RAW, an international independent arts organization, holds a monthly arts showcase in Manhattan, touting the creative works of local emerging artists across the city working in a wide range of genres, from film to makeup art. Last month 23-year-old Tessa Scheckner was one of those artists, recognized for her vibrant oil and acrylic paintings. I sat down with Tessa to chat about her current work, her inspirations, and her dream career.
One of your paintings in the show depicts several angry, naked women huddled in a circle. Can you tell me what was the inspiration behind that?
Have you ever heard of Suicide Girls? It’s like an alternative lifestyle and it’s supposed to be about celebrating women who are not cookie-cutter. A couple of their members did a response to Fight Club and I love Fight Club and this is the female empowered version and I took a still from their film. I just wanted to have so woman rage on my wall.
Are you currently working on any new pieces?
I’m actually working on two different paintings and they both happen to be of people that I know. Since a lot of the paintings I have that are finished are of iconic men, like Biggie and Bill Murray, I’m painting a big beautiful red headed woman I know and then another of myself and my two friends just kind of intertwined with each other.
Yea, what’s with all the Biggie and the Bill Murray portraits?
Biggie and New York hip hop artists have a special place in myheart because I grew up here. Bill Murray is definitely someone I admire, but was more like a long weekened that I felt inspired to paint him.
Where is the most interesting place you’ve ever been?
I really like Belgium. I had no idea what Belgium was about at all or what to expect, but I went there and it was great. Everyone was really kind and there was this great fusion between Dutch and French culture
Was it for a family vacation?
Caleb, my fiancé, and I planned this awesome trip to Europe and we went to 7 different countries.
Did that trip inspire any of your paintings?
It did…two actually. This painting of my best friend, who we actually got to meet up with twice… on top of the tallest building in Paris. And then I have another painting with a friend of ours. It’s just the three of us laughing at the best moment of our lives ever. We had a room with a hot tub to ourselves on the rooftop of this hotel in the south of France. We spent the day making cocktails and laughing.
It’s almost like I painted my scrapbook or something, but they make me really happy.
What’s your dream career?
I’m not sure. I know I just want to be creative. I do commissions as much as can, photography or painting or anything. I cant imagine not painting so anything that would allow me to express myself creatively. I just graduated two years ago so I’m trying to find a good balance, but I’m thinking I’d like to start working for an art magazine or an organization like RAW. That would be awesome.