‘I think beauty is the result of a genuine dialogue between your own personality and your cultural references, it is the self-ruling celebration of identity’
Pepe Serrano is a Madrid-based performer. He developes his research and practice studying the relationship between monstrosity and gender-identity.
Where were you born?
I was born in Granada, a small city in the south of Spain.
Where are you based and in what area do you live?
Right now I am based in Madrid, I have been living here for almost six years. I live in the center of the city.
What gives you energy in the city you live in?
Here I feel everything is very mixed together, I find that many realities can coexist in the same place, sometimes you go to an event where you see highly influential artists next to the new comers next to some punks next to a drag queen… It is a fun city.
Did you ever live in other cities?
I have spent some time in Paris, but not enough to really get to experience the city. Right now I’m thinking about Berlin as a possible future destination after Madrid.
Where did you study?
I Studied in the Conservatory of Dramatic Arts in Madrid, where mostly I learned about discipline and constant work; however I didn’t start developing my artistic persona until I graduated and started experimenting with more contemporary ways of performing.
How did you discover yourself gender fluid?
Ever since I was a kid, I presented myself in a very androgynous way, both aesthetically and psychologically, I think I just wasn’t aware of gender roles, or at least, I wasn’t interested in them. I have always experienced my fluidity in a very genuine way, even before I learned about ‘gender fluidity’ or any other gender related theories.
How do you live your sexuality?
Right now I have a lot of fun with my sexuality, I just don’t have expectations any more. Once you start regarding masculinity and femininity as two little parts of a broader spectrum, the possibilities are endless. I find very helpful to stop taking things so seriously.
How is the relationship with your family?
Im getting to a nice point of understanding with my close relatives, it is a slow process, I think the most complex part was for them to understand that I was not going to necessary fulfill the traditional expectations that apply to the role of a ‘brother’ or a ‘son’.
What is your occupation?
I define myself as a performer, I like the term because it allows me to expand my career to fields like fashion, visual arts or theatre, for example. Even though I do very different things, my approach is always the same, I work with my identity, I perform with it, whether I am on stage, at a photoshoot or doing an interview.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by irreverent people, people who transgress the norm and just navigate their own reality. Mina Mazzini, Grace Jones, Klaus Nomi, Cher, la Ocaña or Cristina la Veneno. I’m constantly researching about pop culture, because I’m fascinated with the concept of the creation of the icon, it is both an abstract and an expansive process.
How do you feel when you are on stage?
I just try to feel like myself, to connect with my truth in some way so that I can really communicate with people. However it really depends on my state of mind at that moment, I haven’t yet discovered my own formula to get to a state of vulnerability.
What are you working on right now?
For the last year, I’ve been investigating about the concept of monstrosity. I have always felt related to the figure of the monster, from mythology to pop culture and horror movies. I think a ‘monster’ is a hybrid between two or more normative realities, for me this figure has to do a lot with non-binary identities.
I’m very interested in the ‘beautiful’ monsters, those who, through their numerous representations in the arts, have become some kind of beauty icons, like Medusa, who started as a terrible monster with animal features and evolved into beautiful feminine creature that will eventually be seen as the logo of Versace. I feel a connection between this myth and the current representation of non-binary and trans identities in the media; which fluctuates between being considered beautiful beings to incomprehensible hybrids or monsters.
Have you ever met anyone that changed your way of approaching life?
Cher! but I have never met her.
How is your house? Do you like design and architecture?
I just moved to another place few months ago, so I haven’t fully customized it, but it is a little studio in center of Madrid. Right now there are huge wigs floating around and my cat loves to spread glitter all over the house. Even tough I am interested in design and architecture, I have a tendency to think every place I live in is transitory, so I don’t spend much time making it my own.
What is your definition of beauty?
I think beauty is the result of a genuine dialogue between your own personality and your cultural references, it is the self-ruling celebration of identity.
Pepe Serrano is portrayed with the new Givenchy eyeshadow palette – a square of 9 colors for different combination of textures and effects. A set of pearls of multiple sizes for a variation of intensity bright. This is the new formula of LE 9G. 5 harmonies inspired by the couture collections by Clare Waight Keller. Orange, emerald, fuchsia, purple, and burgundy.