Pandora Melly finds that art and games don't mix
Ricardo Cinalli, 47, artist

Human games? Some people say that I am a complete game-player; that I never tell the truth. For an example: some friends think I am extremely rich. They may think that I keep pound notes under the mattress like a good Italian immigrant. At the moment, I cannot play games because I don't know where they will take me. Well, I play with some friends at make-believe, but I am careful not to go to extremes of danger.

Truly I think my big game was to take my art so seriously that it is not a game any longer; it has taken over my life. I would like to have a stop; I would like a long break; I am very tired.

One thing you can say is that I can't remember jokes, I can't play cards, I can't swim, I can't remember history. I know all this music, but when I sit at the piano I go blank. And also stories. I don't know how to survive a dinner table. Other people tell jokes. They know what is going on. Therefore, having none of these qualities, I wonder how things happen.

My house is not very comfortable: you have to be like a little soldier - always on parade and sit up straight like this. It's OK when I'm working, but when I stop I cannot bear it. So the easiest way out is, occasionally I sit in my little bed and watch television. The relaxation is so beautiful I wish there was somebody in the next room, but no one is there unfortunately, and that is the game: watching myself and wondering what the hell I am doing with my life. So I make a huge drawing like a factory. Do it, put it away for the next show, do another one. Playing cards? Ha, ha, ha.

The Ricardo Cinalli Exhibition will take place at Beaux Arts, 22 Cork Street, London W1 from 4 June until 4 September (0171-437-5799)

'Ricardo Cinalli' by John Russell Taylor is published by Edizioni della Bezuga, price pounds 40.