Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Artist of the Week

Claudio Parentela

In the months preceding the creation of Orange Alert I found myself reading three blogs on a daily basis. First there was Gorilla vs. Bear for music, then I would go to Largehearted Boy or Book Slut for lit, and then to The eXTra finGer for art. This makes Claudio Parentela one of the inspirations for Orange Alert. He is the founder of The eXTra finGer and seven other art blogs. He is constantly searching the internet and the galleries of Italy for quality, cutting-edge artist to interview.

If running eight blogs wasn't enough Claudio also creates his own work using bright colors, and working in many different styles. He creates portraits using watercolors, collages, illustration, mixed media, and more. His work has been displayed in hundreds of zines and journals and well as various other sites and places. He is a man who is dedicated to his work, and, more importantly to the underground community, he is dedicated the world of art in general.

Recently, Claudio was kind enough to answer a few of my questions

Orange Alert (OA): How would you describe your work?
Claudio Parentela (CP): Intricate nightmares with a punk & avant-garde & alien XXX

OA: You seem focus primarily on portraits and the human figure. What is it about the human face that seems to inspire you to create? Do you work from a point of reference (i.e. picture, model, etc), or are your pieces created on their own?
CP: I think that the face and the human figure are a strange and wonderful source of inspiration. They change continually, they’re never the same, in them happens wonderful alchemy's in every moment. In a body, in a face, I find all the colours and shades I need, all the magic I’ve studied in many books over the years… I create all my artwork without a point of reference… They come all out from my natural creativity and madness…

OA: You also maintain many (8 in all) art blogs that are dedicated to interviewing and highlighting the best the underground has to offer. What inspired you start interviewing other artists? Why 7 blogs?
CP: I don’t know if in the next future I’ll have other again… I do all this for fun naturally, it takes me a lot of time but I like to interview and to know the new artists. Before I started my blogs, during these last years, I had done many interviews on various web and printed magazines. I recently published a few interviews in MungBeing Magazine.

OA: Where do you find new artists to contact and feature on your blogs?
CP: On the web. I pass a lot of time on the web for my work (I’m a professional artist) and for fun.

OA: In your bio you list hundreds of zines and sites that you have participated in over the years. Have you noticed change in the underground art scene in say the last 20 years, either in quantity, quality, coverage, etc?
CP: There is no longer an underground art scene or generally an underground movement… I see and I feel everywhere a gloomy obscure desert… and at the same time I see many many wonderful things and artists in the world… I think that strange things are happening in every sides of our lives, of our poor earth and naturally and as result also in art.

OA: What's next for Claudio Parentela?
CP: I’m working to a series of paintings for two shows I’ll do here in Europe at the end of the summer.

I’m drawing my new tarots’ deck and my new comics’ booklet….and then other things again…

OA: What is the coffee like in Italy? What is your favorite type of coffee and where do you go to have it?
CP: In Italy the coffee is very good in all the regions…here in South Italy where I live the coffee is very strong and good…I drink a lot of coffee. I buy and I consume only biologic and organic food…. also the coffee I drink every day naturally. No,there is not a particular biologic coffee I prefer.

OA: What type of music do you listen? Is there a local band you would recommend we check out?
CP: Generally I listen to all…At the moment, I listen to Patty Waters everyday and all day… I’m totally in love with her music.

For more information on Claudio Parentela please visit his website.

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