Interview

In Conversation with Stefano Contiero

by Jeff Davis

Stefano Contiero is an Italo/Dominican artist who aims to humanize machines and digitalize reality. After building a career in tech, his creative passions met in generative art, the perfect union between code and visual arts. In addition to digital art, he also creates abstract paintings and artworks with mixed media. We spoke about the importance of art in his life in advance of his Art Blocks project Frammenti.

Jeff Davis: Hi Stefano! It’s great to meet you. How did you first get into making art?

Stefano Contiero: I started around three years ago, or at least that’s when I started doing it intentionally. First with some abstract paintings, and shortly after dipping my toes in generative art. Anyhow, looking back, I’ve been kind of making digital art all my life. When I was a kid, I was obsessed with MS Paint, and in my teenage years, I spent most of my days between Photoshop and Terragen, a software application to create artificial landscapes.

Stefano Contiero, Fermento, 2021.
JD: So you mentioned getting to generative art a few years ago, how did that come about?

SC: One morning, during the summer of 2018, I woke up and suddenly decided to buy a book on generative art. It seemed the perfect match between coding and design, two things I’m passionate about and work with daily. Shortly after, I was hooked. It gave coding a whole new dimension, something I can do just for myself. Best investment of my life!

Stefano Contiero, Estate (Stagioni), 2019.
JD: How would you say your creative practice has changed over time?

SC: In the beginning, it was all about “making something you would hang on your wall.” After a while, making art became a tool for introspection, to understand better myself and the reality I live in. I question less, and I create more. Not everything looks great, and that’s ok. I’m also starting to detach from the medium I use, it doesn’t matter what it is, as long as I can express myself freely.

JD: Then how did you end up discovering NFTs and crypto art?

SC: I’ve been following cryptos and blockchain from afar for many years. I never fully grasped their potential, because I didn’t really see any practical application. NFTs changed that. The turning point was definitely Dmitri’s Cherniak’s Ringers on Art Blocks. My generative practice is similar to how Art Blocks works. For all my algorithms, I usually generate ~100 unique hashes and patiently pick my favorites. It’s always challenging to find a meaningful representation, but Art Blocks removes this challenge. When I first read about the 1 of 1 of X, I instantly thought: “These people really get it!”

Stefano Contiero, Frammenti #25, 2021.
JD: That’s great! Well, let’s talk about your Art Blocks project. What is the inspiration for Frammenti?

SC: There are some recurring themes in my art: identity, sense of belonging, past, the joy of living, Memento Mori...Frammenti is all about how our memories define us. Every fragment represents one memory. When combined, they define who we are.

If their union symbolizes our life, their explosion represents our death, as one cannot exist without the other. And even if we no longer exist in one shape, those memories will outlive us in all the people we have shared our lives with.

JD: What else should collectors look for in your project as the series is revealed?

SC: One thing I’m looking forward to is seeing all the different explosions and finding the quirkiest fragments movements. There are many different traits, and a slight difference can completely change the outcome style. As every memory is unique and personal, every piece of Frammenti is too. Find the style you like the most, make it personal!

Stefano Contiero, Dolore, 2020.
JD: Anything else people should know to better understand your art?

SC: Despite the fact that I started coding when I was eight years old, and it feels like the most natural thing in the world, I’m terrible at math! Most of the time I don’t really know what I’m doing, and I just trust my intuition. I approach everything with an experimental mindset, and most of the time “by doing it wrong, you get it right.”

I’ve also fully accepted that I identify myself as an artist. 2020 was a challenging year for all of humanity. When everything began, I had just moved to Berlin and started a new job. I found myself alone, isolated, in a place speaking a foreign language. I was scared and struggling a lot. Making art was fundamental in overcoming this challenge. It changed me profoundly and gave me a new sense of purpose.

JD: That’s great that art has had such a positive impact on your life. Moving forward, what’s the best way for people to follow your work?

SC: Maintaining a social media presence is a bit of a challenge for me, as I’m an introvert by nature. But recently I’ve been trying to post more frequently. You can find me on Twitter, Instagram and my website.

Stefano Contiero is an Italo/Dominican artist who aims to humanize machines and digitalize reality. After building a career in tech, his creative passions met in generative art, the perfect union between code and visual arts. In addition to digital art, he also creates abstract paintings and artworks with mixed media. We spoke about the importance of art in his life in advance of his Art Blocks project Frammenti.

Jeff Davis: Hi Stefano! It’s great to meet you. How did you first get into making art?

Stefano Contiero: I started around three years ago, or at least that’s when I started doing it intentionally. First with some abstract paintings, and shortly after dipping my toes in generative art. Anyhow, looking back, I’ve been kind of making digital art all my life. When I was a kid, I was obsessed with MS Paint, and in my teenage years, I spent most of my days between Photoshop and Terragen, a software application to create artificial landscapes.

Stefano Contiero, Fermento, 2021.
JD: So you mentioned getting to generative art a few years ago, how did that come about?

SC: One morning, during the summer of 2018, I woke up and suddenly decided to buy a book on generative art. It seemed the perfect match between coding and design, two things I’m passionate about and work with daily. Shortly after, I was hooked. It gave coding a whole new dimension, something I can do just for myself. Best investment of my life!

Stefano Contiero, Estate (Stagioni), 2019.
JD: How would you say your creative practice has changed over time?

SC: In the beginning, it was all about “making something you would hang on your wall.” After a while, making art became a tool for introspection, to understand better myself and the reality I live in. I question less, and I create more. Not everything looks great, and that’s ok. I’m also starting to detach from the medium I use, it doesn’t matter what it is, as long as I can express myself freely.

JD: Then how did you end up discovering NFTs and crypto art?

SC: I’ve been following cryptos and blockchain from afar for many years. I never fully grasped their potential, because I didn’t really see any practical application. NFTs changed that. The turning point was definitely Dmitri’s Cherniak’s Ringers on Art Blocks. My generative practice is similar to how Art Blocks works. For all my algorithms, I usually generate ~100 unique hashes and patiently pick my favorites. It’s always challenging to find a meaningful representation, but Art Blocks removes this challenge. When I first read about the 1 of 1 of X, I instantly thought: “These people really get it!”

Stefano Contiero, Frammenti #25, 2021.
JD: That’s great! Well, let’s talk about your Art Blocks project. What is the inspiration for Frammenti?

SC: There are some recurring themes in my art: identity, sense of belonging, past, the joy of living, Memento Mori...Frammenti is all about how our memories define us. Every fragment represents one memory. When combined, they define who we are.

If their union symbolizes our life, their explosion represents our death, as one cannot exist without the other. And even if we no longer exist in one shape, those memories will outlive us in all the people we have shared our lives with.

JD: What else should collectors look for in your project as the series is revealed?

SC: One thing I’m looking forward to is seeing all the different explosions and finding the quirkiest fragments movements. There are many different traits, and a slight difference can completely change the outcome style. As every memory is unique and personal, every piece of Frammenti is too. Find the style you like the most, make it personal!

Stefano Contiero, Dolore, 2020.
JD: Anything else people should know to better understand your art?

SC: Despite the fact that I started coding when I was eight years old, and it feels like the most natural thing in the world, I’m terrible at math! Most of the time I don’t really know what I’m doing, and I just trust my intuition. I approach everything with an experimental mindset, and most of the time “by doing it wrong, you get it right.”

I’ve also fully accepted that I identify myself as an artist. 2020 was a challenging year for all of humanity. When everything began, I had just moved to Berlin and started a new job. I found myself alone, isolated, in a place speaking a foreign language. I was scared and struggling a lot. Making art was fundamental in overcoming this challenge. It changed me profoundly and gave me a new sense of purpose.

JD: That’s great that art has had such a positive impact on your life. Moving forward, what’s the best way for people to follow your work?

SC: Maintaining a social media presence is a bit of a challenge for me, as I’m an introvert by nature. But recently I’ve been trying to post more frequently. You can find me on Twitter, Instagram and my website.

Stefano Contiero is an Italo/Dominican artist who aims to humanize machines and digitalize reality. After building a career in tech, his creative passions met in generative art, the perfect union between code and visual arts. In addition to digital art, he also creates abstract paintings and artworks with mixed media. We spoke about the importance of art in his life in advance of his Art Blocks project Frammenti.

Jeff Davis: Hi Stefano! It’s great to meet you. How did you first get into making art?

Stefano Contiero: I started around three years ago, or at least that’s when I started doing it intentionally. First with some abstract paintings, and shortly after dipping my toes in generative art. Anyhow, looking back, I’ve been kind of making digital art all my life. When I was a kid, I was obsessed with MS Paint, and in my teenage years, I spent most of my days between Photoshop and Terragen, a software application to create artificial landscapes.

Stefano Contiero, Fermento, 2021.
JD: So you mentioned getting to generative art a few years ago, how did that come about?

SC: One morning, during the summer of 2018, I woke up and suddenly decided to buy a book on generative art. It seemed the perfect match between coding and design, two things I’m passionate about and work with daily. Shortly after, I was hooked. It gave coding a whole new dimension, something I can do just for myself. Best investment of my life!

Stefano Contiero, Estate (Stagioni), 2019.
JD: How would you say your creative practice has changed over time?

SC: In the beginning, it was all about “making something you would hang on your wall.” After a while, making art became a tool for introspection, to understand better myself and the reality I live in. I question less, and I create more. Not everything looks great, and that’s ok. I’m also starting to detach from the medium I use, it doesn’t matter what it is, as long as I can express myself freely.

JD: Then how did you end up discovering NFTs and crypto art?

SC: I’ve been following cryptos and blockchain from afar for many years. I never fully grasped their potential, because I didn’t really see any practical application. NFTs changed that. The turning point was definitely Dmitri’s Cherniak’s Ringers on Art Blocks. My generative practice is similar to how Art Blocks works. For all my algorithms, I usually generate ~100 unique hashes and patiently pick my favorites. It’s always challenging to find a meaningful representation, but Art Blocks removes this challenge. When I first read about the 1 of 1 of X, I instantly thought: “These people really get it!”

Stefano Contiero, Frammenti #25, 2021.
JD: That’s great! Well, let’s talk about your Art Blocks project. What is the inspiration for Frammenti?

SC: There are some recurring themes in my art: identity, sense of belonging, past, the joy of living, Memento Mori...Frammenti is all about how our memories define us. Every fragment represents one memory. When combined, they define who we are.

If their union symbolizes our life, their explosion represents our death, as one cannot exist without the other. And even if we no longer exist in one shape, those memories will outlive us in all the people we have shared our lives with.

JD: What else should collectors look for in your project as the series is revealed?

SC: One thing I’m looking forward to is seeing all the different explosions and finding the quirkiest fragments movements. There are many different traits, and a slight difference can completely change the outcome style. As every memory is unique and personal, every piece of Frammenti is too. Find the style you like the most, make it personal!

Stefano Contiero, Dolore, 2020.
JD: Anything else people should know to better understand your art?

SC: Despite the fact that I started coding when I was eight years old, and it feels like the most natural thing in the world, I’m terrible at math! Most of the time I don’t really know what I’m doing, and I just trust my intuition. I approach everything with an experimental mindset, and most of the time “by doing it wrong, you get it right.”

I’ve also fully accepted that I identify myself as an artist. 2020 was a challenging year for all of humanity. When everything began, I had just moved to Berlin and started a new job. I found myself alone, isolated, in a place speaking a foreign language. I was scared and struggling a lot. Making art was fundamental in overcoming this challenge. It changed me profoundly and gave me a new sense of purpose.

JD: That’s great that art has had such a positive impact on your life. Moving forward, what’s the best way for people to follow your work?

SC: Maintaining a social media presence is a bit of a challenge for me, as I’m an introvert by nature. But recently I’ve been trying to post more frequently. You can find me on Twitter, Instagram and my website.

Stefano Contiero is an Italo/Dominican artist who aims to humanize machines and digitalize reality. After building a career in tech, his creative passions met in generative art, the perfect union between code and visual arts. In addition to digital art, he also creates abstract paintings and artworks with mixed media. We spoke about the importance of art in his life in advance of his Art Blocks project Frammenti.

Jeff Davis: Hi Stefano! It’s great to meet you. How did you first get into making art?

Stefano Contiero: I started around three years ago, or at least that’s when I started doing it intentionally. First with some abstract paintings, and shortly after dipping my toes in generative art. Anyhow, looking back, I’ve been kind of making digital art all my life. When I was a kid, I was obsessed with MS Paint, and in my teenage years, I spent most of my days between Photoshop and Terragen, a software application to create artificial landscapes.

Stefano Contiero, Fermento, 2021.
JD: So you mentioned getting to generative art a few years ago, how did that come about?

SC: One morning, during the summer of 2018, I woke up and suddenly decided to buy a book on generative art. It seemed the perfect match between coding and design, two things I’m passionate about and work with daily. Shortly after, I was hooked. It gave coding a whole new dimension, something I can do just for myself. Best investment of my life!

Stefano Contiero, Estate (Stagioni), 2019.
JD: How would you say your creative practice has changed over time?

SC: In the beginning, it was all about “making something you would hang on your wall.” After a while, making art became a tool for introspection, to understand better myself and the reality I live in. I question less, and I create more. Not everything looks great, and that’s ok. I’m also starting to detach from the medium I use, it doesn’t matter what it is, as long as I can express myself freely.

JD: Then how did you end up discovering NFTs and crypto art?

SC: I’ve been following cryptos and blockchain from afar for many years. I never fully grasped their potential, because I didn’t really see any practical application. NFTs changed that. The turning point was definitely Dmitri’s Cherniak’s Ringers on Art Blocks. My generative practice is similar to how Art Blocks works. For all my algorithms, I usually generate ~100 unique hashes and patiently pick my favorites. It’s always challenging to find a meaningful representation, but Art Blocks removes this challenge. When I first read about the 1 of 1 of X, I instantly thought: “These people really get it!”

Stefano Contiero, Frammenti #25, 2021.
JD: That’s great! Well, let’s talk about your Art Blocks project. What is the inspiration for Frammenti?

SC: There are some recurring themes in my art: identity, sense of belonging, past, the joy of living, Memento Mori...Frammenti is all about how our memories define us. Every fragment represents one memory. When combined, they define who we are.

If their union symbolizes our life, their explosion represents our death, as one cannot exist without the other. And even if we no longer exist in one shape, those memories will outlive us in all the people we have shared our lives with.

JD: What else should collectors look for in your project as the series is revealed?

SC: One thing I’m looking forward to is seeing all the different explosions and finding the quirkiest fragments movements. There are many different traits, and a slight difference can completely change the outcome style. As every memory is unique and personal, every piece of Frammenti is too. Find the style you like the most, make it personal!

Stefano Contiero, Dolore, 2020.
JD: Anything else people should know to better understand your art?

SC: Despite the fact that I started coding when I was eight years old, and it feels like the most natural thing in the world, I’m terrible at math! Most of the time I don’t really know what I’m doing, and I just trust my intuition. I approach everything with an experimental mindset, and most of the time “by doing it wrong, you get it right.”

I’ve also fully accepted that I identify myself as an artist. 2020 was a challenging year for all of humanity. When everything began, I had just moved to Berlin and started a new job. I found myself alone, isolated, in a place speaking a foreign language. I was scared and struggling a lot. Making art was fundamental in overcoming this challenge. It changed me profoundly and gave me a new sense of purpose.

JD: That’s great that art has had such a positive impact on your life. Moving forward, what’s the best way for people to follow your work?

SC: Maintaining a social media presence is a bit of a challenge for me, as I’m an introvert by nature. But recently I’ve been trying to post more frequently. You can find me on Twitter, Instagram and my website.

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