All the Colours and Beyond - Tetrachromacy with Concetta Antico
Kim Interviews Concetta Antico. Artist, art teacher and true tetrachromat. Concetta can see up to 100 million more colours than almost anyone else in the world. Concetta’s abilities have been verified scientifically, and researched for six years, at the time of this interview.
Concetta has been using her unique gift for 25 years to teach others how to see more colours and to paint in oils.
Most people have three colour receptors. We are generally trichromats. Tetrachromacy is a genetic mutation, resulting in a fourth colour receptor. However, having the fourth colour receptor does not make someone a true tetrachromat. Among the very few tetrachromats there are differences as to how many colours each person perceives. Concetta also has an extraordinarily high luminance factor, meaning she sees a lot more light. She sees more colours in low light, or semi darkness.
The physical ability is only the beginning. As Concetta explains, most of her extraordinary colour perception results from her environment and “visual training” as an artist. She has been painting continuously since the age of six.
Originally from Australia, Concetta shares her time between San Diego, California and Australia. Concetta mainly works in oils because she finds she can mix greater nuances of colour with oil paints.
Concetta didn’t discover her tetrachromacy until her daughter started reporting signs of colour deficiency. Tetrachromats can genetically pass on their fourth colour receptor, as Concetta’s mother presumably did to Concetta and her sister, but it can also result in colour deficiency, as with Concetta ‘s daughter. Concetta tells the fascinating story of how she started realising she might not be like everyone else and how that lead to university research studies being done today. Kim and Concetta also discuss how tetrachromacy is part genetics, part learned and environmental.
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- Oil painting
- Oil paints and tetrachromacy
- Tetrachromacy, life, and science
- Discovering tetrachromacy
- Early support
- Teaching colour based on light values
- Teaching, art shows, and press
- Seeing tetrachromacy in other artists' work
- Artistic “style” versus actually seeing colours differently
- Could trichromats ("normal people") learn to use colour like a true tetrachromat?
- How living in both US and Australia has affected her art
- Advice to new oil painters
- Contact information and final words
Scientific information on tetrachromacy
Interview by Kim Cofield. Audio editing, show notes and intro by Marcus Clearspring Show notes by Ylva Staberg