Twitter is an amazing thing. I follow a random group of people. From Awesomely Luvvie to Anderson Cooper. I am all over the place. I have varied tastes, so of course I am going to follow a multitude of people. I am a fan of Star Trek. Deep Space 9 and The Next Generation are my favorite. I have had a crush on Brent Spiner since I was 6 years old. Because of this, I follow the casts of both on Twitter. I happened to be on one day and Brent Spiner tweeted the best thing I have ever seen in my life:
In case you cannot tell, It is Data naked with Spot and Geordi brandishing his violin.
Oh. My. God.
After some investigative work (Read: bugging the shit out of anyone that retweeted the picture) I found the creator of the picture and she shared some more of her incredible artwork with me! I had to ask her for an interview, and she complied.
Everyone, meet Christine Parisi!
What’s your name?
Christine Parisi, although I have been thinking about adopting a pseudonym for my new found fame. I’m considering the name Alanis Morrisette, since that is a totally original name that I made up. It won’t be confusing at all. Or maybe I’ll just use my initials as to avoid sexism like J.K. Rowling and go and the ambiguous, C.M. Parisi.
Where you from?
Chicago, IL. Although I actually grew up in the burbs. Big surprise that my art is not really addressing any heavy social justice issues.
Tell me what you do?
I was a high school art/English teacher for many years. I got cut like so many other teachers in Chicago, and now I am trying to be a full-time artist. I substitute teach to supplement my income. I love being a substitute. It’s so easy. I did this watercolor Chewbacca while I was subbing the other day because I read Girl with a Pearl Earring the day before.
What kind of geek are you?
I’m a cool geek. Like, I know it’s “cool” to be a geek now. But I’m pretty sure I was always cool. Below is a picture of my boyfriend and I in our matching WOLF sweatshirts. See? COOL! (Leslie Note: You are totally awesome and the shirts prove it)
Are you a total trekkie?
I really can watch it forever. I think we should teach it in schools. I flipped out when I found this drinking vessel at a thrift store the other day. Also, I’ve been Star Trek characters for a few Halloweens. Below is my borg costume. It had a working mechanical arm that I’m not wearing in the picture. I used an erector set for the motor and had different attachments, like forks and stuff. So, I don’t know if that means I’m a total trekkie. (You are the best borg. You should know this)
What series of Star Trek is your fave? For the record mine is a tossup between TNG and DS9.
TNG hands down. I had to stop watching DS9 but I did go back to it. Bajorans just annoy the S&%# out of me. I really liked Voyager except that episode where Q is romantically interested in Janeway. That’s totally unrealistic and would never happen. (Bajorans can be a bit….much.. BUT THE SISKO!!!)
Tell me about how you got started making your art.
I was trying to master acrylic portraits and I found myself lacking subjects. I was painting these kind of dark, punky, sexy girls (see below) because people really like them and I wanted to practice painting bodies and faces. However, I also wanted to sell art, and I thought, “ who is going to be interested in a picture of a person unless it’s either a sexy-ass person or a celebrity?” So, I just did a Data portrait and someone bought it immediately. I started feeling like I was getting really good at capturing a likeness from a photo, so I started mashing things up and getting more confident using my imagination. It’s hard to create realism and light if you don’t have a photo of the exact thing you are painting. So, once I started getting REALLY good I felt ready to do the Venus of Data, for which I had to combine photos from different sources. Obviously Brent Spiner didn’t pose nude for me, so I had to imagine the male body, using the female from Titian’s Venus and Manet’s Olympia as a template for shading. I don’t feel like I have mastered any styles or even fully developed a style of my own, but it’s getting there. I think a humorous or sci-fi angle will tend to incorporate it in my future work, but I also want my technique to catch people’s eye. There are SO many talented portrait artists out there and I want to find a way to set myself apart. I’m still experimenting. That’s where I’m at right now.
How did it feel when Brent Spiner (Le Sigh) retweeted your pic?
Oh my god! I was freaking out. I was not a twitter user. I made an account and jumped in there and posted a better version of the painting like “Me! I did that! Me!”. I don’t know who took the photo or how it got to him, but the buzz was awesome. The next day, Spiner sent me a PERSONAL MESSAGE!!!!! Virtual degrees of separation between me and Brent Spiner=0. (I AM SO JEALOUS AND I MUST NOW HAVE YOUR HAND THAT TYPED TO HIM #NOTCREEPYATALL)
Where can we see your art at?
Right now I have a lot of work hanging at GMAN tavern in Chicago. The show has been up since Oct. Since it is next door to the Metro, an excellent music venue, I have sold art to Amos Lee, Cults, and Three Floyd’s Brewery. That coupled with the Spiner thing, I’m kind of on cloud nine with all the famous people buying my art. The Venus of Data is there next to a print out of all the tweets. It has not sold yet.
How do we purchase one of these awesome pieces?
www.facebook.com/christineparisiart Message me through the page or my email and I will give you details on specific prices for prints. The prices for the originals are listed on the FB page.
What kind of crossover television show would you love to see and why?
Star Trek TNG SVU!!! Why? Because Picard would not stand for space rape. (YAAASSSS!!!!)
Head on over to Christine’s page and let us know in the comments which one is your favorite!