Beautiful girls in elegant and unique environments are Claudia Ducalia’s specialty. This painter and tattoo artist has a very distinctive iconography of female faces and bodies that link childhood to adolescence, as they travel from an unconscious cruelty to an instinctive sensuality.
Coming off a high from The London Tattoo Convention 2017 and planning for the group exhibition she is participating in dedicated to Twin Peaks, join Claudia as she explains her inspiration, her journey, and her dreams for the future.
How did your artistic journey begin?
I guess all is started since my childhood, the immense moment of imagination for any human being. I remember my favourite way to express my inner world to people was using my art. My first language, I suppose. Later, I wanted to study and master in the subject, knowing the history, the technique, and my tendency. One unspecified day I decided that art would be my home, my family, my life.
You’ve recently done an appearance at The London Tattoo Convention. What came first tattooing or painting? If painting came first how did you get into tattooing, or vice versa if tattooing came first.
The London Tattoo Convention is the most amazing Tattoo Convention ever, simply the best in the whole world and I’m so grateful for having had the opportunity to be part of it. Anyhow, Painting came first for sure, I started at the Art High School and then Academy of Fine Art in Rome, while tattooing came at the end of 90’s when I was very young, my boyfriend at the time was trying to become a tattooist and told me I had to try as well because of my good sketching. He explained to me something very basic. We made some bad experiments together…then he gave up, but I’m still doing it.
So I approached tattoo art and slowly but surely built this into my occupation and my life.
There are some really nice reviews of your tattooing work and style. What made you want to do neo-traditional, and have you tried other styles of tattooing?
I really love neo-traditional style in tattooing even if I do not know if I can define myself like that… by the way I guess my passion for a particular artistic period between the end of 1800 and early 1900… I’m sure it could have played a role in my stylistic evolution.
Over these years of tattooing experience I actually tried to make some alternative style works, and something decorative or black and grey has been very funny, but my style is not entirely defined, so I’m quite sure that something must still happen.
What are some main themes for your artworks? Either on paper or skin.
My paintings and my tattoos come from the same hands and soul and so they are connected.
Different kind of background culture, different techniques, but connected, inexorably. My iconography is characterized by female faces and bodies, which link childhood to adolescence, as they travel from an unconscious cruelty to an instinctive sensuality.
These images create within myself an internal conflict, alternating the ambiguity of the masks which the world shows us. Often they are accompanied by totemic animals, which are indispensable and essential for my art expression.
There is an upcoming group exhibition coming up that you are involved in. What can you tell me about that? Is there a theme to the show? How many artists are involved? Where is it going to be held?
On January 27, 2018, the Nero Gallery (Rome) will inaugurate a collective exhibition dedicated to Twin Peaks, the famous television series created by American director David Lynch.
The event will involve 30 internationally renowned artists, each of whom will present a work inspired by one of the thirty most important characters in the series. I’m so excited!!
Putting your work up on social media opens it up to a lot of criticism, especially negative. How do you deal with these negative comments?
I’m well aware that staying on social media means being in the reach of anyone: passionate, qualified, amateurs, trolls, ignorant etc…
As far as I’m concerned, I feel so lucky because throughout my career I only received a couple of criticisms, one of which was not about my art but about the nakedness of one of my subject. It was something that I do not understand cause the girl on my painting was less naked than The Birth of Venus… probably this person would also think Botticelli as a pornographer. However, we live in a free world, everyone has the right to express themselves as he pleases, I go on my way.
I have noticed a lot of your work has beautiful women wearing very little. Do you think in the future your work will get more sexual/seductive? Or stay where it is now?
I really do not know about the future; my icons often change but I still don’t know the right direction. I just want to let my muses be free to be what they want to be within my head.
Where do you get your inspiration from? And then what is your creative process after you’ve gotten your idea/inspiration?
My latest dreams, nightmares, nature, books, movies, a lot of music… and great names in the pop surrealism Art and neo traditional tattooing. But anyway… everything comes out of my mind. The process is so simple… I close my eyes, I feel that moment when the idea is coming, is like a waterfall, unrestrainable, and so I sketch the first imprinting image, and then I put the vision on the right material using the most suitable technique that usually is oil on canvas.
What visions/dreams do you have in regards to your artwork, career, and life in general?
I dream of a world in which everything is meaningful only to those who thrive in the face of others’ emotions.
Has anything negative happened in your life that has shaped the way you are today? Are there any nightmares you go through/have gone through to create your work?
Absolutely yes. I could not create anything without the black memories that generated the dark side of my mind. As our monsters grow with us, so does fear of confronting it. Many people said that we should fight them, destroy them, but I do not like the rumors about the compulsory positivity on the inner strength and the factory of the super-ego generation. I just want to live in peace with my monsters, because if you’re afraid it’s just because you’re alive.
If anything was a possibility and there were no restraints on what can happen, where would you like to see yourself in 10 years?
Ten years from now, I will diversify my portfolio because I know my art is in constant development and I’ll be focused on a viewpoint towards a process for adapting my feelings to the changing environment.
I definitely see the art as integral parts of my plans for the future and I would like to touch the highest peak of an Artist life. I just would like to be trivially happy and satisfied.
What are your goals regarding your career and personal life that you are headstrong in completing?
Surely there are a lot of galleries where I would love to exhibit my art, I’d love to make some big solo show in a prestigious new contemporary Art gallery, but right now I’m aiming to try to promote what I do, as far as I am constantly searching for my happy island in the private life, where I can finally feel at home with my own family.