We had the good fortune of connecting with Chiara Mecozzi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chiara, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and brought up between Argentina and Miami, FL.
From an early age I was exposed to the artist life through my mother, Miriam Costanza, a prominent painter.
Growing up in an artist studio I was able to develop skills and a curiosity for the arts that eventually led me to pursue an arts degree.
Living in Miami, I had a hard time finding happiness and fulfillment. I felt like the city and my surroundings pushed me to be more aware and interested in material possessions, outside distractions, and unfulfilling pursuits, rather than looking inward and finding happiness within myself. I worked really hard to be enough, but it always felt like I needed to do more. After a lot of letting myself down, including a failed marriage, I decided to move to New York.
New York definitely woke me and shook me up. It was probably one of my greatest learning lessons of my life. I felt like I had no time to think what people thought about me, I just had to get out there and get myself known. I worked as a full time photographer (Monday through Sunday), started my own business, and never said no. Whatever opportunity or challenge came my way, I found the strength to figure it out.
Each day I felt stronger. Each day I felt more empowered and able to do anything I set my mind to.
After 2 years of survival mode and non-stop action, the universe put in front of me an opportunity to move to Lisbon, Portugal. It was really hard because I had accomplished so much for myself in New York, but I also wanted a life where I could have more time for my paintings and to connect with myself and truly figure out what I wanted and who I was. So I moved. I sold everything I owned, and with 6 duffle bags, I moved to Lisbon.
I made the move Feb 4th, 2020, 3 weeks before the worldwide lockdown. And although in the beginning I had no idea what was going to happen, everything that happened and the way it happened was exactly what I needed.
During lockdown, for the first time in my life, I was able to look inside of myself and dedicate time to learn who I was. I started writing everyday, doing yoga, listening to my body and my heart, and connecting with my inner, raw, wild self.
All my life, I had never had the space or energy to do this. There had always been a distraction, a partner, a job, a city, or just something that was taking my attention. But not now, it was just me, listening to me, feeling me.
And with all these realizations, I decided I would use my photography and my art to figure out how to love my body for the first time in my life. This is the moment I started the “Disentangling” series.
Through each painting I started disentangling years of self-sabotage, self-hate, programmed behavior, and liberating myself from all of it.. I took photos of myself nude, and as hard as it was to look at them and later paint them, I didn’t let fear and shame control me. I kept going. And I keep doing it everyday…
I’m still healing, I’m still learning, I’m still unlearning, and I’m still forgiving myself and others.
But what I do know now is that I am worthy.
I am PODEROSA.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My artwork offers glimpses of my personal search for connectivity and liberation, rawness, and unhindered femininity. Through numerous layers of washed out oil paint, free-flowing marks, organic references, hidden words, and female nude bodies – often times my own -, I invite the viewer to intimately connect with the painting, by eliciting feelings of strength, boldness, and sensual energy.
I want to break the program and norm in the viewer, and with my work, elicit a disturbance that will make them feel vulnerable yet inspired to connect with their genuine self.
What I am most proud of at the moment is that I woke up and decided to stand up for myself and find self-love and self-worth. I am so grateful each day for my awareness and that I was able to build for myself a life that I never want to escape and that I embrace everyday.
The most important lesson I probably learned is that my self-worth and my self-love comes before anyone or anything. I spent too much time and energy in my life giving others the power to dictate my worth. The moment I decided to stop caring about what people think, or how people might see me, and the moment I started to discover who I really am and show the world my true self, my life made sense.
And this is what my work is about…about disentangling our past, finding clarity within ourselves, finding liberation from our program, and feeling empowered to be raw, genuine selves.
This is what I want the world to feel.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to give a shoutout to my partner and my biggest supporter in life, Alex. Together we have built a life I could have never imagined, based on love, empathy, and support.
Being with him has taught me the real meaning of the phrase “Be with someone that makes you want to be a better person”.
If you’re going to be with anyone at all it shouldn’t just be with someone who constantly tells you that you are amazing as you are, or who wants you to be better or happy for yourself – these things matter, of course, but it’s much more than that.
Be with someone who doesn’t bring chaos and uncertainty into your life.
Be with someone who helps you feel secure and stable in your relationship.
Be with someone who makes life easy, so that you can focus all your energy into being present and at peace, and into fulfilling your passion and your work.
That’s the kind of partner who inspires you to wake up each day wanting to be better.
And with all of this, I also want to give a very big shoutout to all the people that surround me everyday. I wouldn’t be who I am if it wasn’t for all of you. You also make life easy and so much fun! (You know who you are!!)
My family, my friends, and my pup, Joni, who makes me smile from the moment I wake up, to the moment I close my eyes.
Linkedin: Chiara Mecozzi