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From the Mind of Claudio Parentela
Editor's Note: We have recently published several works by Italian artist Claudio Parentela. Born in 1962, Parentela is a multi-talented and completely self-taught illustrator, painter, photographer, cartoonist and collagist. We were curious about the man who creates pieces so perfectly suited to the words and stories we publish here at Quail Bell, so we asked him to provide a short statement about his approach to art. Below is an edited version of what he provided.
"I pursue my art and my art follows me. Together, we mix in infinite and never finished ways. Now, more than ever.
I like the unfinished, the incomplete. It makes you think. It arouses dismay and it leaves you in doubt and that process gives you joy. I love contrasts, the knots of the soul. I like to melt them and to knot them and then dissolve them again and again.
For 15 years, I painted only in black and white with rivers of black Indian ink. I love black Indian ink. I love the many shades between white and black. They are like the shades of the soul. Now I have developed a love for colors mere shades from one another: gray, purple, deep blue.
I love to photograph my emotions and your emotions—the strong, the lewd, the tender, the sweet, the haunting, and, yes, the most twisted of emotions. I love to photograph my installations and my collages. I combine and muddle them in the lens, mixing them into a thousand new and unknown ways. I love to experiment with everything I have on hand, with everything that happens to me, everything that I see, everything that I listen to, everything that I feel that I feel. Photography is my old, long-time, never-ending love. It gives me endless opportunities to express myself and to expand my research, opening doors that I did not know even existed. Those doors materialize in the lens at a precise moment and lead me somewhere new.
In my works, there are traces of Sai Baba, Aurobindo, my beloved Tarots, Shirley Horn, Patty Waters, Nina Simone, Diamanda Galas, Sarah Vaughan, Throbbing Gristle, Peter Green, Miles Davis, Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Walter van Beirendonck, Robert Crumb, Bruce LaBruce, Harmony Korine, Genesis P-Orridge, Vaginal Davis, and others.
I like to dirty my photos with others media—with everything really—to color them, to lighten them, to darken them, to light them. Then I turn them into something else that is not photography, that is not collage. I don't know what it is and I do not want to know."
See samples of Claudio's art for Quail Bell Magazine at these links: