am a painter, illustrator, collagist, cartoonist, photographer… I am known for my very black illustrations and for my crazy and colorful collages

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Oh, I do not like to know things in advance … I do not like to plan anything… I hope, and I want to continue doing what I’ve done so far.

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