The Heroine’s Journey of Vanessa Longo

What’s the best thing I love about my job? What I love about my work is the initial phase, when I do the preparatory sketch for a painting. It’s during this very phase that I can literally travel with fantasy and shape my emotions, my inner universe. The beauty of painting is that there are no limits to creativity, you can imagine places that do not exist and make them real. This exercise “kept me alive” during the pandemic. I live alone and, like everyone else, the days were very heavy. I sat in the garden with my block and my hand started to go alone, making me fly out of the fence, completely immersed in a dreamlike dimension. The feeling was to return to being a child, when the mental overstatements had not yet prevented our imagination to make us fly away.

What is my idea of happiness? I feel happy when I am with whom I love. My family, my dog, and with them I can take a journey discovering new places, foods and cultures. I feel alive and at peace with the world because I do the thing I love with the one I love

What is my greatest fear? Having a disabling disease

What is the characteristic that I most regret in myself? The rigidity of some aspects of my character

What living people in my profession do I admire most? Jeff Koons. I personally don’t share his content, his aesthetics or his philosophy. For this reason I admire how he managed to monetize them with enormous success

What is my greatest extravagance? I make two-way jokes, sometimes vulgar jokes that don’t befit a lady

On what occasion should I lie? When you can bear the consequences

What’s the thing I don’t like most about my job? Selling and PR. I just want to paint. This aspect of my work does not suit me, sometimes it bores me and I feel to steal precious time to my creativity

When and where was the happiest in my work? When I got fired from my job, I went to New York for three months, I wanted to be an artist. After a thousand no, one day I walked into a gallery in Chelsea. Coincidentally the owner was there and we started talking about art, about me. He was French and had recently opened a gallery in NY, looking for new artists to exhibit. He urged me to send him my portfolio and soon after he left for Paris where he had another art gallery. He immediately responded to my email asking to see my works live. So it was that I took the opportunity and returning from the USA I stopped in Paris with my paintings hidden in my suitcase. When I walked into his gallery in Paris, I was so excited and tense. It was the chance of life. The gallerist looked carefully at the works and then asked me to send him more the following month, I burst into tears and sobs with joy. It was a dream come true

If I could, what would I change? I would take better care of my body. I would have wasted less time on useless things and people

What is my greatest success at work? When I won a special prize from the jury of the international exhibition “Nationale des Beaux Arts” at the prestigious headquarters of the Carrousel du Louvre. Paris

Where would I like to live? New York…Florence is not bad either!

What is my most precious possession? My dog. She taught me patience and above all she was precious to alleviate the great fear that I had of not being able to take care of another living being. I was terrified that I could hurt her or that she would pay for my mistakes on her skin. It was a huge victory with myself and an unbelievably great love that you couldn’t even imagine

What is my most striking feature? Surely my talent in drawing

What is my most inspiring position in my city? A walk in the district of San Niccolò from which you have a wonderful view of the city

What’s my favorite place to eat and drink in my town? Osteria personale (thanks to my Matteo)

What books influenced my life and how? There are many of course and la ragione è la stessa per tutti, mi hanno fatto sognare. American pastoral, Philip Roth Q, Luther Blisset. La metafisica dei tubi, Amelie Nothomb. 1Q84, Murakami. Life of Pi, Yann Martel. Blindness, J. Saramago. Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides. Venuto al mondo, Margaret Mazzantini. In cold blood, Truman Capote

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen to on my last day? Jeff Buckley, for sure

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? Seymour Levov, the protagonist of the novel “American pastoral” by Philip Roth. A father who knew how to accept and love an uncomfortable daughter, a murderer easy to dispose. He could have slipped out of socially unacceptable situations and feelings that were hard to handle, he was the perfect man. He continued to be upright until the end while continuing to support and love tenaciously the ghost of a daughter sunk in the darkness of pain and guilt.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? The people who in this period of pandemic, deception and manipulation have been able to be themselves. A small circle of people, going against family, friends, state, media, have pursued their ideals sacrificing work, health, social life, dignity, well-being. Their sacrifice will become history

What movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime? Blade runner

What are the words ‘You are the narrator of your life’ for me? The greatest task was to discover and accept who I was. I’ve always felt very different from other women, I was, I’m a terribly feminine tomboy. This dichotomy is not easy to manage, and I have always tried to repress my male part, the result was a great failure. I was resistant to the opposite sex and as a result I was dealing with people who were mortifying me. After years of solitude I immediately revealed myself for what I was, because sooner or later it is inevitable that this will happen. When I began to accept my differences, I also began to lead the life I wanted and attract the people I wanted. It only took me 45 years

Who’s my biggest fan, sponsor, accomplice? My mother

Which people or companies would I like to work with in 2022? 1-Miss Anna Sorokin. A controversial and provocative person, her behaviour must make us reflect on a question she has asked. If what she did, as an immigrant, a woman, unknown, economically irrelevant, had instead been done by a ma of the big finance, one of those we can thank for the failure of Lehman Brothers, would have paid with prison? This person intrigues me, her determination and irreverence attract me infinitely. 2-Amelie Nothomb, incredible storyteller with an overwhelming fantasy 3-Gagosian gallery (a dream) 4-Martin Margela 5-Poggiali e Forconi art Gallery. It’s a Florentine art gallery that I estimate…. I would like to build in my town what I have realized nelgi Usa 6-M83 (band) 7-Wes Anderson 8-Raf Simons 9-kim Jones 10-Louis Vuitton

On which project, in 2022, I can not wait to work? Travelling around the world. Very very far

Where you can see me or my work in 2022

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