What is the best thing that I love about my work? The complete freedom to express my visions and needs. To go deep into Art through all its languages. Try to go over Death through the Eternity that Art pursues.
What is my idea of happiness? Feeling in peace with all the things that I’ve created in this Life and I’m leaving to the world.
What is my greatest fear? Death. Losing the people I love.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? My fragile health.
Which living persons in my profession do i most admire? All those who are living with their Art as a real need of expression.
What is my greatest extravagance? For the socioconformity mindset I presume having left a secure job with a very good career position to follow my true self. For me, this is not an extravagance. It is my nature.
On what occasion would I lie? I prefer the truth even if it may hurt.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? To see that being an artist is often regarded as a non-working person. An artist is working in his mind 24 hours a day often with economic survival problems to face.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work? Well, I have some episodes, some events where I felt very happy in my work: in an amazing ancient and decadent building in Turin (Italy) at the first presentation of my new staged installation with plexiglass elements and two real models, in a contemporary ballet (White Lux, 2008). The same project which premièred in a big theater in New York (Primo Toccare, Usa, 2009). My performance in Milan (Italy) curated by famous Italian art critic Francesca Alfano Miglietti (Sinfonia in Rosso, 2015). Me and my handy camera when I shot my first film titled Love In A Dying World in the desert landscapes and ghost towns of California (Usa) through an amazing on the road journey (2016- 2017).
Sinfonia in Rosso – Youtube video – excerpt from the performance
Love In A Dying World – Youtube playlist with the 10 episodes of the movie.
If I could, what would I change about myself? I am not the person to look back in life with regrets. Everything was done at its time. I would have liked to learn to play the piano as a child and devote myself to classical dance with greater dedication.
What is my greatest achievement in work? My satisfaction.
Where would I most like to live? I am in love with the desert landscapes of California and probably of other similar countries like Utah, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana. I am a lot into that Southern Gothic music mood and country western aesthetics which is typical of these places.
What is my most treasured possession? My visions.
What is my most marked characteristic? Creativity.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city? A splendid ancient museum called GAM Galleria Arte Moderna in Milan, with a collection of nineteenth century artworks.
What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city? I don’t have a favorite one. I’m not so much into restaurants and cafés. Don’t care about it. I prefer to use money in other ways.
What books influenced my life and how? Artbooks about the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood held by my mother who is a painter. They have influenced a lot my asthetics in my artworks. Young girls with red or blonde hair and pale white skin have been the subject of many of my photographic, performative or video artworks, like in my articulated work Le Vergini / Sinfonia in Bianco minore (2011-2012) presented under the name of my previous project Corpicrudi (a combination of two Italian words, meaning “rawbodies”). Also, my last performance and related short video titled In Hora Amoris (2020-2021), is dedicated to the real life of Elizabeth Siddal, Pre-Raphaelite muse and poetess.
Le Vergini – Youtube video
Sinfonia in Bianco minore – Youtube video
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? Very beautiful question, quite unanswerable. I love music. I’ve been listening to it since I was born I think (my father is a rock-blues drummer). I think the music I’ve been doing with my partner Nero Kane. We are actually promoting our new album made together (Tales of Faith and Lunacy). And a lot of good musicians who inspired me and us (Nick Cave, Nico, Wovenhand, Lingua Ignota, PJ Harvey just to name a few).
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? Joan of Arc.
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? Great artists from our past. Sculptors like Antonio Canova (I’m in love with The Penitent Magdalene, 1796), composers like Fryderyk Chopin (Marche Funèbre, 1839), painters like John Everett Millais (Ophelia, 1852).
Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime? The Turin Horse (2011), by Hungarian director Béla Tarr.
What role play stories in my life and work? If we can say that every performance, or every photographic series or every lyrics I’ve created is a story, yes, we can say stories play a primary role in my life and work.
What do the words ‘You are the storyteller of your own life’ to me? They sound like a real sentence.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? Myself.
Which people or companies would I like to work with in 2021? Tilda Swinton. I love her as an actress and a performer. The film Orlando (1992) is an authentic masterpiece.
Which people in my profession who can make a real difference in my creative career would i love
to meet in 2021? David Lynch. A genius with his movies and stories. I’m sure he would appreciate my movies and the music I make with Nero Kane. I know it is quite impossible to meet and collaborate with him or Tilda. But if life is what your visions are…
What project, in 2021, am I looking forward to work on? A new music album with songwriter Nero Kane and a new big project as visual artist. And keeping on with my column about Art and Music with Artribune magazine.
Where can you see me or my work in 2021? I’m continuing the promotion of the music album I made with songwriter Nero Kane, titled Tales of Faith and Lunacy and released on October 30th, 2020, a kind of psychedelic folk and dark blues which was compared to important names like Nick Cave, Mark Lanegan, Swans, Nico, Velvet Underground and was listed among the best Italian releases of 2020 by many journalists. You can listen to the music and watch the short film I shot for the album’s launch, made up of different episodes, the first is Lord Won’t Come and the second is Mechthild, which are the two singles taken from the album. A new one should be released soon. In Mechthild the lyrics and vocals are mine. Hopefully we could come back to play live concerts with real audience, which were cancelled due to the pandemic. Also you can see me in my new performance In Hora Amoris at Palazzo Tozzoni with Musei Civici di Imola (near Bologna, Italy), which should be held on February 12th in the amazing ancient rooms of the museum, and in the short video I made (always starring myself) which was acquired in the museum’s permanent collection. I made a poetry reading from the poems of Elizabeth Siddal, muse of The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Hopefully you can meet me and admire my artwork in the presentation of a big collaboration with astrophysicist Valeriya Korol from The Institute for Gravitational Wave Astronomy of the University of Birmingham, and composer Andrea Valle and pianist Luca Ieracitano. This project, titled Einstein’s Sonata, was scheduled to première in Birmingham in June 2020, but it was postponed due to the pandemic, and, as artistic director, I’m trying to organize its presentation here in Italy for 2021. And you can read my column about Art and Music with interviews I made with international musicians for the Italian art magazine Artribune. In 2020 it was a weekly column titled Walk of Muses, in 2021 the new one is Golden Walk of Muses, a kind of monthly appointment.
Lord Won’t Come – Youtube video / first episode of my short film with Nero Kane music
Mechthild – Youtube video / second episode of my short film with Nero Kane music
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? They mean that you go on believing in yourself until you’re dead. And then, who knows?
Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? Valeriya Korol, Ukraine astrophysicist and performer of many of my works. Julinko (real name Giulia Parin Zecchin), Italian musician and poetess. Paola Fiorido, Italian actress, model, art director and curator. Laura Carbone, German musician and singer. Simone Marie Butler, British musician (Primal Scream’s bassist) and radio presenter.
How can you contact me? I have my own website http://samanthastella.com/