header i-Italy

A ‘Soft’ New Artist in NY

Mila Tenaglia (June 07, 2014)
The idea is to make outlines or take silhouettes of everyday things that captivate me and translate what I see into flatness. For Italian National Day on June 2nd a “City Specific” project, Velvet Park, at the Italian consulate

Dresses, shoes, purses, bedside lamps—Teresa Cinque turns them all into silhouettes made of soft fabric. By altering their character, she transforms these velvety fabrics and sticks them on the wall. “I think producing images of the world in fabric comes from the need to give a softer meaning and feeling to our surroundings,” says the artist, “a sort of compensation or consolation for the harshness of certain situations.

Finding myself toiling with fabrics again was nearly only natural, as if this intimacy with the
world of textiles were something in a woman’s genes.” But whence does this desire come? Perhaps she is reacting to her birthplace. Teresa was born in Pietrasanta, the famous hub of marble and bronze craftsmanship. Yet sculpture never held sway over Cinque. “I literally grew up inside marble,” she says. “My father had a studio. But it doesn’t interest me. It’s a cold, hard material. I have always been interested in working with cloths and fabrics, which, on the contrary, are soft, warm and pleasing to the touch.”

Soft Cloth Projects

Teresa likes to dabble in fashion and (re)design the clothes she loves to wear. One of her installation projects, Garderobe (Wardrobe), came about spontaneously. “The process…worked contrary to what you’d expect: I started with apparel then drew the soul [of the project] from that. I stripped the apparel of its function in order to capture a sense of its allure. I painted wrapping paper with oil pastels…and then hung them upon hangers on a ten-foot clothes rack.”

Another thread in her ball of yarn is Fake Furniture, a project involving a DIY interior design kit. “I made shapes out of cloth that look like home furnishings, which you can hang on the wall. A bit like the inverse of Ikea, I create a unique piece, a work of art that you can take home. But, like Ikea, inside the kit you can find instructions with drawings to figure out how to put it together.”

Well, you can’t say it’s not an original idea. But there’s a method to her magic. “If we were in the fashion world,” says Cinque, “we might call it the pret-a-porter version of large installation work...”

In love with New York

Teresa is passionate about New York. Mention of the city makes her eyes light up immediately. She has been here a long time. After graduating from school, she joined the collective Prince Street Artists and was thunderstruck. From that moment on, she has never turned her back on the city. She recently participated in an exhibit in Dumbo, Brooklyn—the new art mecca of NYC." In New York I can practice my art better.

For example, for Italian National Day on June 2nd my “City Specific” project, Velvet Park, will be presented at the Italian consulate. Consul Natalia Quintavalle will introduce the work that I’m preparing alongside the artistic curator Silvia Ferrai Lilienau. The moment I saw the room for my show I thought immediately of trees. It was very spontaneous. The large cornices made me think of windows, so I wanted to create a triptych of different types of trees with branches stretching up to the ceiling.”

Teresa tells us she would like to open a studio soon. We eagerly await the day! Until then, we’ll have to content ourselves with Velvet Park, on show at the Italian Consulate (690 Park Avenue).





Select one to show comments and join the conversation