Clelia Catalano was born in 1985 on the outskirts of Palermo at a time when it was still possible to see flocks of sheep grazing in front of her house. She lived in a minuscule flat with her elder sister, a politics expert housewife mother and a worldwide renowned scientist father.
She grew up in a contradictory reality made of close-minded people on one side, like many of the teachers she encountered during her school years. On the other side, there were countless liberal-minded fellow citizens and the possibility to travel to numerous countries in the world; thanks to her father's job.
Growing up, she wasn't aware of her drawing talent and nobody encouraged her to start an artistic career. Until one day, when alone in London, with no money in her pockets and just a small old radio to keep her company, she decided to draw postcards and send them to her relatives.
Enthusiastic about the results, she decided to move to Florence where she attended an Illustration class at the International School for Comics. She had always been haunted by strange dreams, but refuses to call them nightmares: Even if dark and scary, these dreams move her and are essential for her gothic visions, culminating in her first series The Adult Tales of Clelia Catalano in 2009. The ensuing success made her feel more confident artistically and encouraged her to paint the second series My Orchestra in 2010.
Her works are influenced by her encounter with fellow painters, musicians as well as movie and theatre directors. As an example, the series Purple Metropolis (2011) was produced while listening exclusively to the Divine Machines by Captain DaFeira, in turn reflecting the nostalgic and melancholic feeling of the album. In the same year, Clelia was invited to present her works at the Finibus Terrae cinema festival in Salento, Italy. Towards the end of 2011, she started a collaboration with Maurizio Lombardi, actor and director at the Vascello Theater in Rome.
In 2012 Clelia presented her works in several exhibitions and commercial spaces in Italy, gaining increasingly positive feedback by public and critics. In 2014, Clelia felt the need to convey her visions through new media beyond painting, and started collaborations with photographers Davide Currao (known for his stop-motion videos) and Alessandro Passerini. A series of photographs created with the latter were published on the websites of Vogue and National Geographic.
– 2009 (September-October) personal exhibit in ZOE, lounge bar, Florence.
– 2009 (December) personal exhibit in PLAZ, lounge bar, Florence.
– 2010 (March) personal exhibit in Cruise, lounge bar, Florence.
– 2010 (March) collective exhibit in Willy, cultural centre, Florence.
– 2010 (May) personal exhibit in DOLCE VITA , lounge bar, Florence.
– 2011 (January) personal exhibit in FREUD, loung bar, London.
– 2011 (February) personal exhibit in FLORIDA, theatre, Florence.
– 2011 (March) personal exhibit in LAROS, boutique, Palermo.
– 2011 (July) personal exhibit in SALENTO FINIBUS TERRAE film festival, San Vito dei Normanni, Bari.
– 2011 (November) personal exhibit in Puccini theatre, Florence.
– 2011 (December) collective exhibit in EX CHURCH CARLO DEI BARNABITI, Florence.
– 2012/13 (August-April) personal exhibit in ANIMA MUNDI, lounge bar, Rome.
– 2012 (Ottobre) collective exhibit for MARIE CLAIRE magazine in MACRO, affordable art fair, Rome.
– 2013 (January) personal exhibit in ELSA boutique, Bologna.
- 2013\14 (dicembre , gennaio) personal exhibit Zurich Insurance, Zurich, Switzerland.
- 2015 (in corso) collective exhibit, ENCONTRARTE, Barcelona, Spain.
– 2010 painting on glass for LA PERGOLA cafè, Florence.
– 2010 painting on wall for HEINEKEN beer in Plaz, Florence.
– 2010 painting on wall for SKYY VODKA in Ariston club, Florence.
– 2011 painting on wood for fashion stand for BRODGEN in Pitti uomo, Florence.
llustrations and graphics:
– 2007 drawing for special cocktail for ABSOLUT VODKA, in Babushka club, London
– 2009 drawing and graphic design's menu for ANGELS, lounge bar, Florence.
– 2009 illustrations for Gabriele Melli's psychology studio, Florence.
– 2009 drawing and graphic for TACCO12's invitations event, Florence.
– 2010 illustrations for menu in Plaz, lounge bar, Florence.
– 2010 illustration for Termite Bianca's tribute for PAVESIO editor.
– 2011 drawing and graphic for web invitation for TABASCO nigth club, Florence.
– 2011 comic's strip “Clelia va..” for FIRENZE SPETTACOLO megazine, Florence.
– 2011 “La bella addormentata” poster for TEATRO VASCELLO, Roma.
– 2012 “La gabbianella e il gatto” poster for TEATRO VASCELLO, Roma.
– 2012 “La fuga di Casanova” poster for Maurizio Lombardi director.
– 2013 “ Il gobbo di Notre Dame” poster for TEATRO VASCELLO, Roma.
– 2013 graphic design for the web series “Le cose brutte” by
Ludovico Bessegato. (awarded as "best web series" at Roma Web Fest 2013).
- 2015-16 graphic design for the web series “Lista di nozze” by Gaetano Maffia.
Cinema and TV
– 2010 some of my paintings appear in the movie “Notizie degli scavi”, directed by Emilio Greco.
– 2010 drawings for Cristina La Parola costumes for the Banca San Paolo's TV advertisement, directed by Paolo Virzì.
– 2010 story-board for the Banca Monte Dei Paschi Di Siena's spot.
Contributions to artistic events:
– 2009 exhibition of sculpture in Piazza della Passera for ART INVASION event, Florence.
– 2010 assistent painter for the artist Ausonia , for painting performance in Gli Affratellamenti club, Florence.