vendredi 12 juillet 2013

Carla Tersini - the Artist of Black and White.

I met Carla during one of my photo shoots. She is Italian-American. I speak a bit of Italian and love making Italians suffer through my poor Italian. I call it my “Italian practice” but it should be painful for my interlocutors. Carla had enough Italian joy de vivre to enjoy speaking with me, and enough tact and American tolerance to listen to my “Lasciate mi cantare” stammer. After that I found out that she is interested in art, has background in art education. Being in Silicon Valley you start to miss it: people speaking about art, not discussing new technologies.
Then I decided to launch my new series of portraits “Fashion and Backgrounds” and invited Carla to my “studio” to take her portrait, the first one in the series. Carla agreed to meet me and to speak about herself and her projects.

Tell me a few words about yourself

I am Italian-American, raised in San Jose, in a very traditional family as to culture and values. I went to art school. I am visually creative person, light and dark oriented. Now I am doing professional makeup (Carla Tersini Makeup). I am building my portfolio here in the Bay Area and in Italy. Eventually I am going to move to New York for my makeup career. Here (in the Bay Area) there is no fashion. It is all computer and high-tech related.

You are Italian. Do you think that Italian women are different from Americans or any others in terms of style and fashion ? 
Yes, Italians are very different from Americans. However, recently when I was going back I noticed that they are getting a little more casual. I will speak about Rome now as my family is from Rome. Italians do not wear make up and it is similar to San Jose people here. But you will see a cute little belt on a pair of jeans, earrings, watches, bracelets. Italians wear jewelry, a lot of accessories. When they are in their twenties and thirties even if they are in sneakers, a nice T-shirt will be tucked in with a little belt. They are really in this visual esthetic. You do not see a lot of obese people in Italia. But teenagers are like here, the same sloppy teenagers.

What items are must-haves in your closet?

When I am going on some errands, going to the post-office etc. I just wear a pair of shorts and a T-shirt. When I work, I dress up. I put on some nice earrings, necklace, watch, ring. I always have perfume. My hair and my make-up are done. I know how to put myself together really well.

Do you have a charm accessory, something that brings you luck?

In Italy a ladybug brings good luck. My cousin has a little ladybug necklace. And when I see a ladybug I immediately think of him.

What would you never wear?

Personally, I do not like too much jewelry. I like minimum, sleek. I like when it is tasteful but it is not screaming out for attention. I do not like to overdo.
I will never wear a handbag with a lot of sparkles. Also I tend to dress nicer in Italy. It is very American to wear a T-shirt and a shirt like I do now. It is cultural.

What are your favorite accessories ?

Hermes Watch – is my dream watch.
Bottega Veneta handbags.

 Hermes watch

Bottega Veneta handbag

What inspires you?

When I have a project with a photographer on a certain theme, I do my research for the makeup.
Makeup for me is a craft, skill, job and I learn. I get inspired while going across photographers' web sites, old magazines, great makeup artists' work. When I see a great makeup artist, I see how clean, original their work is, how they bring out the features of the model in a very tasteful way without drawing attention to the makeup. They approach the face the way may be I would never approach it.
I love Serge Lutens who did more theatrical work and was a creative director for Shiseido in the 80s. Now he is a perfumer and has his own line. Today's makeup artists like Francois Nars or Bobbi Brown are not inspirational for me.

By Serge Lutens

What projects are you working on now?

I am searching for fine art paintings, old posters, not necessarily classics. It may be an unknown artist, but to me, interesting visually. Then I am casting a model who fits the features. I bring all the clothes, prepare the style. Then I will compile these paintings and photographs into an art book. On one side there will be an original painting and on the other side there will be my version. I've done 3 so far, have 4 more scheduled for August and have many more to do. I am trying to pay homage to great painters and beautiful paintings that we do not see anymore, not showing my crazy artist's skills.

Inspired by Caravaggio (from Carla Tersini's painting series)

Michelangelo Caravaggio. Boy with a Basket of Fruit (original painting)