An interview of Santa Nastro

Who is Roberta Conti?

She’s an  artist, a woman, a human being.


Which way and urgencies have brought you to the choice of becoming an artist?

When I was 14 I got aware that I couldn’t help but express my thoughts through images. I often used to go through a crisis because being (not DOING) an artist needs to go into deep, exploring universal themes also looking at ourselves inside.. and this is not an easy path!


Why painting?

It gives me the liberty to give shape to the images I’ve got in my mind. My thoughts are transformed into shapes and colours and I need them to ‘push them out’ through the direct process of drawing and painting. There is a direct link between the pictures I build in my mind and my painting. Art can sum up and express my life in this world.


Your works tell us about stories from the real life. Characters, ideas, experiences that truly exist somewhere in this world. Which part of the daily life do you bring in your art?

I think art is the most concise, direct, profound and poetic to talk about the world I live in and to discuss the social and cultural aspects that involve us all. I work as an art teacher at the lower secondary school and this transpires through my painting. Everyday I get into contact with young people and families’ stories who are involved into difficult destinies. This allows me to acknowledge and talk about realities, often not very much known, like illness, disability, pathological reactions (and not only these ones) and the parents’ heroism. This is everybody’s world, this is true life.


As for the up-to-date moment, a recurring theme in your work, what kind of relation do you mean to establish with the real?

I think art is generated, and is regenerated, in the daily life, in places different from art itself. I want to keep my eyes wide open on the present moment to highlight, through my work, the basic and most relevant  ‘knots’ of life.


When you go to an art exhibition, what do you look for or expect? (as an artist as well as a common spectator)

As a spectator, I look for the substance, a message that helps me think about and grow: I’d like to come out of an exhibition enriched, full. As an artist, I try to learn from the artists who are cleverer than me, I try to understand which way they go to for their research in themes and styles. This stimulates the continual renewal of my language. I consider possible affinities and/or differences that can make my experience more direct and communicative so that it is in line with the contemporary communicative ways of art.


And what would you like people to find in your work?

The immediate message, clarity, humanity, warmth. I’d like my thought get to people immediately. I’d like that, before one of my works, the spectator say: ‘I had never thought about this thing’ or ‘I had never considered the topic from this point of view’. I’d like that people don’t have to find any tortuous reasoning because what I talk about is in the spectators’ life, it is life.


Other critics texts of:

Edoardo di Mauro
Isabella Falbo
Simona Cardinali e Loretta Mozzoni
Giovanna Coppa