1. If someone were to film a documentary about your life, how would the story go?
Actually, since my adolescence I started writing a sort of screenplay
of my own life, just like I was aware I was going to shoot it by myself
at a later stage in my existence. Indeed in 2012 I’ve directed a
bio-documentary about my artistic path up until that year.
The opening scenes showed the landscape of the Sangro Valley in Middle
Italy, where I was born and where I currently live. The image of the
Sangro river (from the Spanish word “sangre” meaning “blood”) starting
from the snowy mountains and ending in the Adriatic Sea, is presented as
a metaphor of the inner stream of visions and irrational desires
nurturing my creative quest from childhood to these days. Somehow every
painting, movie, musical composition and novel I’ve created until now
could be defined as a blood cell floating along the mystical side of the
river. Therefore, the topography of the valley could be used as an
allegorical map of my own human and artistic odyssey.
were your biggest triumphs and challenges? What decisions did you make
that shaped or changed the direction of your life? Who influenced or
mentored you along the way?
To be honest I think that nowadays
the fact of being a creative person is a challenge itself. No one will
take your artistic vocation seriously until you’re able to show that
you’re making a living with it. Maybe the biggest triumph is when you’re
completely free to create without being forced to constantly show or
explain what and why you’re working on certain projects. Choosing to not
become a teacher or a factory employee after graduating with honours to
keep working on my artworks, was the most important and daring decision
I’ve taken in my life (however in Italy is hard to make a career as a
university teacher without the support of a family of teachers or
influent people). I’ve always been a self-taught artist. Aside of
the lessons of masters such as Vermeer, Dalì, Magritte, Giger, Wyeth,
Kubrick, Bunuel, Lynch, over the years no one influenced or taught me
anything useful. On the contrary, I must thank every art critic or
professional working in the arts and showbiz who tried to convince me
that an artistic career was a colossal waste of time. In a certain
sense, the sheer amount of art I’ve produced over the last two decades
is even the natural feedback to the defeatism surrounding me. It’s like I
need to create an imaginary world where I can find a shelter from the
nihilism and the brutal pragmatism of contemporary society, allowing me
to give an aesthetic interpretation of the latter.
3. Did you pursue your childhood dreams, and are you happy with where your life is at today?
Being an artist means preserving the playful anarchy of the childhood.
Only in this attractive chaos it’s possible to exert the freedom to
create new rules and aesthetic dimensions. Like Nietzsche once wrote, maturity
means rediscovering the seriousness one had as a child at play. The
artistic activity is the better way to preserve it. Though, happiness
isn’t a term relatable to the creative process. For me the main
motivation of an artist life is to constantly challenge the boundaries
of his own “safety zone”. That basically means living in a persistent
yet voluptuous state of prolific anguish.