We spent an afternoon with our denim-living muse, Argentina-born Conie Vallese. The now Brooklyn-based artist is known for her trademark black and white paintings and white sculptures. She has one of those enviable careers that spans industries—her work is recognized in both the fashion and art worlds—and once you spend time with her, you begin to understand exactly why this is such a symbiotic mix.
Conie’s workspace is bright and in her words “calm.” Not exactly a term that’s used to describe anything in New York City, but perhaps it’s her ability to carve her own niche and create the things she desires that sets her apart—whether that’s an abstract acrylic painting of plants, a white plaster that reveals a new face from whatever angle you view it or a career that defies a singular job title. Her studio is sectioned into two separate areas: One half, where she works with plaster sculpture, is ”chaotic and dusty”; the other, where she paints, is neat and practically empty. Her work uniform consists of big tees and jeans (we took some style cues from the way she wears those jeans on the set of our Denim Bar shoot). “I look for elegance and simplicity in clothes. Feeling comfortable is important, sometimes I like to find odd [vintage] from generations behind. Anything tailored, unique and sophisticated.” Conie’s personal style, like many who work in aesthetics, is defined and her own. Simple? Sure, but also striking: loose button-downs, voluminous wide-leg pants, a bright-red dress.
Color is a new fascination for Conie after carving her path with lots of black and white in her work and her wardrobe. “I observe constantly and create shapes in my head. Color is a new phase for me. [How it merges] with composition and form,” she explains. As she develops as an artist (we’re betting you’re going to see much more of Conie in the near future), she’s put herself up to a challenge, “I guess that doing what I love to do passionately and embracing it is all that matters. I couldn’t not paint—I created this world for myself and I need to protect it every day.”
A DAY WITH CONIE VALLESE
I wake up very early but I like to stay in bed for a few hours while I watch a movie and enjoy my only coffee of the day. I have an obsession with films and watching them before I start my day or go to sleep. Breakfast is my favorite part of the day: eggs, cereal, orange juice. I’ll listen to The Rolling Stones or The Doors while I eat.
When I arrive at my studio, I enjoy a moment of observation and sketching. I’ll often submerge myself in an art book. Around 1pm, I’ll meet friends for lunch or even go for a swim. After this midday break, I get back to work.
The time I spend at my studio depends on my plans and my motivation level, but the routine of work, diving into projects, is an everyday thing. I spend as much time in the studio as I can.