ERJ staff report (TB)
Cannes, France − People find inspiration in many different things. Nicola Rosini di Santi finds his in an unlikely place: a scrap tire yard, reported Jennifer Karpus for Tire Business.
“I seek and dig in the mountains of tires until I find a nugget or gem that will put my imagination running,” said Rosini di Santi, dubbed “Nicola the Tire Painter”.
He said his paintings are contemporary art that is tuned in with the times and he hopes “it will remain like an imprint and a very precise moment of our time.”
Once he finds the tires he wants to work with, Rosini di Santi said he will walk to his car holding the tires close to him because he is already imagining the rhythm of colour he will illustrate.
Rosini di Santi was born in Santeramo in Colle, Italy, before his parents migrated to France, where he attended École Boulle, an advanced public school of fine arts, crafts and applied arts in Paris.
He said he lived in Paris for about 30 years before moving to the south of France, near Cannes, where he displays most of his work.
“My career is a road of creation...” he told Tire Business in an exclusive interview via email from his home in France. “So I had to simply follow my artistic soul.”
Rosini di Santi said he started by drawing, sculpting and creating furniture, with painting coming much later. In any work he does, he searches for emotions in a movement, a shape or in the colour of an object.
Browsing through museums − especially the Louvre Museum in Paris − is where he said he found that passion for pictorial work, which eventually led to his designs with scrap tires. He always has liked to incorporate recycled products in his work, including his bronze sculptures that have included a recycled bronze faucet, crown metal and tubes in them.
Rosini di Santi said that, to date, the number of his tire paintings is reaching 300 pieces. The “sculpture of the tire” − the geometric designs − is what brought him to a scrap yard to find tires as a medium on which to work.
As he began to work with scrap tires, he said he thought tire companies had found “anonymous artists to create these designs” in the tire treads because he found them quite artistic, encompassing the spirit of an artist. Rosini di Santi picked tires to work with believing he had seen something no one else had in the lowly tire.
Some tires surprised him more than others.
“I discovered a world of calculations, gum streaks, curves...” he continued, that could create “an infinite world of possibilities to redefine painting....”
Rosini di Santi's paintings are on display mostly in Cannes, but he said he has sold pieces around the world to private collections.
In the future, he would like to create on a larger format by using an industrial or OTR tire to create art installations. He also noted that through his research, he has seen a number of tire recycling ideas and was “delighted for the environment,” because although he does recycle some scrap tires, he could not save them all through his “mode of expression.”
When speaking about his livelihood, he said: “...art embodies a vision of the world. It can change the look we have on our daily lives and our existence.”