Claudio Parentela is an illustrator, painter, photographer, mail artist, cartoonist, collagist, and free lance journalist living and working in Catanzaro, Italy, where he was born in 1962. Most of his works are painted with black ink on white paper.
“In a state of thoughtlessness my mind is a like a white paper, and each line and brush expresses my thoughts and feelings”, the artist explains. His works can be described as dark, chaotic, dreamy, and sometimes hallucinated, disturbing, freaky and even weird. It was only recently that he felt the need of change, starting off to work as a collagist, which opened new ways of creative outlet. Some of his collages are presented in this post. For more check out his website www.claudioparentela.net.
How would you describe yourself in one sentence?
A crazy contemporary visual artist with a touch of freakish trendy taste!
Are there any personalities that have contributed to your successful career path? Who or what has been the biggest influence on your way of thinking?
First and foremost, my beloved wife. I’ve been heavily influenced by everything around me, in particular all my books, my love for tarots, Kabbalah, Aurobindo and Mèere, Osho. Also my music, all sorts of noises, people, tons of underground comics, and fashion magazines( oh I love them ), movies, TV, my cats and their loves and struggles
How did your art career start? What made you want to become an artist?
It began back in 1995, casually. I started as cartoonist and illustrator, drawing and painting for many, many zines around the world. Most of the time, actually for 14 years, I only drew in black and white with tons of black Indian ink. Black Indian ink is like the human soul really with its many shades. I love the shades between black and white, as they’re like thoughts and feelings. However, after all this time I needed other colors, and to experiment with all I had at hand I started to create collages. It’s not only a funny, creative outlet, but it has endless possibilities. Discovering my passion for photography, I also started shooting in the past years.
What was your favourite project and why?
No one in particular. I love my work, because it really makes me feel free and myself. And I love to create all the time. In all these years I’ve known and collaborated with so many wonderful people around the world. It’s a wonderful adventure every day.
What was the biggest challenge you’ve faced during your career as an artist?
Many, really every day is a challenge with so many problems, but so much joys also. Isn’t it life? The artist’s life is very beautiful and complicated at the same time, but it’s the only life I want.
Do you have a favourite quote that describes what you truly believe in? What`s your personal motto?
’’Creativity itself is divine. Creativity itself is godliness…’’(Osho Rajneesh).
How do you define creativity?
A wonderful continuous shamanic journey…
If you had one advice for someone seeking to live a creative life, what would you tell him?
Have fun, be yourself, have fun, create, have fun, and make money!
What do you know now that you wish you knew at 21?
Oh, of course to go on a skateboard.
Is there anything for which you would be ready to give up your passion for art?
Sure. Right now, all my love for art? I’d exchange it for a big pizza with cheese and a big good beer