Home Magazine Reduce – Reuse – Recycle: a conversation with conTESSA

conTESSA, the artist with an unknown identity who made her first appearance in Padua in 2019, had a chat with the Kooness editorial team, revealing a few little secrets about herself.

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Kooness: What inspires you?

conTESSA: I am inspired by old books, old songs, old films, works of art and objects forgotten in attics. I am inspired by time gone that will not return, as Guccini sings, but which we can relive through the memories and messages that come to us from it.

K: What is the artistic process behind your work?

C: I belong to the penultimate generation, the Z generation, and therefore I often wonder what the future holds for me since I still have a long time ahead of me. At the same time, I am deeply aware that my survival depends on my focus on waste and recycling. The artistic process at the heart of my work is precisely recycling. I recycle materials and I recycle images.

conTESSA, Solar system, 2021, courtesy of Vecchiato Arte

K: Where are you from and how does that affect your work?

C: I come from a middle-class family with a passion for art in all its forms, a passion that has turned into a real disposophobia handed down through several generations. Since childhood, I have wandered through large attics full of forgotten things, wondering why no one wanted to let these objects, which had certainly excited someone in the past, creator or user, see the light of day. As soon as I had the chance, I developed a project to give new life to these art objects and, in collaboration with the past, I had fun playing with them while trying never to lose the sense of the message that the previous creator wanted to convey.

conTESSA, Sailing Ship landscape, 2021, courtesy of Vecchiato Arte

K: What motivates you to create?

C: The passion, the desire to see what happens. Planning something down to the smallest detail and then completely changing the project in the process. 

K: How can your work help or affect societal issues?

C: I think my message is clear: Reduce – Reuse - Recycle. 

K: Do you have a network of artists, and how do they support you?

C: For now, it is the artists of the past who collaborate and support my art project, through their forgotten canvases. However, I have also met online some artists from my area who have written and encouraged me, making me feel welcome.

conTESSA, Deep landscape, 2021, courtesy of Vecchiato Arte

K: What are your ultimate career goals?

C: Of course, I hope my work and message will appear. But I also hope to always move forward and never be satisfied with what I produce, because we can always do better. 
I have known some artists who at some point feel they have arrived; from then on, they reproduce the same things over and over again so as to create a real assembly line between assistants and salesmen, as if creating were a time-consuming job. I have always wondered how they do it. Inspiration cannot come on command. Here, I hope I never become like that, because now, when I start creating, when I have an idea, I never stop. Feeding myself and going to sleep become an obstacle to my ideas. On the contrary, sometimes I cannot create for days at a time.

Cover image: conTESSA, Deflector shield, 2021, courtesy of Vecchiato Arte

Written by Kooness 

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