MDP: I like to experiment with different media but usually the result is figurative and very large scale, inspired by religion, mythology and science. Sometimes it can appear surreal but there will always be an explanation behind every detail I create. I don’t see my style fitting into a category.
CH.89: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
MDP: For my colors, I absorb what nature transfers to me. It can be surprising, the combinations of colors you find in nature. Whereas for my themes I read a lot – and I do a lot of research before starting a new piece. When I can I also take inspiration from traveling.
CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about what your creative thought process is like when starting a new project/ piece of artwork?
MDP: I always have a clear idea in my head at the beginning, and while painting it continuously changes. It unconsciously transforms itself completely.
CH.89: Is there anything in particular that you would want people to take from your artwork?
MDP: It’s easier to express myself through my art then in words. I would like people to have feelings about them though, not necessarily good ones. I love it when my friends tell me what they see in my artwork. Sometimes in the same painting I hear completely different opinions.
CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about your lifestyle as an artist and what that is like?
MDP: It’s not easy. You get lots of closed doors, but persevering has its rewards. I wonder sometimes about how much easier it would have been to get a job and give up my artistic ambitions, but when I think about the life I would have had, regretting not choosing my passion… I have no regrets left.
CH.89: When starting out an artistic task, do you think it is better to have a particular direction/set plan guiding your way? Or, is it better to act on impulse and go from there?
MDP: Personally, I am very impulsive. And sometimes I regret not to have planned a more structured path. I would prefer to know exactly what I’m doing. Of course, it depends on the projects, my impulsive mind is perfect here and there.
MDP: The major lesson I’ve learned is when to stop. It’s not easy, as I always feel my work is never finished. I always feel like I could add something, or change something else. The real difficulty is knowing when to end it.
CH.89: Do you regard personal style & taste to be of highest importance?
MDP: Taste is so subjective. I grew up in an Italian family where we think we have the « best taste in the world ». I independently think it doesn’t matter so much – but again, as I grew up in a family made of esthetes, the personal judgement gains the upper hand every now and then. However, personal style is very important, I think people need to recognize a « touch », to know that it is you that created that work. To find that personal style takes time. It can then fluctuate but the touch must stay.
CH.89: What do you consider to be the hardest thing about being an artist?
MDP: I think managing the time. My amount of work is usually based on inspiration and creativity, and it’s not something you can manage. You can be inspired for 3 hours and then not for 3 weeks. Another hard thing about being an artist is keeping your confidence up.
CH.89: What is one thing you love about being an artist?
MDP: I feared this question… I could write a book on the artists that inspire me.
MDP: Chronologically speaking (and almost only of painters) I would start with Hieronymus Bosch and his triptychs that overflow with creativity. Then Giorgione, chiaroscuro genius one century before Caravaggio. When I saw his painting « La Vecchia » in Venice I was astonished. Botticelli and Raffaello are also among my favorites. Let’s skip 400 years to see a group that I love, the « Incohérents » in Paris with Arthur Sapeck (Eugene Bataille) and Alphonse Allais who made respectively Mona Lisa smoking a pipe and the first monochrome of history long before the famous Marcel Duchamp’s « LHOOQ » and Kazimir Malevich’s « Black Square ». I then have a passion for 1900 Vienna, Klimt, Moser, Kokoshka, but mostly Schiele. The beginning of abstraction with Brancusi, Kandinsky and Kupka impresses me a lot. The colors of Matisse, psychedelic shades of Mirò (I had one in my room when I was younger that has always inspired me). More recently speaking (or I could dwell longer) with conceptual art, Piero Manzoni and his fantastic « Socle du monde », Joseph Kosuth, Giulio Paolini…
MDP: Furthermore, the surrealism of Delvaux, Max Ernst, Remedios Varo, the flowers of O’Keeffe. Together with these last two women I would add other women that inspire me in different ways like Niki de Saint Phalle, Marlene Dumas, Ana Mandieta, Leonor Fini, Yoko Ono and Sophie Calle.
MDP: And these are only a few artists that inspire me…
CH.89: What do you think of technology in terms of being a useful tool for artists today?
MDP: I personally am very old school using oil paint, ceramics… Nevertheless, I love presenting them in very theatrical technological installations that could not have been possible a century ago. I think we have to embrace every possible way of expression. Although sometimes it is scary.
CH.89: Do you think being an artist allows you to view the world differently from those who don’t follow creative paths?
MDP: Yes and no. Everyone sees the world differently. Maybe those who choose a creative path are more sensitive than the others, or crazier? I wouldn’t call anyone uncreative.
CH.89: Do you enjoy traveling? If so, do you have a favorite city?
MDP: I enjoy traveling a lot. It is a source of inspiration. My favorite cities though are my hometown, Rome, the city where I lived the longest, Moscow, and the city I currently live in, Paris.
CH.89: Do you have a favorite author or book?
MDP: Le Prophète, Khalil Gibran.
CH.89: Any future goals or plans for your artwork?
MDP: My goals are getting into bigger expositions/shows, working with different artists in residencies abroad, more recognition… But mostly I want to create more and sell more in order to have my own atelier to buy the tools I need to be able to create exactly what I want.
CH.89: What does being an artist mean to you?
MDP: I want to sensitize people on subjects that I resent, but mostly joy and sorrow, to their fullest.
CH.89: What’s the last song you listened to?
MDP: Luigi Tenco – Mi sono innamorato di te.
CH.89: Any last words on the aesthetic of your artwork?
MDP: You have to see it in real. Thank you and enjoy. -Malù