In Hentai Heaven with Brando Chiesa: An Interview

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In Hentai Heaven with Brando Chiesa: An Interview

In this interview with Brando Chiesa we talk Japanese inspirations and the religion of art creation.

The thing about Brando Chiesa's work isn't just the alluring sensuality, the vivid tones, or the perfect balance each piece is endowed with. It's the authenticity, and powerful emotional quality behind each eye-candy worthy creation. And it's no wonder...in this interview with Brando he talks more about the creation of his tattooing genre Pastel Gore, a mix between Ero Guro and Sea Punk, as well as how creating art has helped him battle the demon of depression. Growing up with anime, and clearly understanding all of the dynamic cultural assets behind it, Brando puts out work that deeply resonates with clients and collectors all over the world. 

Did you always want to be an artist? 

Since I was a child I always wanted to live in a "creative/artistic world" and more specifically I wanted to fully immerse myself in the drawing discipline. I feel fortunate enough to live and breath this great passion of mine.

How did you get into tattooing? Why was it the art form you were drawn to? 

I love drawing and this transition became natural but the real reason behind this was to fight and keep myself busy against a deep depression that attacked me after I lost my mother.

If you go back on your IG profile, you can see a transition from dark Neo-traditional art with deep crimson color stories, to the more pastel anime-inspired work you’re known for now. Can you talk about this transition, and why your work changed? 

Transitions/periods are important for every REAL artist. I take Picasso as a great example; I want to have different periods during my career like him. I don't make tattoo like any others artists, I am unique, I opened a new category by conceiving a total new genre called "Pastel Gore" and I feel so grateful that people are getting inspired by it. I make tattoos as a form of pure art and I need to be constantly stimulated, No "comfort zone" is allowed in my world. When I master one style I need to find a different one quickly otherwise I get bored. My Pastel Gore genre is already old, I've already inspired the new wave, the new tattoo generation and they now use me as a reference. This is quite gratifying as an artist, it shows all my hard work and dedication is now paying off; I want to leave an important mark in this industry. Funny fact is that my tattoos are already being copied and sold on other people's skin around the world (without my permission). You can't even imagine how many tattoo "artists" (I shouldn't consider them artists) are copying my creations, creating fake Instagram pages or even selling counterfeit products on Amazon...so stay tuned cause it is now time for a new Period, a new and fresh one!

I love that your tattoos are so heavily influenced by kawaii culture. What is it about the Japanese culture that you find so fascinating? Why do you think you’re drawn to things like anime? 

Since an early age I was so fascinated about the universe of manga, anime and action figures, I used to watch animations every night before going to sleep. I absolutely love the craziness and exaggeration which is so different than our western culture. We can find this dimension mostly in the Japanese and Korean culture.

Many of your tattoos are also influenced by kink culture and Hentai/Shunga. Can you talk about this aspect of your work? Why is this an important concept for you to explore, and why do you think people are so interested in these kind of visuals? 

I think deep inside people are very curios about these visuals; I have this feeling because every time I publish a work with stronger hentai content I receive all sort of questions and reactions. During my trips to Japan I realized how easy is to see these themes especially around Tokyo. This is sooo fascinating to me; my mission was to deeply research and study this category in order to propose these themes using my personal touch - I want to find the real cultural and artistic essence. The end result is to not leave only a tattoo, but a real mark, a sentiment for a culture that is still unknown to most western eyes.

What are you doing when you are not tattooing? Beyond creating art, what are you passionate about? 

When I am not tattooing I am drawing (!) or working on digital illustrations...I have a solitary and hermit life, I dedicate my time to drawing; I am devoted to my work like a Monk lol; this is my religion. Recently I have been working on a new personal project of mine; my personal streetwear brand.

What is the tattoo community like in Florence? What is it like being heavily tattooed there? 

I love it here, Florence is the hearth of Renaissance, there is so much history and art here like nowhere else in the world. This place is full of energy and great vibrations....sometimes I feel I am continuing the legacy of amazing artists such as Giotto or Leonardo Da Vinci...at the end, somehow, I think we are similar, I try to compare myself to them and every day I feel so blessed to live in such a powerful context. One day I would love to be remembered for my great contribution to the art world.

Any travel plans, collabs, or upcoming projects you’d like to share? 

I want to travel more next year and definitely visit Isnard Barbosa and Romeo Lacoste. I am also planning to do a guest spot at Bang Bang Studio in New York City and collaborate with British artist Oliver Sykes in some cool projects. I would also love to go to Bali with my brother as we have an on-going artistic project happening in the coolest surfing place in the world: Canggu.

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