Sunday, 29 January 2017

Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone by GothicNarcissusIn fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
Juliet is on her knees:
She shoots to kill and aims to please, oh.

And you can see it in her eyes,
It’s not something that she likes,
But she can’t stand being alone.
So you thank her for her charm
And you take her in your arms,
But she just won’t let you go.

She said her daddy was an alcoholic
And her mother was an animal.
Now she’s living like a rolling stone,
She said that the law will never take her alive
If they take her home.

In Belarus she was a vespertine,
She danced the go-go for the bourgeoisie.
Now she’s here and she is on her knees, oh.

And she won’t apologise
For the cheating and the lies,
But she can’t stand being this way.
And you can see it in her eyes,
She would kill them if they try
To send her back to her grave.

She said her daddy was an alcoholic
And her mother was an animal.
Now she’s living like a rolling stone,
She said that the law will never take her alive
If they take her home.

[ Rolling Stone – Hurts ]

Rolling Stone is easily one of my favourite songs out of Hurts’s latest album, Surrender. The lyrics are a bit too melodramatic, but it’s a very emotional song which painted a vivid image in my head since the first few times I listened to it. Also, it was released as a promotional single and I found the accompaining artwork very inspiring. I decided to take some cues from it, such as the red dress, and who could possibly look better in red than my dearest BriarRose? Also, I wanted a gun in it to give a connection to the whole “my way or burst” theme of the lyrics, and she happened to have one for her Misato Katsuragi cosplay. In short, taking this photo was only a matter of when, rather than how.
To be honest, though, my original idea was more reminescent of the single artwork than you can see: I thought of having BriarRose hold the gun to her chest (not pointed to it, just lying there as a reminder she has control and a way out), glance sideways, and I thought I woul crop the photo below her chin or slightly above the lips to keep the focus on the chest. The problem is, I find it difficult to exclude the models’ faces because I feel like I’m de-humanising them, turning them into mere props for my shooting. Which, in a way, is sort of what I already do, since I have them play a part in a story I want to tell rather than be themselves, but that still makes me a bit uncomfortable. Besides, BriarRose is just so expressive that cropping off her face is a waste of her talent.
Anyway, after I tried some different croppings of my original idea which were kind of good too, BriarRose asked me to shoot a few simple portraits because she liked the look. One of her poses proved so effective that we both agreed to re-shoot it with the gun and keep it as the actual Rolling Stone. Indeed, having her firmly engage the viewer with her gaze, and ready to shoot in the dark if necessary, made the photo all more dramatic and achieved a far better result: the more contemplative side view, with or withoout the close crop, made for more of a victim of circumstances, while the frontal pose puts the character in charge of her own destiny in spite of everything, like the lyrics suggest. Well, that’s why I love working with BriarRose: our creative synergy always brings something fresh to the mix.
Also, one of the “simple” portraits I took turned out so amazing I decided to publish it too, because it fits another, non-Hurts-related idea I wanted to develop. You’ll be seeing it on my Facebook and deviantArt tomorrow!

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

So, it’s been ten years…

My very first “photoshoot” ever… wasn’t very much of a photoshoot at all, to be honest. At least not at the beginning.
Basically, on an October afternoon, back in 2006, a friend of mine asked me if I wanted to grab my compact camera and go out take some pictures of him to impress a girl. Who was a mutual friend, so why not taking some photos together, too? And since I would be all dolled up, I thought, why not striking a pose or two and look pretty all on my own? So I wore my then-favourite striped green sweater, some really questionable jeans and shoes, I put on some make up and off I went.
The initial results were a mixed bag: a handful of photos of him, some terrible, some almost decent, considering I barely knew what I was doing (except absolutely NO-BACKLIGHT); a few photos of the two of us, which were a good practice for placing the camera on whatever available surface; and a few selfies before it was cool.

A Prince In Green by GothicNarcissus
Seriously, it’s just a selfie.
And then, something happened.
Being very camera shy, my friend was okay with just a few pics; the rest of the afternoon we spend with me bossing him around to help me take some photos. Because as soon as I could put the camera on whatever windowsill or step I could find in front of interesting places, or tell my friend how exactly I wanted him to shoot me, more and more ideas kept coming up.
Having already seen my share of bloggish gothic imagery, I had discovered a few more serious artists, following whom I kept occasionally popping up and lurking around deviantArt; the thought of trying something of the sort had been growing in the back of my mind for quite some time and I don’t know, that afternoon I finally tried to do just that. With barely any idea of what I was doing (because come on, a striped sweater, messy hair and a line of kajal is definitely not gothic imagery), try I did.
Or maybe I wasn’t so clueless, after all. As I mentioned several times, my initial thought was to go into a more digital direction, which was all the rage back then; my postproducing tools consisting only of Ulead PhotoExpress, though, I was pretty aware I could not just cut myself out of a blank background and put me onto something different, so I had to work with some interesting environment to begin with. And the historic centre of Alghero happens to be a 16th Century walled town with plenty of nice spots to use, so I thought I could work something out even if it didn’t look like I was lying in some dimly lit underground temple or some cemetery at night time. Also, having zero control over the camera, which worked strictly in automatic mode and was mostly managed by my friend, meant that I couldn’t take extra dark photos to begin with, so… well, I had to try and make something out of it through my own expressivity.

Let Live, Let Go by GothicNarcissus
And then, I muted the colours to make it look more gooothic.
Even though the most I could manage was looking unconvincingly brooding, I can kind of say I came up with a moodboard on the spot and the shooting as a whole, outtakes included, has a sort of cohesive theme. Evanescence’s The Open Door had just recently come out and, well, to say I was obsessed with it would be an understatement. My obsession included the promotional pictures for the album, so I ended up posing in front of whatever ancient-looking door, window, gate, fence, balcony, architectural structure I thought was cool. And even though the poses were awkward, silly or downright second-hand (a few shots were an attempt to copy Amy Lee walking on the fountain in the My Immortal video, except I was walking on a well), I did try my best to look thoughtful, whimsical, lovelorn or dramatic. I really wanted to express something with those photos, be it just my admiration for some cool music without realising yet the full potential of actually working on a concept like that to create a true synesthesia between songs and the images.

Let Live, Let Go by GothicNarcissus
Dramatic pose and a fancy window. This is what got me here.
But yes, the embryo of what would become the cornerstones of my artistic endeavour were already there. I really do look back fondly at those photos, however naive and raw they are: had I not gone out that afternoon, maybe I would have tried anyway to express myself through photography, sooner or later, but it’s nice to see I had sensed what road suited me best from the beginning.
Eventually, a few of those photos made their way out of my computer: when I joined deviantArt exactly ten years ago, on October 26th, I found them expressive enough to share them with artistic purposes, and it all snowballed into… today, packing up to work three days of commissioned shootings at a cosplay convention. And yes, there is also one particular photo from that afternoon which I think really worked and I decided to “remake” as a sort of celebration. Here we go with the Evanescence-themed The Only One, 2006 and 2016:
The Only One by GothicNarcissus The Only One 2016 by GothicNarcissus

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Froot

Froot by GothicNarcissusI’ve seen seasons come and go
From winter sun to summer snow.
This ain’t my first time at the rodeo.
Nature ain’t a fruit machine,
She’s gotta keep her credits clean.
Good things come to those who wait
But I ain’t in a patient phase.

It’s summer time and I hang on a vine,
They’re gonna make me into sweet red wine.
Hanging around like a fruit on a tree,
Waiting to be picked. Come on, cut me free.

Come on, fill your cup up
Looking for some good luck,
Good luck, good luck to you.
Hanging like a fruit
Ready to be juiced,
Juiced, juiced.

Living la dolce vita,
Life couldn’t get much sweeter.
Don’t you give me a reason
That it’s not the right season.
Babe, I love you a lot,
I’ll give you all I’ve got.
Yeah, you know that it’s true,
I’ve been saving all my summers for you,
I’ve been saving all my summers for you
Like fruit, like fruit.

Baby, I am plump and ripe,
I’m pinker than shepherd’s delight,
Sweet like honeysuckle late at night.
Leave it too long, I’ll go rot
Like an apple you forgot.
Birds and worms will come for me,
The cycle of life is complete.

I’m your carnal flower, I’m your bloody rose.
Pick my petals off and make my heart explode.
I’m your deadly nightshade, I’m your cherry tree.
You’re my one true love, I’m your destiny.

Come on, fill your cup up
Looking for some good luck,
Good luck, good luck to you.
Autumn – I’ll be gone,
Birds will sing their mourning
Song, song.

Living la dolce vita,
Life couldn’t get much sweeter.
Don’t you give me a reason
That it’s not the right season.
Babe, I love you a lot,
I’ll give you all I’ve got.
Yeah, you know that it’s true,
I’ve been saving all my summers for you,
I’ve been saving all my summers for you
Like fruit, like fruit.

Oh, my body is ready,
Yeah, it’s ready, yeah, it’s ready for your love.
Oh, my branches are heavy,
Yeah, they’re heavy, yeah, they’re heavy.

Living la dolce vita,
Life couldn’t get much sweeter.
Don’t you give me a reason
That it’s not the right season.
Babe, I love you a lot,
I’ll give you all I’ve got.
Yeah, you know that it’s true,
I’ve been saving all my summers for you,
I’ve been saving all my summers for you
Like fruit.

[ Froot – Marina & The Diamonds ]

Alright, I really love Marina & The Diamonds: her lyrics might as well be pulled out of my head and they always give me a huge lot of inspiration. Froot, title track and first single off her third album, is no exception and I’ve been toying with the idea of taking a photo inspired by it pretty much since I first heard the song and seen the visuals associated with it. It took me a while to codify the final idea as you can see it – a rainbow-coloured halo made of fruit encircling my head – but I’m positive I already had by this time last year, as my first take included the fruit-halo laying on my fanned out, then-long hair. While not taking the photo before I had it cut short was one of the two or three regrets I had, in hindsight it was a true blessing because taking a self portrait with fruit lying on my hair would have been totally unpractical, as I found out when I came down to actually shoot the photo. Also, a nice Forties-inspired pompadour allowed me to experiment with make up to get a goth-yet-posh look which would complement the chromatic variety of the photo.
As this picture is very meaningful to me, I was pretty eager when I finally came down to shooting it, so I documented part of the process / kept teasing about it on my Instagram: first biting the apple which would be left to rot; then, assembling (most of) the halo, having my nails done and shooting; and finally, eating up the props with some delicious whipped cream by my favourite ice cream maker. If you pay attention to the dates, though, you will notice this photo was shot, like, months ago: why is that, you may wonder?
Well, first off, I had to wait for the apple to rot away, which took a few weeks. Then, as Marina put it, “nature ain’t a fruit machine”: despite globalisation, I couldn’t have all the fruit I needed at one time. Before I could get figs, strawberries, cherries and loquats would have run out; oranges are from a totally different season, no way I could have them and plums together; blueberries are grown in greenhouses so they’re out there pretty much all year long, but I wanted them to taste good, too, for my private afterparty and I’d rather have them in the right season. So, I resolved to get the bulk of the halo when most kinds of fruit were available, shoot the main photo and then fill it in as soon as I got the rest. Technically, it wasn’t particularly hard, as I chose a spot on my wooden floor, laid my camera on the clotheshorse to have it perfectly horizontal (as I did with Over You), so I kept the same focal distance and light direction for every shot until cherries, plums, pears and figs – the last addition – were available. The hardest part was reaching for the camera and clicking the button, which gave a nice contribution to my abs, and is the reason why I could have never pulled out this photo with long hair.
Now, in the YouTube audio file for the song, as well as on the album booklet, you can see that the fruit rainbow is a prominent part of Marina’s Froot Era aesthetics and she picked her own colour-coded sequence. I deliberately decided to create one of my own so that it would be a tribute rather than directly copy of hers, even though there is some overlapping with cherries, oranges, lemons and, especially blueberries. Cherries are kind of unavoidable, but I added strawberries too to give different shades of red; oranges and lemons, too, are the most immediate association with, well, orange and yellow, but I put loquats in-between to make the transition more gradual; as for blueberries… well, there is no other edible blue fruit that I can think of. As for purple, I deliberately avoided grapes because I’ve already used them recently, and I opted for plums instead, with figs providing the indigo shade in-between. I also preferred to keep apples out of the halo for other purposes, so I used limes for green; I though I would put a green fig as an intermediate shade between green and yellow, but I was lucky enough to get purple figs this early and “I ain’t in a patient phase”, so I ultimately decided that pear it is.
One final mention for the apple: I decided to go with a visual apple / heart motif to recall the lines from the second verse, and to add some more layers of personal depth to the image. And… well, that’s basically it: I worked hard on this photo and I’m really satisfied with how it turned out. I hope you enjoy it too and… all praise to our lady, Saint Marina the Evangelist, and her three Gospels: The Family Jewels, Electra Heart and Froot. Amen.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Venus In Gemini, Lilith In Libra

Venus In Gemini, Lilith In Libra by GothicNarcissusRule number one
Is that you gotta have fun,
But baby, when you’re done,
You gotta be the first to run.
Rule number two,
Just don’t get attached to
Somebody you could lose,
So le-let me tell you.

Rule number three,
Wear your heart on your cheek,
But never on your sleeve,
Unless you wanna taste defeat.
Rule number four,
Gotta be looking pure,
Kiss him goodbye at the door
And leave him wanting more, more.

This is how to be a heartbreaker.
Boys, they like a little danger.
We’ll get him falling for a stranger, a player
Singing, ‘I lo-lo-love you’.
How to be a heartbreaker.
Boys, they like the look of danger.
We’ll get him falling for a stranger, a player
Singing, ‘I lo-lo-love you –
At least I think I do!’

[ How To Be A Heartbreaker – Marina & The Diamonds ]

Funny story #1: a few years ago, while I was still in full goth mode, a friend of mine kept commenting that my photos were soooo gay, and I was ever soooo gay when I posed. Now, she’s a bit of a fag hag herself, so I never took that as a homophobic remark of sort; I think she mostly meant I really overdid the make up and frilly outfit things. But of course, insecure as I am, that comment took roots in my mind and I’ve sort of tried to tone the thing down ever since – and because I had no intentions of giving up the goth outfits back then, it ended up affecting the way I pose. Conversely, last year a very dear friend of mine told me that I was a bit stiff in my photos, as if I were afraid to express too much. This made me ponder deeply and I got to the conclusion that I was indeed holding back because, whenever I posed, I had this little voice in my head saying, “This is going to look too gay” and I listened to it too much.
Well, news flash, I am gay so hell, it is kind of bound to show in my photos somehow. Do I really need to hold back for whatever reason? Nope. If I like the idea I’m developing and the final result too, there’s no such thing as “too gay”. After all, I’m not hiding anything: I’m out and about, so what was I really trying to achieve? Meet the taste of one single person who’s not me. Well, I’m really trying hard to be more selective when it comes to constructive vs. pointless criticism: this photo, which I utterly love, is one more step down that route.
Funny story #2: this concept was born out of frustration after a boy has dramatically declared that he’s severely disappointed by my lack of interest in him, because apparently I don’t live up to the idealised, romantic, cuddly version of me he had made up in his head after a couple of chats. Well, honey, I’m sorry, I’m just not a romantic person: next time, try and get to know me better before you get a crush. That’s just the way I am. So, if we want to blame it on something, I’d point to my natal chart: I’ve got Venus in Gemini, which basically means I live relationships on a cerebral level with scarce emotional connections, and Lilith in Libra, which means that I pay much attention to the looks of potential sexual partner. Sorry, I’m shallow and heartless: if you don’t either look good or form a strong intellectual bond with me, there’s no game. And don’t expect me to go down the sweet-talk path anytime soon.
Now, I don’t really believe in astrology, I’d rather just toy around with it, but that much about me is very fitting. I wanted to vent out all that roll-eye-ness and this is how I did it.
Is the photo too pink? Am I a heartbreaker? W h a t e v e r , ‘cause I love it.

Friday, 11 March 2016

Angeldaemon

Coloured by GothicNarcissusI prefer to be an angel,
Angelflanger always,
Always on the run.
Capture souls and dreams and voices,
Noisy voices, rumours,
Rumours made undone.

Collect diseases, hungry virus,
Virus, spirals, branches,
Branches round the past.
But I am joking, I’m a demon,
Angeldaemon begging,
Begging you to trust.

Get up, my head, get up, my…
I’ve always seen your eyes open.
Get up, my mind, get up, my…
I’ve never heard you’ve spoken,
I’ve always seen you broken.

So progressive, so involving,
Sky’s emerging tumors,
Tumours, waves and stars.
Captured beings all exhausted,
Sky’s a virgin, phantoms,
Phantoms, all of us.

Collect diseases, hungry virus,
Virus, spirals, branches,
Branches round the past.
But I am joking, I’m a demon,
Angeldaemon begging,
Begging you to trust.

Get up, my head, get up, my…
I’ve always seen your eyes open.
Get up, my mind, get up, my…
I’ve never heard you’ve spoken,
I’ve always seen you broken,
I just kill the ghosts you’ve woken.

[ Angeldaemon – Leandra ]

New work from my Morphine series, specifically from the Metamorphine part. Angeldaemon is one of the first Leandra songs with which I emotionally connected back in 2008 and it even poured into the very first photoshoot I did with a reflex exactly seven years ago. When I decided to do a cohesive visual rendition of both Leandra’s albums, this was one of the first ideas to come to my mind: my dearest BriarRose looking all sweet an innocent with a little nod to some kind of inner darkness, which I represented by surrounding her with black feathers, as if she had just hidden (but not completely) some black wings of sort. Compared to many other photos from this series, this one is quite simple and only has a touch of surrealism in the general concept: after all, Angeldaemon is basically a piano ballad with very little electronica, so I wanted to keep the corresponding photo as basic as I could. While the general idea was already clear in my mind, a few details came up when we were about to shoot: for instance, I only thought of a white-ish, abstract background but, while discussing the location with BriarRose, I realised a bed would work nicely. Also, I just wanted her to wear natural make up and something white, which turned specifically into the shirt with nothing else while we were tumbling through her wardrobe.
Side note here: I do really love working with BriarRose, but lately I’ve kind of been feel guilty when I’ve had her pose as a temptress / seductress / force of darkness of sort. Of course, she is very feminine and has a natural kind of sensuality, but I think it’s unfair and reductive that she gets so often typecast only as that: she can do so much more. Choosing her for this photo was immediate and instinctive on my part – she simply appeared in the image I visualised in my head – but now I realise that’s because I really know her and how sweet, cute a person she can really be off the set. Now, of course in the photo’s narrative that’s only a charade, but I’m glad I could show there’s so much more about BriarRose than a temptress, for a change.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Why

Why by GothicNarcissusThere was a time,
There was a place,
So tell me now,
Why’d you wake up with that look on your face?

Don’t you waste my time:
Let it go, let it go.
And don’t just stand in line:
If you wanna lead, you can lead.

Why?
If this is love, then why does it hurt so bad?
Why?
If this is over, then why do I want you back?
So tell me that it’s worth it, ‘cause I’m going crazy here.
I just can’t figure it out, I just can’t figure it out:
Why?
If this is love, then why does it hurt so bad?

There was a time, far away,
And I wanna try,
Try to take us,
Take us back to that place.

So don’t hold back for me:
Let it out, just let it out.
It’s you I wanna see,
So let it out and you can lead.

Why?
If this is love, then why does it hurt so bad?
Why?
If this is over, then why do I want you back?
So tell me that it’s worth it, ‘cause I’m going crazy here.
I just can’t figure it out, I just can’t figure it out:
Why?
If this is love, then why does it hurt so bad?

[ Why – Hurts ]

It’s interesting to note that, despite Why not being one of my favourite songs on Hurts’ Surrender, which usually means I have a harder time coming up with a concept, I got an idea of how to render it graphically quite quickly. It’s a song about a conflicted break up which, on the one hand, means it’s something I can’t quite relate to and, on the other, it lends itself to a million trivial back-to-back couple photos, which I really didn’t want to do in this case. Yet, here is one of the first photos from the Surrender part of the project.
The story goes like this: after last year’s Lucca Comics and Games, one of my friends couldn’t fit everything in her suitcase and asked if anyone needed that sequin-sleeved dress. Which I did, as a matter of fact: when you’re shooting, you never know when a spare outfit can turn out to be useful (especially if you’re listening compulsively to Róisín Murphy because, you know, sequins). So at one point I had this post-break up song and a girl’s dress, so I thought, how about the protagonist not arguing with the girl but with himself while thinking of her and holding a dress she forgot at his place? After all, the lyrics seem much more like an internal monologue of sort and a reflection about love in general, so a guy-by-himself kind of photo with something recalling a couple would be perfect. Also, I could easily do everything by myself without waiting who knows how long. I had a clear vision of the styling all along: I wanted to wear something light to contrast with the black dress and recall separation, but also have something dark to hint to not being quite over it yet. My light shirt with a black collar would do perfectly for the kind of symbolism I wanted to convey.
Side note: I was ready to shoot this photo since, like, January, but I got flu, which made me postpone my haircut, then I had sleeping troubles which made me wake up not looking (or feeling) my best, so I kept postponing it until I finally got my hair in place and a few good sleep nights in a row and started looking like a human again. And here it is at last.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

But they are different – oh wait.

My relationship with the majority of popstars may be called one of tolerance: I know they’re there, they live in their world following their rules; I take an interest every now and then, when they come up with something interesting, and just ignore them most of the time. I’m aware that, in most cases, they’re fifty shades of musical uselessness. We’ve got Rihanna, the incompetent who fucked the right guys. We’ve got Britney, another incompetent who was in the right place at the right time. We’ve got Madonna, who had interesting ideas and something to say back in the day, but has now just become an old hag clinging to her position and money and keeps blabbing the same old stuff to keep her audience content. After all, we know, a popstar’s main point is to make big money; if some good music comes out in the process, that’s a byproduct, most popstars just do the minimum to keep their audience at bay. If someone tries to focus on something more artsy regardless of sellings, the system pans them, like Lady Gaga on Artpop. And when someone tries to use their media power to fight for an important cause, like Beyoncé, here comes the press to throw them shade.
Well, all in all I accept this status quo. I don’t always share popstars’ musical ideas; I’m a bit bugged that they’re making big money while people out there like Susanne Sundfør or Eivør, who destroy them talent-wise, don’t even earn a tenth; and seeing some Taylor Swift winning a Best Pop Album Grammy against Florence Welch is hard to swallow. But I know their rules, it’s all about money, sellings and friends in higher places, so I let myself be surprised when some popstar comes up with something artistically good and ignore the rest.
So, if I can appreciate old once’s Madonna despite what she’s become and listen to a few Rihanna or Britney Spears songs, why do I take such umbrage at Lana del Rey?
The reason it’s simple: the other popstars don’t have unrealistic artistic pretences. They don’t hide their being a set up, their unrestrained use of autotune and lipsync, don’t lie about surgical retouching and wigs, don’t try to cover their fluff but, on the contrary, they parade it and make a point of it. Cut it short, unless they do posses an uncommon talent, they don’t pretend to be substantial and genuine goods. On the other hand we have Lana, who passes off as the different one, a better alternative to the empty pop culture; wait no, she’s even better than that, she’s the game changer come at last! She doesn’t focus on selling, but on her artistry. She doesn’t let producers do their tricks, she’s in charge of her music. It’s not that she sings out of tune, she’s just “a studio singer, not a live one”. She’s not full of herself, she’s the girl next door, a people’s singer. She had nothing done on her – how could she, she was poor like everyone, she didn’t have money to get lip surgery. She’s got ideas like no one else does and knows how to realise them!
Now, without all this farce I would have accepted Lana for what she is: just another popstar who can’t sing, with a few nice tunes to listen to every now and then, no more, no less. But no, she keeps on posing as the odd one out, the genuine one, the real thing, when she really is and acts just like all the others – well, even less qualified than many. This is why I enjoy panning her every misstep: I’m punishing her dishonesty. Really, I hold Britney Spears in much higher regard, for she can openly joke about her years and years of lipsync – at least she’s honest.

Well, now take all of this, apply it to politics and you’ll know why, among all Italian parties, I take such umbrage at the Movimento 5 Stelle and I’m so merciless when I criticise them. I know from the start what right-wing parties are like and what to expect of them.  I know that a big part of our main left-wing party is made up of former Catholic-democrats who didn’t know where to turn when their party sank, and what to expect of them. But the Movimento 5 Stelle is different, they say, it fights for the people! It’s the real deal, it doesn’t compromise, it just cares about getting things done without empty political maneuvers! It cares for the people, not for votes! When something’s socially relevant, they go all down the road and get the shit done.
Well, except if it’s something as pesky as civil unions for homosexuals, in which case they are fiercely clinging to some stupid political technicality to stall or sink the whole thing before they even have to vote against it. Which they will, because one very interesting thing is they have a strong leader who dictates their every move and if you diverge one tiny bit you’re immediately out, yet on the civil union subject he was like, “Well, let everyone vote following their conscience”. Excuse me, what’s this novelty? I think it’s clear: they would never risk alienating the Catholics or all those former Berlusconi voters who’ll need to find someone else to turn to at the next national elections: let’s face it, giving all tax-paying citizens the same rights is not worth risking losing so many votes.
So much for being different from the other parties.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

GothicNarcissus’ 10th year

Looking back I can say that 2006 has been a pivotal year in my life for so many reasons: one of them is I joined deviantART and started taking photos. Sure, the first “real” (as in aesthetically and conceptually challenging) photos I did in 2007, and it’s in 2009 that I bought my first reflex and started shooting other people, but those first naive selfies I took on October 9th and first published on October 28th 2006 planted the seed of what would become a very important part of my life.
A Prince In Green by GothicNarcissus The Only One by GothicNarcissus

I have already written a couple of posts (like this one and this one) explaining how I went from collecting random images from all around the web to following artist on deviantART, then attempting to emulate them and eventually finding my own way. I think – and I hope! – that I have evolved into my own thing rather than being someone else’s copycat, but for a reason or another I still owe them all big time: they probably don’t even know who I am, let alone what they’ve done for me, but they helped me grow either by planting some interesting ideas in my head, making me discover a certain kind of aesthetics, or simply luring me to deviantART and making me interested in creating art in the first place. This is why I have decided to do a little project with a double aim: to celebrate my tenth anniversary and to express my gratitude to my unwitting masters. Therefore, once a month this year I will be publishing a photo which pays homage to one of those artists who influenced me back then. It’s going to be quite a challenge, for what I’ll try to do is to borrow some recurring themes or motives from the works they used to do ten years ago, but give them my own twist, with my own style and ideas and, of course, the experience I have gained in the past ten years.
As an artist, my endeavour is to constantly look forward, grow and get better. But solid buildings need solid foundations, so I think it’s important to just stop for a moment, sometimes, look back and pay respect to the things that forged our artistic identity.
Of course, a big and special thanks also goes to those who have followed and supported me all through these years, both from the beginning and joining me in the meantime: your enthusiasm has kept me motivated and your feedback has helped me get better and challenge my comfort zone to deliver something that would surprise you. I don’t know if I would have made it to my tenth year without you.