Claudio Parentela creates mixed-media mashups that combine photos, magazine cutouts, found art and other items that he carefully compiles and typically paints upon. However, the Italian artist also dabbles in other mediums, such as crafting art inside wine glasses and creating new forms of street art. PRØHBTD sent Parentela five email questions, and this is what he had to say.
How would you describe your visual style?
Anarchic, compulsive, cool, freakish, fetish, trendy, twisted, knotty, automatic, wild, immediate, pop, dada, dreamy, colorful and linear.
What do you look for in terms of pop culture references when including the image of a person in your work?
The chaos of the contemporary world, its 1000 contradictions, its wonderful and terrible gifts, my emotions when I hear the noises of the streets. I try to isolate a gesture, a look, one, two steps. I catch and I immobilize an instant of a person. I listen to her, I paint her. I take the emotion of that exact moment… any person on any street ... in any city.
Are your works purely visual, or can people find hidden meanings if they pay close attention?
Purely visual. Sometimes, yes, often, I put hidden and not hidden meanings and symbols, runes, astrological symbols, tarot cards, esoteric symbols.
You create art using several different mediums, and I particularly like the art you create in wine glasses. What prompted that idea, and are you a big wine drinker yourself?
I like good red wine, yes. Here in my region, Calabria, we have strong good red wine. About the idea behind the photo, I very much like to photograph and paint drunk people because they are helpless, true, innocent, real.
If someone said looking at your art is like being on a drug trip, what drug do you think it would be?
LSD, naturally not…? ;)