“I feel the collage is a wonderful way to know yourself and it opens endless possibilities. It allows me to create with everything that I like and that I find.”
When and where were you born?
Where do you currently live and work?
In my home town of Catanzaro. It’s a small city in South Italy. I have a studio there in my beautiful home, with my beloved garden. I live in a big house and from my study I can see my beautiful garden with all its flowers, trees and my beloved cats. I love the cats because I’m shy like them. While I work, I am always looking to the garden and I also spend a lot of time there playing with my cats. My wife also spends a lot of time in our garden and is always planting flowers in the summer.
Every day, all day – from the early morning I draw, paint, shoot photos, cut and paste photos, paper, and rope. I start my day in my studio listening to music. I need music to focus on my work as it inspires me. I also need good coffee and my cigarettes. I do not ever know what I am going to make, but then everything magically appears on the sheet of paper; colors, lines, knots – all flow like a shamanic trance. I drew and painted for the first 13 years only in black and white with indian ink. I’ve then started using colors and that naturally helped in the creation of my current collage works. I have drawn and I painted for many years. I also shoot a lot of photos. I love photography. I like to experiment with everything. I feel the collage is a wonderful way to know yourself and it opens endless possibilities. It allows me to create with everything that I like and that I find.
Then usually from the afternoon until the evening I’m in front of my computer reading email trying to develop my work and send them around the world. My studio is full of color, books, magazines, photos, materials of all types. I like to experiment with all that I have on hand.
How long have you been practicing your craft?
What inspires you?
My beloved wife. All my books. My love for tarots, Kabbalah, Aurobindo and Mere Osho. My music. Noises. People. Underground comics. Fashion magazines – oh I love them! Movies. Tv. My cats and their loves and struggles.
How would you describe your style /approach?
Anarchic yet logical, twisted, wild, stylish, chaotic, schizophrenic, punx and dada…it’s truly unique because it’s my own style.
What has been a defining moment in your career?
Surely in 1995 when I started this wonderful adventure. It’s been a very courageous, thoughtful, painful, beautiful, fantastic choice. I was reborn in 1995. Before then I did not feel really accomplished and was not truly happy. My career as a professional artist began in 1995. I decided to be myself. I decided to do what my heart said me. I decided to follow myself. I started to frantically draw for many zines. To do exhibitions and to work with so many wonderful artists from around the world. I have never stopped since continuing until today. I have exhibited my works in many galleries around the world, in many magazines and zines, cd covers and t-shirts. I love everything I’ve done and it has been a wonderful job. Some notable publications that my work has appeared in have included: This is not a magazine, NY Arts Magazine, Mung Being just to name a few.
What are your future plans?
On my art blogs I like to interview and discover new artists from around the world. I’m working on two new tarot decks as I study and love tarot. I’m also working on new t-shirts and several cover pieces for a few magazines, in addition to preparing for two new shows for next year. I want to continue to be as free as I am now. Free to draw, paint and experiment. To celebrate every moment of this wonderful life. Freedom for me is to do this; to create all day, every day of my life. Feel free to check my website for updates on these projects and my current work.
Can you leave us with some parting words or advice?
I think it’s important to be honest and true to yourself always, all the rest does not matter.
All images copyright Claudio Parentela. All rights reserved.