by Charlotte Moss Published 01/04/2014
Listing Mexican surrealist, Frida Kahlo as one of her favourite artists, Chiara shares her visions of dreams as reality with Kahlo who herself primarily painted autobiographical images. Taking inspiration from Kahlo, around 90% of Chiara's images are also self-portraits, although Chiara is quick to add that is it not a sign of an egocentric mind. "Shooting a self-portrait is a provocative experience because it allows you to look at yourself through the eyes of others. You are in charge of the camera and you are in charge of yourself as the model, so it is the best way to convey the message that you have in your mind without having to pass it through the filter of others' minds."
She also shares with Kahlo the use of symbolism and metaphors in her imagery. "Kahlo's skies don't rain, they cry. And her tears are stars, pearls, nails or thorns. I use the same process when I try to express something very deep, I simply cannot describe those feelings with a 'normal' photograph because the way that thoughts and concepts take life in my mind is not clear and rational. I would describe my thoughts as intricate fairy tales." Chiara's work follows in the surrealist tradition of desiring to create something more real than reality itself, something of greater significance than what we see. It incorporates elements that are often incongruous to the scene creating a somewhat disturbing effect.
Perhaps this style of imagery comes so naturally to Chiara because before she took up photography she primarily focused on painting. Her mother, herself a painter, encouraged Chiara to have an interest in the visual arts from a young age including both painting and drawing. Chiara believes that this is why she has developed a photographic style that is much closer to painting than it is to traditional photography.
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