An interview with Chiara Oscura!


Hi Chiaraoscura, could you talk about the meaning of your nickname?


Hi Thomas, my nickname is compound by my real first name, Chiara, that means clear, bright, and Oscura, that means obscure, dark. It is about the duality of my inner nature: I can be very pragmatic, constructive, positive, nice, but on the other side I am complicated, pessimistic, restless. I think that the dark side of my personality is really hard to manage, but it is the origin of my artistical expressions. Without it, I would be a completely different person.


So it means that you think that there is a strict connection between feeling uncomfortable and art?


Yes, absolutely. Maybe it is only my personal opinion, because sometimes art is functional – for example, architecture answers to the human need to organize the space – and sometimes art is made to order. I do not think that these kinds of creations are not about art, but I think that the most authentic art comes from inner struggles, from inspiration, from bad feelings and this kind of art do not have any practical aim. I have a strictly expressionist idea of art.



Tell me something about the role of art in your life and in your studies.


Art has always been very important to me. My grandfather was a figurative artist, so I was born in a quite creative environment. Since I was a child, I have been attracted by many artistical forms, such as music, painting, sculpture, cinema, dance… When I was fourteen I began to study at Liceo specialising in art subjects. After that, when I was nineteen, I had been studying for one year long to become a sound engineer and then, at the age of twentyfour, I graduated in philosophy – more specifically, in aesthetics. During the Liceo years I had been playing drums and I started being a make up artist. In the beginning, make up was just for fun, then I realized that somebody was paying me for doing it. When I was twenty, I partecipated to a figurative arts contest and there I met a photographer – Stefano Molaschi  who wanted me to be his model and his make up artist for some projects. This experience taught me many make up art secrets because it gave me the chance to stay under the lights and to be the subject of pictures.

After a few years, I decided to study to become a more serious make up artist and I graduated a few months ago. I really love make up because I live it like an artistical form of expression, even if in many situations my work is made to order and sometimes it is not really creative.

What kind of make up do you prefer creating?


I love body painting because when I do it I see the body I am painting on like a tridimensional canvas, but I love beauty make up and theatrical make up too. I think that even a so called “beauty make up” could be very creative, expressive and artistic. Special effects are wonderful, but in Italy there are not many job offers about them.

Anyway, I think that the most important aspect of a good make up is that it must emphasize the features of the model and of course his/her personality. This is also the hardest thing to do, because it is all about understanding the person you are standing in front of, it is all about empathy, and often you have to do it in a very little time. And you have to understand very quickly the ideas of your team – for example, the ideas of the photographer, the stylist, the movie director…

What do you think about the economic situation? Is your job affected by the financial crisis?


Yes, it is affected by the crisis. In this historical moment, if you want to work in artistical field in Italy, you have to take any chance, you can not say no and often you have to work absolutely for free. It is not a good period for anyone, I think, and I hope that a positive change will come soon. The economical depression depresses people, so everyone is sadder and bluer and sometimes this mood creates problem in human relationships.


Are you still creating artworks or are you focused only on make up art?


Actually I am more focused on make up, but I am still drawing, painting and sculpting. I think I have periods in which I am very busy, so I do not have much time and energy to dedicate to creativity, but in other periods I have a lot of free time, so I become more creative. I think I will never stop creating artworks.

What else do you like doing in your free time?


I like meeting my friends, because they are very important to me. I love reading books, because I think that we never stop studying and learning new things during all our life. When I can, i like travelling. I visited many italian cities, some european nations and part of USA and each one of those places taught me something new. Even if I live in Milan, that is an important and big city, I do not think it is enough to understand the world. I have always needed to see what happens out of my town.


Blog (with artworks and make up art):



Thomas Ulch II

Thomas William Ulch II is an instructor at Eastern Michigan University, a veteran of the U.S. Army and a photographer with a passion for immersive travel. He has traveled to over 35 countries in the last 7 years. He is the founder of the Hive and the Warehouse and is the editor in chief of Body Electric. He also, on occasion, speaks of himself in the third person.

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