Article: Keith Dougherty
A typical day for underground, visual artist, Claudio Parentela, starts with inspirational music or film to get his creative juices flowing. In his words, “I love my work because I’ve created it every day with so much love, passion and patience. I could not live without my art”. This self-taught artist wears many hats as an illustrator, painter, photographer, cartoonist, collagist and freelance journalist. He describes his work as “freaky, stylish, anarchic, colorful, raw, dreamy, romantic, linear and twisted”. An exuberant mix of emotions, intellect and gender with details enhanced by chaos. Revisitations that smell of Cubism and Impressionism with dabs of dada and pop art”. Inspired by fashion, underground comics, horror movies, old war photos, Kundalini yoga, animals, avant-garde jazz, food and gorgeous flowers, Parentela says he gains further inspiration from the people he encounters and the experimental, electronic and punk bands he collaborates with.
Born in Catanzaro (1962-Italy), Parentela has been creating his striking and eclectic work, full-time, since 1995 and has been very involved with the international underground scene. He tended to draw in black and white for the first 13-14 years with tons of black Indian ink but over the last few years has experimented with color and mixed media. He says, “We’re all different and we mix and share our feelings and thoughts every minute of the day. From all my thoughts I will take one idea and work on it again and again, cutting it and pasting it with a lot of weird materials, hitting it with many colors and black lines”. Cutting and pasting images in new, thought provoking ways, layering photographs with pencil renderings with paintings, his result is always something unique.
Could it all be for shock value, unsimply “riding the contemporary wave of schizophrenia” or just the genuine love of art and self-expression? Whatever the intent, Parentela is on the cutting edge of contemporary art and continues his growth collaborating with Sequoia Tees and turning his art into fashion, exhibiting at the Museum of Porn Art in their 100th exhibition, and pursuing his calling as a professional tarot card reader and creating two tarot decks from his artwork for Tarocchi Evoluti. As he continues to work on some pieces for an exhibition this year in Detroit plus two other shows in the next few months, as well as a new comic book, Claudio Parentela tells us in a recent interview, “I firmly believe that we are each traveling our own path, but this path is one of millions of possibilities for us – each major decision we take and those we are offered but decline, can change our path for another”.