Who Am I ?
1: Who am I?
I like to define myself as a storyteller.
2: What do you do and what project are you currently working on?
I started my career by making films and screenwriting. Eventually I became a film critic and culture reporter and I’ve always cultivated the visual arts as an artist. I’m extremely fond of words and they are the nexus to my multiple activities: I love to play around with them, and to discover new and old vocabulary. As a matter of fact, my paintings and mixed media pieces are ‘material puns’: the title of each piece is an integral part of what I’ve arranged on the canvas. I love the idea of creating a visual and semantic kaleidoscope. Currently I have some of my paintings at Ward Nasse Gallery in SoHo.
3: Where are you from and where are you going?
I’m Italian, but I attended a British school in Milan so I feel that the UK is equally my homeland. Due to the international environment I grew up in I consider myself a world citizen: I’m an addicted globetrotter and I love to interact with different cultures. My life soundtrack will always be Walt Disney’s “It’s a Small World.”
4: Who is your biggest hero?
Elizabeth II. At the age of 14, during World War II, she made her first radio broadcast during BBC’s “Children Hour” to support her country. She also became Queen when she was 26 and she married for love. She’s a great leader who always has kept a great sense of propriety in sync with the times.
5: What book is your bible?
One book alone is hard to pick, as I find it difficult to choose a single author. I love the classics and I love the theater. Amongst the playwrights, Tennessee Williams is the one I adore. I love the way he portrays the vulnerability of his characters and how he instills in them such disquieting truth. Needless to say I too have always depended on the kindness of strangers.
6: What are some things you love? And some things you hate?
I love how really accomplished people, those who have achieved success and recognition, don’t forget how hard it was to begin and how they are thus always kind to fledgling talents who ask them for advice. I hate latecomers.
7: What is your raison d’être?
8: What is your favorite color?
Think pink! Fuchsia mostly, but I also adore teal and periwinkle. I love a touch of rhinestone, as I’ll go for anything that sparkles.
9: Who is your favorite comic book superhero?
Signor Bonaventura. It’s an Italian comic strip created in 1917 by Sergio Tofano. In the comic, this funny character goes around with his little dog and always manages to overcome any troublesome adventure with great success. What I love about the wording of the comic is that it is always in rhyme.
10: What is your favorite NYC hot spot?
It used to be the Knitting Factory on Leonard Street, before it closed down, but any place where there’s a good jam session always galvanizes me- the subway actually has incredible performers. The underground world of New York is almost a parallel city. It’s fascinating to explore people’s behaviors underground as opposed to what happens up in the realm of skyscrapers.
11: What turns you on?
Chocolate. I confess I’m an incurable chocoholic…any rehab to suggest?
12: What would the last question of this questionnaire be if you were the one asking?
Chiara Spagnoli, born on Saint Valentine’s day, graduated in political science, and has a masters in screenwriting and production and she studied acting at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in New York and Los Angeles.. Her work in the entertainment business embraces radio, television, and film. As a film critic and culture reporter she is member of the Italian Association of Journalists. As a visual artist she produces mixed media paintings that recall a neo-dada influence, as she often uses ready made materials for her conceptual artwork. In the course of a couple of years she accomplished various solo and group exhibitions in Milan, Rome, Venice, London, and New York. She directs and produces short films, one of which was inspired by of her work, “L’Autoritratto”(The Self-Portrait). The main thread that connects the incredible variety of materials she places on canvas is the use of word play. Puns are the tool she adopts to mock contemporary art, our times, herself, and those who take themselves too seriously.
Questions by PMc Magazine
Edited by Ceara Maria Burns
Photography by Federico Ferrantini / Courtesy of Chiara Spagnoli
Design by Jillian Mercado
Contact Jillian Mercado if you’re interested in becoming a “Who Am I?”
Chiara Spagnoli, Rome 2008, Photography by Federico Ferrantini / Courtesy of Chiara Spagnoli