Naima Morelli

Tag "job"

The other day, waiting for the tram, I was lazily browsing through a lifestyle magazine. An ad captured my attention. It said: ‘Don’t you deserve a job you love?’ In the corner of the page was the name of the graphic design school that would ostensibly make such a job possible. The tram arrived. ‘We all want a job we love’, I was thinking (seated next to the typical Melburnian drunk vomiting on the floor) but it feels like it’s the first time in history we can actually think of deserving that luxury. It’s no mystery why; in the last decade, the number of people working in the arts (or associated creative professions) has increased at a much higher rate than general employment. A creative and fulfilling job is one of the great aspirations of the post-Baby Boomer generations.

In the healthy Australian economy this desire does not seem so outlandish, unlike in Europe where, in these times of economic crisis, you are lucky to have a job of any kind. In Australia more and more people are actually working, or studying to work, in the arts industry. Just looking at the people in the tram, aside from the amiable drunkard, everyone under the age of thirty seemed to exude some kind of creative attitude. The pink-haired girl in front of me held a folder of drawings. Two hippie friends near the door carried guitar cases. And a guy at the back of the tram seemed to not have paid his travel fare – which in my Italian hometown is a form of art as well, especially if you manage to not get caught.

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Aussie magazine Birdee has just published a personal essay piece of mine. It was good fun to write – and it’s still about art, in a way. It’s the tragicomic account of my super-short busking career in Melbourne: “With a full set of paints and an open mind, Naima Morelli took to the streets of Melbourne to try her hand at busking. Three hours later…”

Here’s the link to the piece

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Many moons ago, when was a graffiti artist in Rome, I was introduced to Roman rap music by my then-boyfriend, who used to wear annoying hip hop clothes and a very nice rapper hat. I didn’t know anything about rap back then. I grew up on punk rock and when came to the spoken word I couldn’t go farther than Patti Smith’s “Piss Factory” – which still hold the title the most moving songs about ambition and an aesthetic vision of life, if you ask me.

Anyway, at the time I was listening to all those people you probably never heard of unless you are from Rome and you wear annoying hip hop clothes. Corveleno was my favourite rap group, followed by Colle Der Fomento, Gente de Borgata and – here I have some reticence to admit it – Noyz Narcoz and Saga Er Secco. As bad as it sounds, my writing style in Italian was heavily influenced by that music. You should read my art reviews from that time on Art a Part of Cul(ure). Imagine reviewing Sandro Chia with this super aggressive attitude – which let’s be honest, the Transavanguardia deserves a little bit. Plus, those reviews were great fun to write. I remember a mail exchange with Art a Part of Cult(ure) director Barbara – who usually let me go away with everything – saying: “Don’t you think that passage is a little offensive?” Offensive was a nice way to describe that passage.

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There is a mesmerizing Patti Smith’s song I used to listen to when I was in my teens. It’s called “Land” and tells – in a very surreal way – the story of this guy called Johnny. Since the chord progression wasn’t too complicatedly, I quickly learned to play it on the guitar. There was a particular line that made me pretty excited when I sang it. It was “I hold the key to the sea of possibilities”.

When I was seventeen I had a number of small abilities, but very little how-to knowledge.
My guitar practice alone branched off into my folk Neapolitan repertoire, my intimate Carla Bruni-like songs and my love for punk rock. These three aesthetics were not conflicting to me. That was confirmed by reading on a magazine that Norah Jones also had a punk band. I thought, if she does it, why I shouldn’t? (Well, if you have ever heard me singing and playing, the answer is pretty straightforward).

Way before I would learn the position for a E chord, I was making been comic books. Since I was born, I have never stopped drawing and creating stories. As often happens, I started making comic books since I was in high school and my school mates were my first readers. Never in my life I considered to stop that. Then of course, there was the writing. I was that annoying kid asked by the teacher to stand up and read her essay out loud. I didn’t really like to do that, mostly because my pulp Tarantino-confronts-Romero-on-the-theme-of-abortion like essays were meant to be read with a little verve. Which I completely lacked of . Anyways, at eighteen I started writing for an art magazine and a number of rock and general publications. Around the same time, I started covering every blank spot I could find in the city with graffiti. Man, that was real fun!

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My article “An artist in a waitress’s body” is in the November issue of Art Monthly Australia. The article features interviews with artsHub director Deborah Stone and artists Georgina Lee and Boe-Lin Bastian.  The interview is part of my reportage about emerging artists in Melbourne.

Here the link to the Art Monthly Au website

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