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ARTXIT meets Stefano Tonti, artist and graphic designer

De divina proportione

Recently, we sat down with Stefano Tonti, artist and graphic designer, to discover more about its artistic career and his relationship with the arts. The objective of this interview is to let the public enter into the inner world of the artist, build a deep interesting of the artist's creative journey and connect with the artist on a more profound level.

Has there been a crucial moment in your life when you’ve decided to become an artist?

I don't remember any particular moment; the fascination for images and colors, combined with a perception of what we might call the mystery of beauty, has been part of me since I was a child. As I grew up, I was lucky enough to be able to follow these inclinations, first in my studies and then in my professional life.

Do you like to call yourself more of an artist or a graphic designer? How did you approach the world of graphic design?

I would define myself as a graphic designer with "encroachments" into the world of art, or at least in the dimension of free expression, not tied to client briefs as in the case of graphic design. I said encroachments, but I don't think a precise line is traceable today, assuming there ever was... I can think of Fortunato Depero's commercial and decorative graphics, for example, which were not inferior to his more strictly artistic production.

Is there a particular artist or artistic current that you refer to? If you had to choose, which are your three favorite artists?

Depero, but above all, the early De Chirico and his brother Alberto Savinio, a transversal figure between painting, music, stage design and literature, an example of the "encroachment" I mentioned earlier. I am fascinated by the world of Metaphysics and Magic Realism, perhaps because of the affinity with the apparent "superficiality" of graphic work, in which, however, games of cross-references, enigmas and surprises can be hidden. As von Hofmannsthal wrote, "Depth must be hidden. Where? On the surface".

Briefly describe what your concept of art is

For me art, in all its expressions, is the response to an elsewhere that calls upon us; it is trying to give form - and thus somehow reconnect - to something that exists beyond form and words. This is the most transcendent image of art, but it can also be something much more habitual, helping us to read the complexity of the world and live at a higher level of awareness.

How are you tied to the territory you come from?

Romagna and Rimini, my hometown, have a concrete feeling, a vitality of the senses that is happily immediate, but is also imbued with playfulness and lightness, and with a poetry that is funny and very human. It's inevitable to cite the poetry of Tonino Guerra and Federico Fellini, both sons of this land... I think I've absorbed the sense of playfulness and lightness that I try to put into my work, as they did, by living here.

If you had to choose among your works the one that most represents you or the one you prefer, which one would you choose?

If I think about my artistic production, the work that seems to me the most incisive in its simplicity, and current in its implications, is "Lupus in fabula", in which a numbered ticket for purchases becomes a wolf that stares at us, nature rebelling against indiscriminate consumption. Discover "Lupus in fabula" here 

Finally, we wanted to ask you about your future projects from an artistic point of view: are you already planning any event/exhibition, or is there a particular project you are working on?

For the future, I don't have any definite projects at the moment, but there is an exhibition at the courtyard of the Gambalunga Library in Rimini, a splendid seventeenth-century complex, with blow-ups of covers of literary classics revised and reinterpreted with the sole use of typography. The title? "Scopertine tipografiche” (Typographic discoveries)! Discover more on current exhibition here

Discover Stefano Tonti's artworks here.