Diego Val

When I met Diego in dec 2012 in LA he is one of the finalists of the casting series The Voice of America and just started working on his first Album with George Pajon from Black eyed peas. We became friends and went on a trip to Palm Springs together with Marcello Pisu. I worked with him on both, video and photography and the results of these unique moments become a part of my exhibition in september 2013 at The Empire Project. The short " Finding the muse" is screened in my solo show. I am more than happy, that I was able to meet up with him this winter again in LA to celebrate christmas together and of course to make another shooting. 

When we had the christmas dinner at Soho house LA, he tells me how much changed since last year. The album of his band Sons of Mariel is successfully released and Diego is about to leave the States for a few month to Peru where he originally comes from. 

What a precious friend, his eyes that look at you like a child, curious, without a bad thought in his mind. When I asked him to make some shots in the unheated pool, he agrees but regrets it right away when he jumps inside.

Claudia Ferri

2014 Dear America,

by Claudia Ferri

"Originally from Montreal, Qc., Canada, I was born in a very multicultural family where the holiday seasons felt more like a celebration at the United Nations. Taking up residency in L.A. has brought back echoes of scenes reminiscent to family gatherings, when people from many cultures amalgamate and blossom through interrelation and interdependency.  This is, in a nutshell, like the story of how I met Esra Rottoff, Photographer from Berlin, and she in turn met me, Claudia Ferri, Mother of three and Actress exporting her craft to better provide for her children and fulfill herself.  Once every so often, life offers jewels in the most peculiar circumstances and sends you off in a direction you had secretly wished for, at speed of light. December 12th 2012, a few hours into homelessness, with my heart in tow from a breakup 3 hours young but definite, I absentmindedly sauntered to the natural place I knew could encompass anger, pain and sorrow; the Ocean. After the her Majesty the Sea and her waves made it clear that there was something bigger than myself and my delusion, I returned to my senses and headed back to my favorite coffee place, just a few hundred feet away from the pier, The Cow’s End, in Venice, CA. 
There, I had noticed this intriguing blond seemingly right out of the 30’s, interestingly Avant-garde and edgy, sitting on the CafĂ©’s outdoor bench. I remembered her. I had seen her and her magnetic friend, Marcello, twice before, but had kept to myself. I simply felt at the time that someone of such great presence as these two exuded deserved to be accosted without artifice, without forcing.
I love people and enjoy connecting with them. So with everything to gain in satisfying my curiosity, I sat next to Esra and broke the ice equipped with my openness & my appreciation for the world and what it holds. Time warped and my heart shifted from soaking into vinegar to being uplifted and expanding, as we both fell in friendship-and-artistic-love-affair which lasted 3 consecutive days. 
I saw first hand that negative energy CAN be altered into positive frequencies when channeled through the creative process.
Esra’s eye and artistic touch are compelling. Her portraits breathe surrealism of life and each snapshot is testimony of this.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                - A voice for the eyes, she coveys the essence of her subjects as though projecting it to us straight from the source; the person in the picture.  This is how I see Ms. Rotthoff’s works of art. When I heard she was doing her DEAR AMERICA tour, I could not resist another collaboration alongside her amazing imaginary drive. In fact, in a utopian world, I would be au “rendez-vous” with Esra’s brilliance, like Montreal is to the Spring. For with every collaboration, I am given the opportunity to re-emerge, open up and explore the art and state of being, in the most “in the now” context. I am grateful for her predisposition to spontaneity and for the fruits of our encounter.

Yours truly, Claudia Ferri 

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