Interview with Christo Viola
Born in a small town and raised anywhere, in my little life, there was always a lot of snow, so I warmed myself with the heat of anybody.
I think that this is my third life. My past was another life. There was a breach between the first life and the third, this one. The first life was just confused. I lived without reflection. In my first life I was a painter and artist. In my second life, I first encountered the camera. Now in my third life, I am a photographer. My photography is a reflection of myself.
When a person has to hide a part of themselves, because of the pressure of culture and society, it makes them miserable; they don’t feel good about themselves. It’s a sickness. The only focus is on money. It’s all globalized. The globalization takes everyone. Like McDonalds!
When I was a painter, the first thing that I remember really about myself was how I made the skin. It was very difficult to find the perfect skin of the model. But now with photography I have a special technique with light, that makes the skin like a painting. I like the skin to be white, but a little bit purple and red. I want them to be naked. I need them to cause provocation. It is very difficult for me to find a model, because I want something very strong from them. I need a woman that can create a provocative image.
Beauty is a sickness, like money. My models are very different from standard ‘beautiful faces’. My photography is not very beauty-led. I don’t want perfection; it’s a sickness. When you buy a magazine, every model is the same, you can’t tell the difference. Photographers use so much Photoshop. I don’t like to look for models in an agency. I like to meet models in the street. I want to photograph real people.
I would like to do something with fashion. Fashion right now is not really good. I believe in Vivienne Westwood because her dresses are not expensive like other designers. I love Vivienne Westwood because she was a revolutionary. She was part of the punk revolution. I believe in her revolution. And because the price of her dresses are comparatively very low, they are very different from other designers. She is a fighter: about politics, about money.
The people think that they have seen it all. I think I have to show the people something that they never saw, something very shocking. I want to do fashion without dress, with a nude body, with a nude model, because the first fashion is personality.
You see clothes at H&M and a lot of high street shops are so easy and cheap to buy. We are all dressed the same. You are different just because of your mind. You love differently. You see differently. You think differently. You eat differently. And this is how Vivienne Westwood is different from other stylists, because she can put a skirt on as a top, you know?
The models sometimes are melancholy because they feel the weight of society. They want to live with their own body and mind and sexuality, but they are forced to dress because the society we live in is very inhibited and forces people to hide.
I want to show the reality. I don’t like the models to have too much makeup, and I like to keep the models nude in my photos and wear minimal clothing. For that reason, I am somewhere between fashion and art.
I like to use colour photography because colour is the reality now. Old photographers used black and white because they didn’t have the technology to use colour. But our reality is in colour.
I want the beauty of real people. Just put a piece of black lace on your neck. If there’s too much going on, you can’t focus on what’s important. I prefer just nothing! In some of my photos, objects have a certain symbolic quality. Like the grapes, you remember Bacchus the god of wine and pleasure, that’s why I use the grapes.
Everything that the models wear belongs to me. Sometimes I buy things just for a picture. I am on the street everyday because I’m looking for things.
Love Revolution is a little bit sweet, but my next project will be very blue. My next project will be very artistic, no more fashion. Because I’m an artist. I grew up with art. Then I started also with fashion. But it’s just a second step. The first step is art. I’m an artist, not a stylist, or a fashion photographer.
I want people to believe in love, not money. I think the right way is the heart. Everybody can buy a picture with a little money. If one day I became famous, the important thing is not money.
We need a revolution. A lot of the time we stay quiet. My revolution is not related to any specific thing or person; I want it to be for everyone.
I think ten years ago, somebody put a drug in our food. We are all brainwashed. We need a shock. No work. A shock. The opposite of money and work is love. I think we need a love revolution.
When you are in love, you take care of yourself and you take care of another person. You feel very happy. I am feeling very in love because I love myself a lot. A love for oneself is so important.
Narcissism is my death and my love. I die for my love. I feel love for myself and for everybody. I live my life in a strange way because I believe in the distinctive energy. Sometimes you meet people who you feel are just boring, or you feel sympathy, and sometimes you feel love, something that keeps you and him, or her, together. Sometimes, it is not important for a long time.
Sometimes I meet someone and I feel the fear, and something dies in me.
It’s not important man or woman, my sexuality is ambiguous. The importance is the way your feel. Because I think that sex is an exchange of good energy.
I think a lot of people stay together for a long time, just for something sure in their life. Just like money. They want security. That is not the reality because I am sure that everybody at one time in their life thinks of another man or woman.
We need to be more free. Like the 70s, you know? When there was a revolution for women.
We need this revolution, so we can be a little bit more free to say ‘I like you’ or ‘I like you’, because if you can keep someone close to your heart, but you can also feel something for somebody else.
You can be my love forever, and I won’t ever forget, but I can also feel something for another man. It is my body. It’s my energy.
I am like a planet. I am a microcosm in the universe. So I feel and I am full of energy, like a star.
I think to be in a revolution we have to be as one. I can’t do the revolution on my own!
We have to spread the revolution together!
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