This artist showcase highlights the life and work of Italian artist Claudio Parentela.
When did your interest in art/creating begin?
Oh …. a long long time ago ….. ever since I was a child I drew strange threadlike beings with huge eyes, who fought each other in unpredictable and gory ways. I always liked to experiment, invent, create with everything, looking around, collecting objects, stones, ropes, threads …. cutting, coloring, gluing, sewing, never knowing what I was doing and where I was going with what I was doing. New doors were always opening up, new worlds …. a kind of continuous, elusive, untranslatable catharsis … a serene refuge, a tower impenetrable to others, accessible only to me, a joyful place to be free … my splendid crystal refuge, this has been art and my creating for me so far.
What is your starting point for each piece?
Absolutely the absolute nothing, believe me, I never know what I will draw or paint, never. In general and always I never program anything …. I don’t like it and I don’t know how to do it. As if by magic, and always, everything happens suddenly on the canvas or on the sheet of paper …. lines, points, shapes, colors …. everything flows suddenly, automatically, joyfully and frantically, a chaos that recomposes itself and everything goes in its exact precise place, in total harmony with everything else. I create every day pushed by an essential and irrepressible, vital need … it is a wonderful daily journey inside me, a magical catharsis inside me, in the world, the only way I know and want and that I am, to be in the world, to communicate my knots and my deep voice, to weave an infinite thread full of black and white knots, tangled and unique in their infinite beauty.
Who/what influences your work?
Many different things, similar, distant, very close ….. all my beloved books, the music I listen to, magazines, fanzines, high and low fashion, underground and experimental comics …. streets, sounds people, friends and enemies, my heart my mind in quiet and twisted … tarot cards, which are an ancient passion of mine …. Aurobindo and Mère, Diamanda Galas, Can, Frank Zappa, Shirley Horn, Patty Waters, Walter Van Beirendonck, Valentino and GG Allin, Genesis P. Orridge, Joni Mitchell, Nick Drake, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Cesare Pavese, Virginia Woolf, Joel Peter Witkin,Unica Zürn … so much art and contemporary artists and art and brut artists …. Luigi Nono and Alvin Currin, Fred Frith, Derek Bailey . ..my cats and my garden, my life …. my ever-changing mood.The sky and the clouds that I like to photograph and read in their infinite forms. Art, religions and symbolism of the Far East, shamanism and Taoism … and much more.
What do you hope the viewer gets from your work?
What drives me to be who I am, the reason why I have chosen to create and create without ever stopping, without ever being tired is the desire to be true and sincere with myself. The one that makes me draw every day, my wanting to be free, my desire for freedom, for total freedom, the only way I have to relate to the world is my art. My artistic autism is my being. My being, my strange being in the world is my creating, my creating myself every day with everything I photograph, cut, sew, glue, I color. They’re the only words that I can say and that I know, I don’t know or can do anything else. I would like those who look at what I create to feel my need for freedom, understand that the only air I want to breathe is my freedom, that the only way of life I have chosen is my being and feel free through my art.
What do you think about the term Outsider Art? Is there a term that you think works better?
I think the term Outsider Art is perfect and that it is in tune with what I have said so far and that it fits me perfectly. Outsider Art makes me think of distant worlds, private worlds, hidden worlds, free and inaccessible worlds, if not to those who created them. I also feel like this, and I feel that the term Outsider Art expresses my idea and need for absolute, total freedom. My art and Outsider Art is my fragile and solid and indestructible and inaccessible castle of Crystal with polka dots.
What are you working on at the moment?
As I said before, tarot cards are an ancient and always alive passion of mine. I have always liked to study and paint them. They are a strange and incredible kaleidoscope never equal to itself that always gives me new spaces to work on and to explore. I’m working to my new tarot deck. I have decided that I will title it “The tarots of the fallen child.” And then I am preparing two new exhibitions. Unfortunately we are living dark and strange days, and once again the art comes to my rescue because with my work I can color all the black and the darkness that surrounds me. I hope that we will all be well and soon, everyone, without exception, rich and poor, everyone.
Where do you see your work taking you in the future?
Towards my freedom, towards the completion of my being, towards the complete vocabulary of all my words that I cannot say and that I can say, towards all my thoughts that will fly free from the tangles in which they have always been.