…They sought to turn the common into the precious, while he seeks to keep it as is. Gold was their goal and ultimate destination, whereas he is pursuing a colour: red. A red that stays red in time. And while many ancient alchemists eventually gave up their initial objective and turned into chemists, he seems about to succeed. Gerard Tonti, a Pittsburgh-born artist painting with coffee and tea has been trying and erring for eight years to perfect the use of these hot drinks as a painting medium, and expand the colour palette. “I’m not able to get a red from fading… yet”, he told us on our interview. “Getting close though.” Bastart caught a few words with the artist about challenges, inspirations and alchemy that turns the stains into art.