di Erika Scafuro
Niccolò Rossi is one of the faces of the new Man FW 2021 collection of Bear Surfboards. His story deserves to be told because Niccolò is a young Italian designer and artist who, after having studied in Italy and abroad, creates ceramic art and design objects in his laboratory in Milan. His art finds inspiration also thanks to the surfing he did in Portugal for the first time, where he was for a master and where his career as a model started.
How long have you also been working as a model?
«For 6 years. My first job was in Portugal when I was living there. They stopped me on the street, like street casting, and it went very well right away. I participated in the national campaign for Super Bock, one of the only beers in Portugal, or at least the one that is definitely the best known. From there I entered an agency and it all started a bit».
You’re one of the models of the new FW 21 campaign of Bear Surfboards, which was set in a pristine winter landscape where nature meets man. What is your fondest memory from the shooting?
«It was the second day of shooting and we were aiming for one of the many borders between Piedmont and France, in the middle of the alps, in a completely unspoiled nature, with incredibly high and elongated rock walls pointing straight to the sky. While we were shooting I had to stop at the top of a rock and look at the horizon. There I saw a group of majestic ibexes ruling all that hostile and impervious area of the mountain, hidden here and there among old war bunkers and scary crevasses».
Your main job is in a laboratory of ceramics in Milan. What exactly do you do?
«That’s right, most of my time is taken up with the Ceramic Laboratory and the whole art project that revolves around conirossi_studio. I am mainly involved in creating unique artistic works and design pieces, I organize ceramic workshops open to the public. In addition to me in the space live other realities artisan / artistic. It is a laboratory at 360 degrees where you work the iron, wood, ceramics».
Conirossi is your Instagram account, where did this name come from?
«For about 15 years now, my acronym has been cones. It comes from the “riocontra” used by my brother Thomas, where the syllables are inverted, to speak in code. It is a “street” dialect that originated in Milan in the Lambrate area. It has always fascinated me as a thing and I immediately identified with this nickname. Just in those years I began to collect in my dad’s garage some road cones used to signal work in progress or dangers, typically red accesses. Rossi, as my surname and cones as my nickname: that’s how conirossi was born».
Surfing: when did it become part of your life?
«Surfing and I begin to know each other in Portugal. I moved in 2015 to Porto for study and stayed living there about 5 years. I still remember that the very first thing I did is go to see the ocean and consequently enroll in a surf school: I was fascinated from the beginning by this sport, which was so close to my ideal sport at the time: snowboarding. Since then surfing has literally influenced everything I’ve done and continues to be something vital, an outlet, a passion and a good excuse to meet new places, make new friends and embark on incredible adventures».
Were there any moments spent surfing that inspired you to make any particular pottery?
«Surely surfing has contributed, whether passively or actively, to the creation of many pieces and to an experimentation with a “marbled” coloring technique that I have been studying in the field of ceramics for several years now. Each piece, in fact, is characterized by a unique design, very fluid and random, resulting in each one different from the other, like the waves to be surfed».
Do you have other passions besides ceramics that bring out your artistic side?
«Definitely my second great passion that I have been pursuing for many years is photography. In particular I have a strong passion for analogue photography: I own a large collection of cameras, especially of the “Point & Shoot” type, which grows from year to year. I am fascinated by analogue photography because, unlike digital photography, the immortalized moment remains imprinted in the film that, only after finishing the entire roll, is brought to develop and so, finally, to be able to relive that moment so desired and waited for with much patience».