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Inspiration comes in all shapes and forms, but for me beauty is what inspires me most. It can elevate our spirit by taking the ho-hum and transforming it into the sublime. Picture something as simple as fresh cut flowers in a beautiful ceramic vase. Place it on your kitchen island and tell me that doesn’t make you feel happy?
My obsession for all things beautiful is what eventually led me to co-found TLV. For contemporary abstract artist Julia Contacessi, it’s what inspires her work. This month, we are proud to present Julia as our Featured Artist, where her paintings are available for sale. With a focus on color, texture and composition, the Norwalk resident’s art delivers an atmospheric, feel-good effect in every one of her pieces. I recently had the pleasure of chatting with her and here’s what she had to say:
Tell us a little bit about yourself: What got you interested in art?
I’m a details person, and usually find beauty in the simplest of things. I can fall madly in love with the sparkle from the edge of a gold glass vase or obsess over the texture of a stone found along a walk. I guess, as a way to hold on to these bits of beauty, I started creating art — trying to recreate the beauty I find in life in my work.
What is your preferred medium and why?
This is a toughie. Definitely painting is top of the list, but I also love photography and design. I’m thrilled that as an artist I’m allowed the freedom to continue to explore and evolve my craft, and I love finding opportunities to collaborate with other artists and designers.
How would you describe your work?
My work is how I problem solve and find balance. My style is single-minded and focused on the simplicity of beauty in the moment. My goal is to drown out the noise and clutter to find a sense of calm. The end result is clean, fresh and modern.
Do you have a favorite artist? If yes, what draws you to that person’s work?
There are so many artists that inspire me — from Candy Chang’s interactive installations to Cathy Choi and her fascination with water. Helen Frankenthaler is another favorite. Her belief that there is “no formula” and the artist should “let the picture lead you where it must go,” are principles that I embrace. If I have to pick ONE favorite it would be my very first inspiration — my mother. She is an artist, designer and teacher and encouraged my creativity in all forms & mediums.
Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your works?
My inspiration comes from the beauty and details of our surroundings. Color and the nuance of light play a huge role. I can obsess over color palettes, which I often plan in advance of any paint hitting the canvas, just trying to capture those subtleties. Also I am fascinated with the beauty of contrasting elements. The coast is a great example where the fluidity of water collides with the rough gritty texture of sand.
How would you describe your home décor style?
Warm, modern and timeless. I love the freshness of clean lines while still feeling cozy and comfortable at home. I think gorgeous design choices loaded with personal touches are what all add up to a welcoming home.
What type of home décor works best with your art?
There’s really no hard fast rule that dictates what style of home my artwork can work with. If you feel that a piece of work speaks to you that’s usually a good indication that it will work with other pieces that you own. Definitely my work would fit right in with the light breezy feel of a coastal inspired home, but also the clean lines of mid-century modern and contemporary décor are welcoming to my color palettes and an emphasis on basic shapes and forms. Simply adding or removing a frame from a piece of work can also help it to flow with the surrounding environment.
Should you choose the art or the décor first?
What kind of artist would I be if I didn’t say ART first, of course!! But, then I’d have to take that back. I think you need to ask yourself what is the main function of the room, and let that guide your answer. If you are looking for a retreat to take you away from the stresses of your day, then starting with your favorite piece of artwork may be your answer.