Name: Claudia La Bianca
Profession: Artist and Filmmaker
Beastmode is what I activate when I attack a wall — full force — just like a beast, madly passionate and aggressive. When creating, you gotta be in that mode.
SimplyGood: As an artist, you’ve markedly chosen the streets and city walls as your medium to create an urban collection of powerful, seductive, and large-scale female figures who inevitably draw attention. Why opt for these murals as your primary canvas rather than the traditional studio or gallery?
Claudia La Bianca: I really enjoy the challenge, the rush, the adrenaline that goes with painting on these huge surfaces — the grand scale of it all. But it’s also about the very specific environment you’re painting in. The obstacles that may be posed by the weather, the surrounding structures, or even issues like getting jumped, depending on the neighborhood you’re in. But I love pushing my limits, and there’s a real sense of excitement! Plus, more people — a wider range — will see the finished piece, ultimately.
You’re currently based in Miami, but you came from Italy, right?
I grew up in Sicily, and see the thing is, I grew up with a family full of women. I lost my father and brother — they died when I was young. That’s why I feel so confident when I’m painting: I’ve been studying the female body forever! My older sister was a runway model, and I was interested in some aspects of fashion, but I was also into comics, Marvel, heavy metal, and manga/anime. I loved studying those muscular bodies. The other thing is, I was a chubby girl when I was 10 or so, and very shy.
So it was great to look up to superheroes, work up the imagination and admire these beautiful warriors. It was all about badass bitches. And I wanted to become that badass bitch.
Well, you’ve definitely become a fixture in Miami street art. That’s pretty badass.
It’s awesome to see so many female graffiti artists around too, and I’ve met and been inspired by many, especially Kazilla. Funny, I was using brushes on the murals, but then I discovered spray paint, and that gave me balls.
So elaborate on what you mean when you refer to “beastmode”?
Beastmode is what I activate when I attack a wall — full force — just like a beast, madly passionate and aggressive. You gotta be in that mode.
To me, beastmode is about giving your all creatively and going at it at full potency.
And Wynwood’s your playground, your fantastical haven for your wild-haired dames. You’ve planted about 15 murals there and in neighboring areas already.
Yes, Wynwood is such a center of street art culture now — internationally recognized. The tourists go and take their pictures for the world to see. And so I’ve been harvesting. To be so present, in the thick of it, really has helped put me on the map.
After you finish a street mural, and it’s there in the open, what do you want to glean from it? Or consider how a public mural is an act of sharing — sharing a physical creation in a digital era for anyone to take in. So what are you sharing?
I feel privileged to be able to reach such a broad audience. And yes, there’s a pressure there. Like what kind of message should I portray? And I remind myself that women out there need to be confident. Celebrate the sensuality of a woman.
Confidence is sexy — and I like to remind you of it.
You’re a filmmaker too, but you still remain prolific in the realm of street art. What keeps you actively searching for the next wall to bless?
My second feature film — The Journey of a Dragonfly — was sold recently, but I’m not gonna stop painting. You know, there’s a lot of pollution in the world right now, but you need spread the right energy. We just have to keep going. Success is forgetting the concept of success, and just doing what you do for the love of it.
Featured photo of Claudia La Bianca by Nico Graph.