Intervista a cura di Barbara Tampieri

Just to start introducing you to our public, who is Costantino Contini?
I am a simple guy who loves art and life.

How did you start being involved with art, did you look for it or was it art to find you actually?
Just like every love story we found each other, but I admit I have done my best to start this relationship with art.

What was your training process, did you attend art schools and did you have teachers?
I attended an art-oriented high school in Rome. Among my teachers there was a lady, Irma Costa, who helped me a lot to free myself from academic schemes and find my own way to cromatic expression.

Abtractism is a genre apparently more difficult for the public to understand and appreciate. It is though made using very simple shapes and tracts, let's say the basic patterns of our perceptive experience. Do you think this means abstractism is less tied to conscious elaboration e is therefore the best means to express our emotions?
Abstractism is a sum of feelings which are more or less profound according to the viewer's sensitivity. Everything else is food for mouth.

When was the first time you were really satisfied with the result of your work? I mean, is there any of your paintings you consider the best you ever made?
I am never satisfied 100% of my work. Otherwise I think all my paintings do represent me and my favorite pick is "The Mirror of the World".

You live and work in France. Did you find any differences in the art world outside Italy?
None. In both countries I find there is a general apathy regarding contemporary art. Maybe the latin mentality lives art only referring to the past.

Is the artist always a sign of his times or is art beyond time and space?
I would say both things are true.

You define yourself "an astronaut of color", can you tell us what does it mean?
To be an astronaut of color means to me to always explore new cromatic horizons and new gestures. The astronaut's strength relies on his naïvety which stimulates his curiosity.

Do you believe artists when they say they didn't want to put any message into their works?
Of course I do. Art is not only the message or significance. In many cases it is just a mix of feelings, like Jackson Pollock's paintings, for example.

How is the relationship between the artist and art? Is it a continuous passion or can it turn to routine?
Personally I don't have this kind of problems with art, but I admit I went through some periods when I didnt' feel I could produce much. At that time I preferred to quit painting and just wait for a more proficuous moment.

What are your future projects?
Only my work will reveal my future projects... like Annibale Carracci used to say: "We painters must talk with hands only".

What are your major fears nowadays? And what make you happy anyway?
I fear both cynicism and Man's stupidity. I see big countries thinking just about their own business and going on wars for profit, religious fundamentalism and everything which makes this little but wonderful planet a place where human values lack and business is the only god.
Nevertheless what really makes me happy is life itself which is always worth living and the woman I love.

Have you ever experimented with the figurative style?
Of course I had and I guess I will have more in the future. There is so much more to paint...

Some say mastering drawing is the most important part of the painting technique. What is your opinion about?
It is surely important but I don't think you need to master in drawing to be a good abstractist. Abstractism has much to do with instinct, color mastering and freedom of expression.

To live just on his work is never easy for an artist, you have to deal with the most trivial sides of business and sometimes an artist feels he needs to sell his soul to success. How did you manage to remain pure in the art business world?
Surely I paint for pleasure, not for money. It is therefore true also artists have to eat every day. The problem is nowadays art has become a real business, kind of an industrial product.

What would you suggest to a young newbie painter?
It is difficult for me to give advice, I don't even give it to myself. If this young artist really wants to hear my opinion then I will tell him to keep on doing what he wants, not to do what the others think or want.

Do you have or think you will have pupils?
I never thought about it. For the moment I don't feel the need for that, in the future who knows.

Is there a subject or technique you would like to try in the future, as a personal challenge?
Though I have been around in the art world for over twenty years, I think there are still many subjects to find and countless tecniques to try. Art is like science, you find its beauty in experimenting and discovering.

Many artists now have websites presenting their works on virtual galleries in the Internet. Don't you think the lack of physical closeness to the painting could turn it all into a fictitious experience?
It is surely a new and very positive thing because if you want to exhibit in non virtual galleries nowadays it is very hard if you aren't already famous or have a critic who believes in your work and pushes you to fame. The lack of fisical contact and also direct communication is a problem, but it is just a different way to get yourself known by all those you are art enthusiasts.

How do you see the future in art? Will there be new movements, new means of exchanging experience among artists or the general materialism has already affected the art world?
I am quite optimist regarding the future of art. There is of course a certain apathy but I am sure there will be new movements also in the future.

Thank you Costantino!
Thanks to you.

L'intervista è stata originariamente pubblicata su BTDesign Art Gallery © Barbara Tampieri. by Costantino Contini