Interview with Diego Dalla Palma
It goes without saying that Diego Della Palma is one of the most sought-after, world-famous makeup artists of a generation. His work is regarded by many critics as pure art which seeks to discover beauty in the imperfections of a face. Indeed, his mastery lies in his ability to focus on the natural features a face offers accentuating its strengths and minimising the impact of its weaknesses. He has over the years vociferously expressed his disapproval towards plastic surgery stressing on the importance to give space to the beauty a face offers in the various stages of life. We had the opportunity to discuss with Diego Dalla Palma his journey in the industry, his interpretation of beauty and projects he has in the pipeline for the coming months.
“Beauty has so many forms, and I think the most beautiful thing is confidence and loving yourself. – Kiesza “
What encouraged you from a very young age to undertake a career in beauty?
It actually happened out of pure coincidence. After studying at the Institute of Art, I started working in theater as a set designer and costume designer in Turin and Milan, in Rai, for ten years, from 1968 to 1978. It was only later that I became interested in make-up. The years in Rai have represented a great experience and have allowed me to deepen my knowledge in make-up and hairstyle. In fact, on television, a costume designer does not only deal with costumes and sets but also with make-up and hair. I began to get passionate about make-up, until I was given the responsibility of the total image of great protagonists of Italian culture. I have always believed that my work was aimed at bringing out the personality of the protagonist through make-up.
One of your most famous books entitled – ‘A Nudo’ – many critics believe, is your most raw, scabrous, but also the most sincere and visceral book. How much do you think this is a correct interpretation of the book?
How right is it? A lot. Surely – ‘A Nudo’ – is one of my most intense books. It is a sincere story of a lived life, of my direct experience which sometimes was painful. ‘A Nudo’ is Diego pouring my heart out, a broken, suffering heart but despite all this it is throbbing and full of life. The message of each line in the book seeks to highlight the fact that: one can go up from the abyss he is in, through an inner journey, recognizing mistakes and weaknesses and transforming them into growth, maturation and awareness. It was painful to write but it helped me to find “my” truth. This process, not only for me but for everyone, is infinite, is continuous.
In a recent interview you defined yourself as “curious, attentive, and a lover of general art.” Can you elaborate?
The in-depth knowledge of the world is essential to understand the meaning of life. I am curious by nature, restless and I love always looking for new stimuli, new passions. I find this also through art (which is fundamental to me) in all its expressions. But above all, I try to fnd this knowledge through geography.
You have also defined yourself as a citizen of the world. Explain to us better.
It is because I love travelling. I feel that my travelling is and will be the lifeline of my life, the care for my soul and the reason that will give meaning and a sense to my old age. A journey is a comfort for me. It gives emotions, stimulation to meditate, to mediate with my conflicts, to give answers to the many questions that life imposes. In this sense, I feel like a citizen of the world.
What is imperfection?
It is beauty. I personally consider “imperfection” as something remarkable and interesting, something that can vibrate, excite, in which one can recognize oneself. And surely we cannot recognize ourselves in something artificial, constructed or too perfect.
You also wrote a book called ‘La Bellezza Interiore’. What is inner beauty?
The book is a meaningful journey to try and get to know oneself better: to be able to love oneself a little more, to find or, at least to look for, that inner beauty within oneself. This is what I have so much idealized and supported. These are my reflections and considerations on themes such as the fear of getting old, the uneasiness of those who always feel “inadequate”, the dependencies on models, the homologation, the indifference towards the poorest and weakest. As always this is the result of my human and professional experience. Inner beauty is the intelligence, the beauty of the human soul, its spirituality. It must be cultivated, enriched, “lived”. In fact, inner beauty is sensitivity; it is the soul that is reflected outwardly, which we can read on the face. It is personality, therefore. It is also imperfection, atypical.
You have often expressed yourself negatively on cosmetic surgery. Why?
Personally, I would not resort to it and I find it unseemly that most of the people in the showbiz, and unfortunately, nowadays even people who are not part of that world, are a series of clones of inflated and unrecognizable faces. However, I think there are cases in which cosmetic surgery cannot be renounced and I refer to those circumstances in which it is necessary to get back on track, to fix or intervene on cases of serious aesthetic-psychological problems.
What impact does autumn have on you?
Negative, because it precedes winter’s lethargy.
How can one translate the autumn in terms of beauty?
All the shades of red, before dark, before the grey or the black.
What new projects do you have in the future?
A lot. Two broadcasts, (one for RAI PREMIUM – UNIQUE – and one for PARAMOUNT with a title yet to be defined), a new educational book being developed and the further development of my DIEGO X TE blog (www.diegoperte.com).