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Francesco Clemente

Francesco Clemente: “Making art is to time-travel”

August 12, 2020

Mr. Clemente, you once said that boredom can be the origin of a very good idea. Where has boredom taken you lately?

Boredom is my teacher. I am as bored today as I ever was. Exhausted by the loops of conditioned thinking, I end up nowhere and there I feel happy and I have the urge to share my happiness by painting it. These days, all the unnecessary activities have been swept away, and I am left with my paintings. But I find that I do not work more than I used to, I do the amount of work necessary to say what I want to say.

Apparently your active imagination is something that developed while growing up in Naples in the 1950s, where you spent “many empty afternoons.”

Naples is a pagan city. Every church is built on top of a pagan temple and some of the Saints carry on legends and powers of ancient Roman and Greek deities. The Naples of my youth was sleepy, dangerous, hopeless. The monuments of Naples are not only grand but full of mysteries — there was no entertainment other than getting lost in subterranean crypts, consecrated by alchemists and wizards of old.

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Last week’s Interview
Lianne La Havas

Lianne La Havas: “I don’t do it for anybody else”

August 5, 2020
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Lianne, is authenticity the key to good songwriting?

I don't know what the key is to good songwriting... For me it works the best when I just feel totally relaxed and totally happy with what is coming out of me in the melody and in the music; when it just makes me feel good. That kind of authenticity is something I've always wanted to put across, it’s the most important thing.

How do you go about expressing that authenticity?

I guess I don't think I feel totally satisfied if I'm not expressing myself in a way that is honest — if I'm saying honest words, if I'm talking about real actual experiences of myself. Obviously if I was writing music for something else, like to a brief, composing for film, perhaps it’s a different mindset. But for me, I’m only releasing music that I like. I don't do it for anybody else or because anybody else has told me to, it's got to be something I’m actually into.