Tale of Gianni Versace is the second work from the Portraits series by Claudia Scarsella that we present exclusively at the Eternal Optimist. The artist intends the term portrait as a narration of symbolic and emotional features that are fundamental in a person, rather than a reproduction of their physical resemblance. In each tale the emotivity of the artist emerges, which interweaves, in collage, the artist's own feelings connected to the person being portrayed. Claudia Scarsella assembles layers of heterogeneous materials, sewing details into a moving vivid vitality,an evocation of the very soul of the person being portrayed.
We asked Claudia to tell us a few words about how she chose the Italian legendary designer for this tale. "Narrating Gianni Versace is like talking about my adolescence. The first time my mother bought me something "grown up", it was from a Versace boutique. A pair of jeans that went on to become fashion history, the Betty Boop-print ones. For me, that's the moment I stopped being" a little girl". And since then I have never been without an element of Versace in my life. It was he who kicked off a huge change in my style and my appearance and has accompanied the growth of my personality. At the age of thirteen, I was besotted with the Versace total look in black leather. And if for the rest of my generation the de rigueur wardrobe item was a pair of jeans, for me black leather trousers were the compulsory uniform. I hope I can explain just how significant a role of those clothes have had in my life. The symbolic role, for me magical, that they have played. The fact is that Versace brings back a lot of memories of my mother. Because we used to swap clothes and thanks to these raids on each other's wardrobes, we found an understanding. And I, seeing myself as my mother's accomplice, began to no longer feel like a child. I feel a link to the great artist himself because he accompanied me in the exploration and maturing of my aesthetic imagination, and in drawing the first outlines of my artistic world." Claudia also recalls some other memories related to Gianni Versace and his aesthetics and mentioned us the iconic photographer Richard Avedon "I was stunned when he (Richard Avedon) started to photograph his advertising campaigns. I forced my parents to take me to Milan to see the premiere exhibition in 1995 Pirelli calendar. Avedon's models, already made stars by Versace, were the ideal models for my first painting and drawing courses in black and white. I've never lost this love for black and white. The quasi-optical use that Gianni Versace made of it still influences my work. I have loved this artist with all my heart as someone who manages to design sculptural garments but also costumes for dancers with the same freshness. His costumes for Bejart's choreography, so free and visionary, still strike me and my dancer's body.They are unexhaustible sources of inspiration for me."