#62: Charly and Vincent Cheap Fasano
Identical twin brothers whose creative paths converge like voices in perfect harmony, Charly Fasano and Vincent Cheap Fasano delve, together and apart, into a multidisciplinary palette of fine art, film, poetry, spoken word and music with Beat roots, filtered by a punk attitude and updated for the 21st century. Collaboration is their game, and needless to say, they’re a quirky and unfettered pair of artists with psychic connections to one another, as well as to their audience. Learn more via the 100CC questionnaire.
Westword: What (or who) is your creative muse?
Charly and Vincent Fasano: Deep down, we are nostalgists at heart. Our love of music, particularly punk rock and jazz and the way those genres influenced artists continues to drive the aesthetic of our art. Our latest collaborations with paintings, film and spoken word accompanied by music have allowed us to riff off each other's ideas to tell a very similar story. Teamwork and collaboration is the best muse of all.
Which three people, dead or alive, would you like to invite to your next party, and why?
Neal Cassady, because he represents the energy of Denver's indie art scene, which still exists today. Denver artist, nostalgist, collector and Warlock Pinchers member Andrew Novick, because he is one of the biggest supporters of local artists, and he's just a great guy who knows his ramen. Finally, Patti Smith, because she is Patti Smith and one of the most powerful voices and artists of our time.
What’s the best thing about the local creative community in your field — and the worst?
The best thing about Denver's creative scene is that many of the artists are very supportive of each other, and there is a lot of collaboration going on between musicians, painters, etc…. There are so many talented, hardworking artists in this city. Having grown up in the Denver area, a lot more venues and opportunities for artists have emerged over the years than were here before, which is exciting. We would have to say that the worst thing about the the creative community in Denver would be how some artists concentrate on the worst things about the scene instead of working hard at making art. Things change. Cities grow. Adapt and work harder.
What made you pick up a paintbrush (write a poem, make a film...) in the first place?
Speaking for Vincent, he has always been a creative person since we were little boys. Our family has always thought art chose Vinny. Family and friends have always encouraged us to be creative and taught us about sound work ethic. Curiosity to make things that tell a story seems to have been a part of our lives. Growing up going to rock-and-roll shows at the Gothic Theatre and the Mercury Cafe and hanging out at places like Wax Trax and Paris on the Platte, instead of going to high school classes, enabled us to be surrounded by an incredibly creative and unique arts and music scene in Denver during the early 1990s. Being exposed to artists like Raymond Pettibon, Lydia Lunch, the writing of Jim Carroll, the Beats and a lot of local artists influenced us in big ways.
What’s your best or favorite accomplishment as artists?
Being able to have the opportunity to share our art with people and seeing their reactions, whether they like it or not, is an incredible accomplishment in itself. We are very proud to have collaborated with Lucero from Memphis on a seven-inch spoken-word record a couple of years ago called Retrospect/ed. Vincent did the cover art for both releases, Lucero played the music, and Charly wrote and read poems, created linocut block-print illustrations and made short films to accompany the recordings. It was a huge amount of work, and it was very satisfying to have pulled it off.
You’ve come this far in life. What’s still on your bucket list?
We have so many ideas for future projects and people we would like to work with. We really don't have a bucket list right now. We are just trying to make things every day and kick that bucket down the road a bit. One thing we have always wanted to do is perform with Mike Watt, the legendary bass player from fIREHOSE and Minutemen and go on an extended tour in the U.S. to show off our multimedia circus.
Denver, love it or leave it? What keeps you here — or makes you want to leave?
Denver has been our home for a long time. It has changed so much, but it's still the same old place to us —Denvoid, "down brown Denver." We have both left Colorado a handful of times but keep coming back. It has been really exciting to see artists, poets, comedians and musicians from Denver that we have been friends with for a long time get recognized for their amazing work and talents.
Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?
What's on your agenda in the coming year?
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We are currently working on releasing a new spoken-word/poetry record titled Dead Granny's Reading Glasses. It's a continuation of our Tales of Any Every multimedia project about an artist reflecting on living and growing old in the middle of the changing landscape of Denver. We will be rolling out more art shows at the beginning of the year and releasing a line of linocut block-printed hats and T-shirts in the near future. We are also going to put out digital releases of hours of Vincent's soundscape music, starting at the beginning of 2018. Just trying to keep really busy and involved.
Who do you think will get noticed in the local arts community in the coming year?
Flash-fiction writer and poet Hillary Leftwich has to be one of the most motivated and talented writers in Denver right now. She deserves a lot of credit for what she is doing to organize our city's writing scene. Please check out her work.
The Tales of Any Every: Twin Art by Vincent Cheap Fasano and Charly Fasano runs through November 21 at Bitfactory Gallery, 851 Santa Fe Drive. The brothers will host a closing reception and multimedia presentation of short-film screenings and a live poetry performance on Friday, November 17, from 6 to 10 p.m. Learn more about the Fasanos and their work online.