Tag Archives: artist

Artist Empowers Humanity by Reinventing Classic Portraits

images-1Artist Kehinde Wiley is restoring power and respect to humanity through art. How? By reinventing classic portraits in a way that honors black individuals. Wiley believes art—particularly portraiture—is power. He told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, “What is portraiture? It’s choice. It’s the ability to position your body in the world for the world to celebrate you on your own terms.” With stunning vulnerability and bravery, Wiley reworks classic paintings so that they include black and brown-skinned people as the main subjects. For example, Wiley reinterpreted Jacques-Louis David’s portrait of Napoleon crossing the Alps by replacing Napoleon with a camouflage-clad black man. The made-over portrait places the black man in the same position of influence that Napoleon held. Now, that’s power.

The True Role of an Artist

What is an artist’s role in society? Should artists primarily make things look better, prettier? Kehinde Wiley doesn’t think so. He believes artists should think about “what they can do to start a broader conversation about presence and imminence and the desire to be seen as respected images-2and beautiful.” According to Wiley, an artist’s role in society should be one that facilitates the redemption of the beauty of humanity, regardless of race. That’s why he’s pouring his blood, sweat and tears into transforming masterpiece paintings into works of art that feature individuals of black and brown skin tones. Wiley says, “I understand blackness from the inside out. What my goal is, is to allow the world to see the humanity that I know personally to be the truth.”

Kehinde Wiley Makes Mugshots Beautiful

Mugshots are not typically thought of as beautiful; they are most commonly associated with shame and punishment. However, Kehinde Wiley sees them as something entirely different: a type of portraiture. imagesWiley turns mugshots into portraits that subtly broadcast a person’s vulnerabilities, fears and dreams. This is just another way he is displaying the humanness and intrinsic importance of people who are sometimes overlooked by society. Wiley refuses to overlook these individuals. He wants the world to see them for who they really are: humans who deserve to be respected and understood. Kehinde Wiley has a pretty good idea of why he is alive and what he was born to do. He says, “My job is to walk through the streets, find someone who’s minding their own business, trying to get to work, stopping them — the next thing you know, they’re hanging on a great museum throughout the world, and it allows us to slow down and to say yes to these people, yes to these experiences, yes to these stories.” Please note: the photos featured in this blog post are NOT the property of Segmation.

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

Artists Bring the Streets To Life with 3D Art

The World’s First Tetrachromat Artist

An Artist’s Story of Taking Risks and Staying Determined

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Should You Become a Professional Artist?

images-1Have you ever dreamed about becoming a professional artist who makes a living creating art full-time? If so, you are not alone; thousands of artists all over the world desire the exact same thing. If you’ve ever seriously considered becoming a full-time artist and voiced your desire, you have probably heard some negative comments from others (and thought them yourself). Have you ever heard or thought the follow statements?

“You are too old to start a new career.”

“There is no financial stability in the field of art.”

“You are not talented enough to create art professionally.”

“You don’t have enough education to be an artist.”

“You are not a risk taker.”

These types of declarations are dream killers. Furthermore, they are often false. If your deepest desire is to become a professional artist, today is the day to consider taking steps in that direction.

How Badly Do You Want to Create Art Professionally?

Before you can make the decision to become a professional artist, you first have to gauge your desire to create art. How badly do you want to create art full-time? If you fall asleep and wake up thinking about art, you should probably pursue a career in the art field. If creating art consumes your mind, that’s a good sign you’re a professional artist-to-be.

Without a doubt, the first step in becoming a full-time artist is to simply make a decision to do so. In order to make such a decision, ask yourself the following question: “If I do not attempt to become a professional artist, will I sincerely regret it?” If your answer is yes, taking steps toward creating art for a living is probably the best choice you can make.

How to Overcome Your Fears

images-2Once you decide to become a professional artist, expect oppositional thoughts that breed fear to flood your mind. The way you can fight fear is by becoming educated and challenging your negative beliefs.

One of the biggest concerns of adults considering pursuing art is their age; they believe that because they are not in their 20s they are disqualified from becoming professional artists. If this is your concern, consider that before Paul Gauguin became a painter he was a stockbroker for over 10 years. He was probably terrified to leave his established career and attempt to create art for a living as grown man. However, he didn’t let the fact that he was starting an art career late in the game keep him from starting at all. Imagine what the world would have been deprived of had he not had trusted himself enough to step into the unknown for passion’s sake.

Essential Reading for the Aspiring Artist

If you’re serious about becoming a professional artist, there are two books that will likely be very helpful to you. One is Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke. The other is The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. These books will infuse you with hope and give you the tools you need to challenge your limiting beliefs. It may also be a wise move to meet with a counselor or life coach who can help you make a career plan and take realistic steps toward your dream.

If you are still deliberating about whether or not you should take the journey of becoming a full-time artist, know that even if you fail at your endeavor, at least you will have tried and will have no regrets. Remember, risk is always met with reward.

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

Inspirational Tips to Boost your Artistic Creativity

More Marketing Tips for Artists

Graphic Designer Creates a Different TYPE of Art

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Learn to Draw in a Short Period of Time

Is it possible for someone to learn to draw in a short period of time? More specifically, can one learn to draw well in a matter of weeks?

Dr. Betty Edwards would say, without hesitation, yes.

Can a Book Quickly Teach Someone to Draw?

In the 1970‘s, Edwards authored a booked titled Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. Since the book’s release in 1979, it has sold over 2.5 million copies. The book’s popularity is due largely to the fact that its exercises garner results that any aspiring artist craves: the quick acquisition of skills necessary to draw beautifully.

Targeting the Right Brain is Key in Picking up Artistic Skills

The theory behind Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is simple: tapping into the right side of the brain via practicing certain exercises can increase a person’s ability to swiftly obtain the artistic skills required for drawing. Concerning the right/left brain theory, scientist and neurosurgeon Richard Bergland said, “…your left brain is your verbal and rational brain; it thinks serially and reduces its thoughts to numbers, letters and words… your right brain is your nonverbal and intuitive brain; it thinks in patterns, or pictures.”

Because the right brain thinks in patterns and pictures and is non-verbal, it makes sense that primarily using that side of the brain when learning to draw would increase the chances of successfully gaining artistic skills.

This Simple Exercise Can Help You Learn to Draw

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is packed with tools that target the right brain and teach drawing skills. Here is just one exercise that can help you begin your journey of learning to draw; the exercise is called “Breaking Up Space”:

  • Only draw vertical and horizontal lines
  • Do not think in terms of words
  • Relax
  • Draw at a slow to medium pace
  • If you run out of space just retrace the lines you have already drawn

This exercise “helps put the left side (of the brain) to sleep and exercises the right side.” It’s important not think in words while practicing this. Using this technique is a first step you can take to begin to get your right brain accustomed to being used somewhat independently of your left brain. This creates an ideal mental environment for learning to draw.

Besides her book, Dr. Edwards also offers other materials that foster right-brained learning of artistic skills. These resources include DVDs, workshops, and more.

Are you a natural when it comes to drawing? If not, have you always wanted to learn to draw? Has intimidation discouraged you from trying? Share with us in the comments box below.

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

Gregg Visintainer Finds an Emotional Outlet in Drawing

Figure Drawing Tips

Tips for Improving your Landscape Drawing Skills

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Masaccio – Early Renaissance Painter

The number of years of a person’s life does not necessarily indicate the magnitude of the impact he or she will leave on society. Individuals like Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968), Princess Diana of Wales (1961-1997), and Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) are proof of this statement. Like these world-changers, Italian artist Masaccio (1401-1428) made a profound mark on history, despite the shortness of his life.

Masaccio was born on December 21, 1401, about 40 miles from Florence, Italy. Initially named Tommaso di Giovanni di Simone Cassai, the artist became known simply as “Masaccio” (translated as “Big Tom” or “Clumsy Tom”) because of his careless, heedless, amicable nature. (As a result of his artistic bent, Masaccio cared very little for his appearance or for the affairs of society.)

Giovanni, Masaccio’s brother, was also an artist. During the Renaissance, the skill of painting was usually passed down through a family’s paternal line. Considering the fact that Masaccio’s father, a notary, was not known to be artistic, it is a point of interest that both Masaccio and his brother were recognized artists. Some speculate that Masaccio’s paternal grandfather was responsible for teaching the young artist and his brother painting skills, as he was a chest maker whose craft involved painting. While it’s not certain, it is possible that Masaccio derived his natural talent and technical artistic skills from his grandfather.

Practically nothing is known about the first 21 years of Masaccio’s life. However, historians agree that he entered a painting guild at age 21. This indicates that he likely underwent a lengthy art apprenticeship sometime during the later time of his life. It was in this timeframe that his artwork began garnering attention and fame.

Masaccio managed to make an incredible impact on Italy, and on the art world, during the Quattrocento period of the Italian Renaissance. This era produced some of the most influential painters history recognizes; among them are Alberti, Donatello, and Brunelleschi. Masaccio is recognized at the Quattrocento period’s first great painter. It is amazing to consider that in “only six years, Masaccio radically transformed Florentine painting. His art eventually helped create many of the major conceptual and stylistic foundations of Western painting (http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/367676/Masaccio).”

There are several distinct aspects of Masaccio’s work that set him apart as an influential artist during a time in which artists were plentiful. First, Masaccio’s use of linear perspective was novel when he began employing the technique. Also, a technique called “vanishing point” was first used by Masaccio. Finally, rather than imitate the ornate Gothic style of painting that was popular during his lifetime, Masaccio favored a more naturalistic look.

The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne (c. 1424) and San Giovenale Triptych (c. 1422) are two of Masaccio’s earliest known works. Amazingly, the latter piece of art was only recently (in 1961) discovered in Masaccio’s hometown. Unfortunately, age compromised some of the structural integrity of the piece. Still, art historians can clearly observe Masaccio’s use of the techniques mentioned above. “Masaccio’s concern to suggest three-dimensionality through volumetric figures and foreshortened forms (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masaccio)” is also apparent in San Giovenale Triptych. Some of Masaccio’s other well-known pieces include his frescoes painted for the Branacci Chapel, The Expulsion from the Garden of Eden, The Tribute Money, and The Pisa Altarpiece.

Renaissance artist Masaccio died in late 1428; he was only 26.

Those who die young, yet make an indelible, positive impression on their communities, are sometimes grieved for hundreds of years by people who derive inspiration and hope from the lives they lived. Masaccio is just one example of this type of influential person. It is unarguable that Masaccio made an incredible impact on the art world, despite his short life.

However, this post is meant to recognize his artist style and some major pieces. For those who want to read more of Masaccio‘s story, visit this link: http://www.segmation.com/products_pc_patternset_contents.asp?set=ROM . Also, Segmation is proud to offer 21 digital Masaccio – Early Renaissance Painter patterns. By downloading these paint by numbers masterpieces, you can emulate one of the most fascinating artists who ever lived.

Enjoy the 21 Masaccio – Early Renaissance Painter painter patterns . Segmation has for you and continue to learn and celebrate the life of a great artist.

Read more Segmation blog posts about other great artists:

George Romney – Making Ideas Art

Franz Marc German Expressionist Painter

Jan Gossaert – A Great Flemish Painter of Antiquity”

Sources:

Masaccio

Masaccio – Britannica

Italian Art

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The Next Era Of Art May Be All About “Me”

Renaissance. Baroque. Romanticism. Realism. Impressionism. Expressionism. Postmodernism. What might the next art movement be? Murmurs of an odd, but undeniably relevant, phenomenon might be the next big thing: an art movement that is all about “me.”

The term “selfie” encompasses the act of taking a picture of yourself. In reality, long before camera phones, people were taking pictures of themselves. And before we used cameras to snap shots from arms-length away, people were capturing their images through painted portraits. You’ll remember that some of the world’s most well-known artists, like Rembrandt, Frida Kahlo, Picasso and Vincent van Gogh, created self-portraits. But a painted self-portrait in the age before cameras is far different then the ego-centric art of today.

In an article for Artnet.com, JJ Charlesworth proclaimed, “The Ego-Centric Art World is Killing Art.” However, it has been said that such cries were heard every time a new art era dawned and another became history.

Might we be entering a new era where artwork does not call us to look through the eyes of the artist as much as it beckons us to look into the eyes of the artist? Are we about to embrace art that does not lead us to think about events, places, people, or emotions but rather look inward to the sensations we experience and benefit from as a result of art?

Charlesworth uses the example of Marina Abramović’s exhibit “512 Hours” as an example of ego-centric art. Abramović’s performance show seemed to resemble more of a self-help empowerment course than an art display, implies Charlesworth. Known as participatory art, Abramović guided the museum visitors on ways they could live in the present, find themselves and be themselves. These are not bad things, and some people believe the journey to such enlightenment has always been a form of art. It is just different.

For hundreds of years, art has led us to think broadly about the world around us, often teaching us something new about a place or time we could never be in. Now, this shift is leading us to look deeply into ourselves, at a place and time we know all too well: the present.

And, in the ego-centric art era, if art isn’t all about us, it is all about the artist who created it. Charlesworth prompts us to recall Shia LeBeouf’s 2014 performance art show #iamsorry,” where he invited people to gawk at him wearing a paper bag over his head that read, “I AM NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE.”

Another artist who creates work directly inspired by her life is Tracey Emin. Her first recognizable art work was titled, “Everyone I Have Ever Slept With,” where the names of past lovers (even those whom she was not intimate with) were posted to the inside of a camping tent. Later, Emin created “My Bed,” which was an installment of her bed and the mess of items she kept by it.

Speculators of art seem to recognize the growing presence of ego-centric art, but it has yet to be recognized as a movement. Although, this may be because much of the world is snapping selfies and discussing the latest Facebook copyright ordinances, claiming their posts belong to them. It is, to some, their art. The art of “me.”

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

Émile Bernard – Making Ideas Art

Newly-discovered Computer Generated Art By Andy Warhol

The Natural Side of Art

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Politics Aside, the Life of an Artist – George Romney – English Portrait Painter

Long before becoming politicians and business tycoons, the Romney family made its name in art. According to “The Ancestors of Mitt Romney,” George Romney (1734 – 1802) was the first cousin of Miles Romney, who is an ancestor of the two-time presidential candidate.

Different from his 21st century relatives, George Romney was rather private. Little is known about his personal thought life or political opinions. Nevertheless, he has been etched into history books as a high society portrait painter. In fact, many of his followers believe that if it weren’t for the almighty dollar (or, guineas to the Lancashire native), he could have been a painter who completed whimsical scenes inspired by Shakespearean literature and mythical gods. But long before he began exercising his potential as an artist, George Romney had to grow up and find his footing in his chosen career.

George Romney was third born in a family of 11 children. His father, John, was a cabinet maker. George left school to apprentice with John at the young age of 11. Born and raised in Dalton-on-Furness Lancashire, Romney was 21 when he set out to apprentice with Christopher Steel, a local painter in Kendal. For the next two years, from 1755 – 1757, Romney painted small, full-length portraits. During his time there he married Mary Abbot, the daughter of a landlady.

In 1762, Romney left Kendal to travel north where he could paint portraits for money. He left his wife and children at home but sent them financial support and visited them on occasion.

Shortly after landing in London, his 1763 historical painting, The Death of General Wolfe, was awarded a premium from the Society of Arts. Still, he continued to paint portraits as a way of earning a living.

Romney’s travels continued on to Paris in 1764, where he studied the antique classicism of Eustache Le Sueur’s work. Then, from 1773 – 1775 he landed in Italy. Much of his time there was spent in Rome studying the frescoes of Raphael, as well as the work of Titan and Correggio in Venice and Parma. Also, throughout this time his artwork was on exhibition at the Free Society and Society of Artists in Great Britain. Upon returning to London, the Duke of Richmond became a regular client of Romney’s, which may have been a factor in his increased notoriety and speaks to the wave of notable society portraits he completed between 1776 and 1795.

Ultimately, Romney’s time spent touring benefited his work by maturing his art and broadening his abilities. He was known as a “fashionable portrait painter” throughout English society. Those who sat for him were flattered by the subtle qualities he emphasized to make them look their best. Rather than relying on color, Romney used lines to complement the men and women whom he posed in sculpturesque stances. This was especially evident in his portraits, Mrs. Cardwardine and Son (1775), as well as Sir Christopher and Lady Sykes (1786).

Romney’s artwork received much praise from his admirers and was able to support him financially but unlike other successful artists, Romney did not dedicate much time to socializing with fellow artists. Part of this may have been due to him deliberately separating himself from artists of the Royal Academy. It has been said that Sir Joshua Reynolds (who served as President of the Royal Academy) was displeased by Romney’s high fame and low costs. Seemingly determined to avoid such politics altogether, Romney’s sensitive and thoughtful nature led him to befriend people in philosophical and literary circles.

In the early 1780s, Romney met Emma Hart (also known as Lady Hamilton). Emma was said to be Romney’s muse because she appeared in a divine state in more than 50 of his paintings. His paintings of Emma strayed from his path of portraiture, and it is believe she was the muse that allowed him to enter an imaginary world. Romney painted Emma in settings “ranging from a bacchante to Joan of Arc.”

Throughout the last decade and a half of his career, Romney became even more enthralled with historical paintings. During this time he supported the Boydell’s Shakespere gallery and contributed one of his non-portrait paintings, The Tempest.

Towards the turn of the century, Romney’s health began to fail. In 1799 he returned to Kendal and reunited with his family. There, his estranged wife of over 40 years nursed him in his final days. George Romney died in Kendal and was buried in his birthplace of Dalton-in-Furness in November 1802.

Today, portrait painter George Romney has a legacy apart from his successful ancestors. The Romney Society believes there are “…2000 paintings and about 5000 drawings, scattered through 23 countries, on view in fifteen countries….” Over two centuries later, George Romney’s art lives on, as does the name he made famous.

However, this post is meant to recognize his artist style and some major pieces. For those who want to read more of Romney‘s story, visit this link: http://www.segmation.com/products_pc_patternset_contents.asp?set=ROM . Also, Segmation is proud to offer 35 digital George Romney patterns. By downloading these paint by numbers masterpieces, you can emulate one of the most fascinating artists who ever lived.

Enjoy the 35 George Romney –English portrait painter patterns . Segmation has for you and continue to learn and celebrate the life of a great artist.

Read more Segmation blog posts about other great artists:
Franz Marc German Expressionist Painter

Jan Gossaert – A Great Flemish Painter of Antiquity”

Émile Bernard – Making Ideas Art

Sources:

George Romney

George Romney – Britannica

George Romney – British Artist

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The World’s First Tetrachromat Artist

The unique nature of an artist can be considered art itself. What sets great artists apart may not be their talents but their circumstances. While we know much of our destinies are determined by the decisions we make, remnants of happenstance hover over many of the artists we know and love.

No one understands this better than Concetta Antico, who, in 2012, received news that would change her life and send her already successful art career into high gear.

The Making of an Artist

To Concetta, art and life have always been one in the same. Her love of art began at the age of seven, when she found herself fascinated by color. This was around the time she started painting. Even at a young age her peers recognized the Australian native’s creative talent.
America's Finest City Lights, San Diego 10x10Now in San Diego, the place she considers home, Concetta’s days begin at the sight of color. The moment she opens her eyes she feels inspired by the color variations outside her windows and inside her home. Even the different fibers found in her wood floors can captivate this color connoisseur. These everyday sightings are what encourage Concetta to paint extraordinary works of art.

As an oil painter, Concetta paints each piece of art in one sitting and may accomplish 12 or more paintings per month. (With an exhibit on the horizon she has been known to paint up to 30 pieces in that time.) As it may seem, there is no time for creative blocks in Concetta’s world, although, she rarely feels confined by the age-old artist’s plague. Each day Concetta’s appreciation for art is renewed as she takes in the millions of shades, tones and hues that color her world.

Beyond her own art, Concetta also owns and operates an oil painting school called The Salon of Art (http://www.thesalonofart.com/). In her 25 years of teaching, she has instructed over 15,000 people on how to paint.

At a glance, it seems Concetta Antico has lived multiple lives, all dedicated to the pursuit of art. But these are merely chapters of a single story; the story of an artist. And the current chapter, the one where she and her art become known throughout the world, is only just beginning.

Behind the Artist’s Eyes

Concetta describes some of her recent fame as a result of being at the right place at the right time. And to some degree, this is true. In fact, had Concetta’s life not unfolded the way it has, the world may still not fully understand tetrachromacy, a condition where a person possesses four types of cone cells (independent channels for conveying colors) in the eye. It is typical to possess three cone cells but not four. Ultimately, a person with tetrachromacy, or a tetrachromat, may see 99 million more colors than the average person.

Rainbow Gully, Mission Hills, SD 12×16 Hi resConcetta Antico is the world’s first tetrachromat artist, a combination that some researchers have dubbed “The Perfect Storm.” One reason why few people know about tetrachromacy is because not many people know they are seeing more colors than other people. Concetta, on the other hand, has been immersed in color her entire life. Therefore, she is a highly functioning tetrachromat who fully embraced her condition before she knew it was there. This is why Concetta is able to help researchers better understand 2-3 percent of the world’s population that have four color cones. Tetrachromacy involves a unique connection between one’s eyes and brain. Sometimes, people who are unaware they are tetrachromat’s have not allowed their brains to recognize the large amount of colors their eyes take in. Because Concetta has been using color her entire life, her brain is quick to recognize assortments of color that others (even fellow tectrachromats) cannot process.

However, if it weren’t for being at the right place at the right time Concetta may not have learned she has tetrachromacy. Nor would the world have the first artist who can shed light on what it is like to see life through rich color.

Recognizing Tetrachromacy

Two separate occasions led Concetta to the team of researchers who would genotype her as a tetrachromat. The first was a trip to an optometrist with her daughter, and the second came in the form of an email from one of her students.

Peacock Tango! 40x60 Hi ResIn 2009, Concetta’s then 8-year-old daughter came home from school with an uncommon concern. She couldn’t see the board when her teacher wrote on it in orange. It seemed like a case of colorblindness, which is odd because it is very rare for girls to be colorblind. However, a trip to the eye doctor proved that Concetta, a lifelong lover of color, had a daughter with colorblindness.

Concetta didn’t think too much of the rarity in her line of DNA until a student of hers, Wendy Martin, sent her an email about a genetic factor that may influence how some individuals see color. Wendy was a research scientist herself and had noted an “alchemy” in Concetta’s work. When Wendy told the artist/teacher that she couldn’t put her finger on what made the art unique, Concetta joked that it must be her fourth receptor. Shortly after this conversation, Wendy sent Concetta an email with an article that connected the dots of her unique talent. The article stated that a person with four receptors could, in fact, have a colorblind daughter.

On this day in November, 2012, Concetta emailed the authors of the article, thus taking the first step in recognizing what the world knows her for today. Concetta Antico is a tetrachromat.

Same Art, New Fame

What has changed since receiving this news? Concetta still wakes up inspired by colors outside her windows and inside her home; she still owns and teaches at The Salon of Art; she completes each painting in one sitting. But on top of these decades-long practices, Concetta now has a press career. With the eloquence of a tenure educator, the accent of an Australian empress, and the poise of an internationally renowned artist, Concetta grants interviews about her artwork and how tetrachromacy influences her craft.

There is no doubt that Concetta’s talent and work ethic are worthy of fame, but much of this new wave of success has come from her accepting and embracing a DNA condition that is propelling her career to new heights.

Idyll Hours ~ Daisy Days 24×36 Hi ResSo in an exclusive interview with Concetta Antico, the world’s first tetrachromat artist, Segmation has one burning question: What is your favorite color?

Her response might come as a surprise. “White,” she says.

An artist who is known to live in a world of color is most drawn to the color white. Some might argue that white is not a color, but those people are not tetrachromats. “Everything speaks to me,” explains Concetta. “It’s hard to detach from color. It is a huge component of everything I do.” She also expresses that colors like red and yellow are too strong. To her, white is peaceful. And let us not forget, to a tetrachromat, even white is a mosaic of color.

Images made available by Concetta Antico.