Exclusive Interview with Francesca Falli – Visual Artist
Francesca Falli begins to paint since she was a child, under the guidance of her maternal grandfather and of the arts she has done her professional activity. Francesca Falli began painting as a child, under the guidance of her maternal grandfather and the arts she carried out her professional activity. She studied Decorative Painting at the Art Institute of L’Aquila, Graphics at the European Institute of Design in Rome and Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts. Her works are exhibited in several museums of Contemporary Art. She received prizes and awards in Italy and abroad; moreover, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Chamber of Deputies in Rome. She exhibited her “Pollage” in the great Galleries section of the main Italian Contemporary Art exhibitions, next to Warhol, Festa, Angeli and Schifano works and in concomitance with the exhibition of National Pavillion of Guatemala (16 th Architecture Biennale in Venice). She is historicized inside the Catalogue of Mondadori Modern Art and in de Agostini Atlas of Art. She is a member of the Interdisciplinary Centre of Contemporary Landscape. Her works are inspired by the Pop Art painters with revisions, experimentations, provocations. Her ability to experiment led her to create an innovative way of ‘artistic work’, where painting and decoration are contaminated by the opportunities of the new digital technique. Continuous research leads her to the production of “Pollage”, which are arousing the interest of critics and historians and are spreading among collectors. The chaotic, distorted and emphasized landscapes that we find in her exemplary works are the expression of the mental and visual chaos caused by the earthquake that occurred in her city in 2009.
During these last months, her production has been enriched by a new theme: the artistic ignorance. Everybody paints, everybody feels artist, everyone wants to express himself through the pictorial art, but many do not know or study the history of art and here we find some references, some mockeries towards the false artists and from these ones the provocative idea of her works (inspired in their titles and compositions by the great names of art history) was born. “Van Coc”, “Chi è Pollok”, “Poll_ Gauguin”, “Pollo della Francesca”, “Questo non è un-Pollok, “Sazio di Pollo “, “Poll Klee” are her last inspirations.
She exhibited in: L’Aquila, Sulmona, Cagliari, Pescara, Rome, Genoa – Large galleries section, Bologna- Large galleries section , Venice, Formentera, Bergamo, Arles, Figueres, Naples, Milan, Sassari, Treviso, Salerno, Ischia, Amalfi, Matera, Caserta, Cava dei Tirreni, Malta, Stockholm, Shangai, Weiz, Palestine, Miami, Moscow, St.Pietroburgo, London, Motta di Livenza, New York, Paris, Turin, Lanciano, Vasto, Hamburg, Longarone Fiere, Spoleto, Praga, Lisbona, Chendgu, Capua, Motta di Livenza, New York, Parigi, Torino, Europe Pavilion Venice, Palermo, Weiz, Spoleto, Amburgo, Bologna, Alzano Lombardo, Vasto, Lanciano, Lanzarote, San Diego (California), Casagiove, Chengdu, Capua, Nigdé (Turchia), Istanbul, Mumbai (India), Ercolano, Vâsteràs, Barcellona, Elda (Spagna), Berlino, Rio de Janeiro, Ercolano, Alzano Lombardo, Veroli, Vienna, Notthingam (Regno Unito), Glasgow, Lithuania, Art Expo New York 2021, Favara, Brooklyn, Helsinki, Padua Art Fair.
- Tell us a little about yourself and your career beginnings?
I have always been fascinated by art. As a child I used to paint with my maternal grandfather. My grandfather’s workshop was always full of artistic inspiration because it was frequented by successful and extravagant artists who fascinated me. This multitude of artists and works helped my imagination and there I was fascinated by all painting styles: I remember that at 15 I asked my grandfather, as my birthday present, the editorial series “The Masters of Colour.”In middle school, I thought my drawing teacher liked me and my style. When she put the highest mark on my drawings, I went home saying to my mother: “I think my drawing teacher likes me, she gave me the highest grade again.” I remember that one day she asked the class to do a drawing with the theme of Resurrection; I made a drawing with the Christ rising with all shades of grey and black. Looking at the drawings of my classmates, who had used shades of blue and light blue, I started making a more colourful drawing and while I was ripping my dark-toned drawing, the teacher screamed and said to me: “What are you doing? It’s awesome.”
When I had to choose high school, the middle school teachers forced my parents to choose the art institute. I graduated as a Master of Art and in Artistic Maturity. In the 80s there was a “boom” in advertising graphics, I was fascinated by this new profession, and I chose my university: the European Institute of Design in Rome.
I started working immediately – while I was attending university – in one of the best-known advertising agencies in Italy. In the 90s I signed up in the Academy of Fine Arts and graduated in painting. I have always worked in parallel with advertising graphics, editorial graphics and painting. The art of painting made me mentally more free, because in graphics the rules of chromatology and briefings must always be respected. In 1985 there was my first exhibition in L’Aquila, my city, and I remember that a collector wanted to buy one of my works, but I didn’t sell it to him: I was too connected to it because it was born from me, from my own thoughts and therefore I felt that it was too mine. I told him that I could not sell it because it was not the printing of a poster – it was unique, I would not have been able to
have other copies as I did when I kept at least two posters of my work after having delivered it to a client.
- What projects are you currently working on?
Despite the great difficulty of this historical moment, I am working on artistic projects with national and international galleries. In addition to projects with conventional galleries and cultural spaces, I am working on a fascinating and stimulating project for me, called “Art in the Hotel.” Hotels are becoming real widespread galleries and my works will soon be present in a hotel in the historic centre of Milan. Hall and hotel rooms will be enriched with my “PollArte.”
- What art do you most identify with?
My work has different influences, and my artistic references range from Pop Art to symbolism and visual communication. I’ve always loved Pop Art, I call myself “New Pop Art:” I love Andy Warhol, but I don’t imitate him
This artist was unique and around the world I find too many works with Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse and dollars. The feeling is that everything has already been created. Perhaps this belief comes from the fact that anyone can paint and believe of being an artist. There is no culture, no study of the history of art – “I paint because I like it, and I am not interested in knowing or studying the artistic references” is a recurring sentence that reveals a creative ignorance. Greater study and interest would increase the chances of opening up to innovation and change.
- What themes do you pursue?
The most important element in my pieces of art is the figure of the Chicken. The Chicken, in general, is an animal that makes people laugh, and it has many meanings It has a lot of connotations because it is symbolic and metaphorical. It is provocative because it is connected to different contexts and compositions: from those that are typically pop, to the sacred ones that can be deconsecrate. I always play with words that recall the term “Chicken,” both in the compositions of the works and in the choice of their heading. I like to be inspired by the great names in the history of art and my mind is motivated automatically. From this mental process comes the idea of the titles of my works: “Pollo-Polli-Gallo,” “Van Coc,” “Chi è Pollok,” “Poll Gauguin,” “Pollo della Francesca,” “Cha-Gall,” “Pollaiolo.” All my chickens are “spiced” with Pop Art.My “Pollarte” brand is now recognizable.
- What’s your favorite art work?
My favourite piece of art is “Interior,” by the English artist Richard Hamilton. I like this work because somehow I find my creative process in it. This artist created collages by incorporating advertisements from well-known newspapers and magazines, a technique that become the basis for the work Interior. Through a complex layering of painting and photographic techniques, the artist continued to experiment and analyse methods for the recreation of hybrid and illusory spaces. Always excited to adopt new techniques, from the 80s Hamilton experimented with computer-generated images.
- Tells us about some of your recent exhibitions. What memorable responses have you had to your work?
2021 was a year of great changes and tasks in my artistic life. Despite many satisfactions, there were also some disillusions that became an experience for my personal growth. My Chickens travelled the world this year: Sweden, Scotland, UK, Finland, Lithuania, Portugal and Russia. I also participated with a large work in Countless Cities – Biennial of the cities of the World in Favara (Sicily) and it was a great honour to artistically represent my city, L’Aquila. One of my greatest emotions was to exhibit my work next to a piece of art of the great Andy Warhol in an art exhibition.
Finally, thanks to my American gallery owner, my works reached ArtExpo New York, obtaining success and recognition.
- Tell us about one of your projects which you are very proud of.
There are many projects that I am proud of, but the most ambitious one is to have created my own artistic line that is recognizable to the public. My project – which I called “Pollarte” because of the recurring theme – is constantly evolving, it is inimitable because it comes from the madness that can be found only inside my person. This idea is gaining interest and success among collectors and critics. “My Chickens” make me happy and very proud.
- NY Glam: What does “being creative” mean to you?
Being creative means being curious and knowing how to have new ideas. Creativity is an intuition that arises all of a sudden. Creativity is a mental process, a style of thinking. Ideas arise spontaneously in the most different moments, even during sleep: sometimes I get out of my bed and work even at 4 in the morning. In creative thinking, which increases the pleasure of working, I am not coherent: sometimes the intuition comes from my intimate self – suddenly and freely – revealing something that I didn’t even know I had in mind. Sometimes instead I go in search of creative inspiration in the works of my favorite artists
- NY Glam: What are you trying to communicate with your art?
Through my art, my Chickens and my artistic compositions – which are rich in symbols and metaphorical signs – I want to describe fears and the confusion that we are experiencing in this historical moment. I want to communicate – in a funny way through the symbol of the Chicken – the ingenuity of man, the fears and disorder of our society. The Chicken is an animal that makes people laugh and has many meanings. It is symbolic and metaphorical. It is provocative because it is connected to the most different contexts and compositions: from those that are typically pop, to the sacred ones that are then deconsecrated. In my works I prefer mirrored material to highlight and duplicate the feeling of disorientation in today’s world.
- NY Glam: What role does the Artist have in Society?
I think that the relationship between art and society changes over time. People should follow art to learn about our history but also to feel emotions. Artistic creations generate a cultural heritage that has its roots in the works of the past, drawing inspiration from them and creating the basis for the projects of the future. The role of the artist in
contemporary society is of fundamental importance to avoid cultural and civil collapse. For this reason, every nation must protect works related to art and must help the recognition of artists’ professional experience by promoting formal artistic studies. As in the case of Pop Art, the desire to break with tradition and refusing the consumer society that over and over again shows those products that the media propose as values, is a choice and a proposal for a re-reading. The works of art give powerful and complex emotions. They are emblems of collective and intimate tragic events in which the symbol becomes a metaphor of pain and loss of an existential and human point of reference. Art represents and proposes, depicts and shows the irrepressible and the devastating, the horror and the unpredictable, the inhuman and the calamity. All these emotions are described subjectively by artists in their works. Even after some time, their message become current again and helps to illuminate the present of new generations. The social function of art, in a modern era dominated by technologies that prefer quantity rather than quality, becomes a strong point of reference, to re-affirm the essence of human nature and show a natural talent that shows itself through creativity.
Figurative or literary works, through the centuries, keep alive the memory of the past civilizations and become models for new ideas and suggestions that can be used in the present.
- NY Glam: What are your thoughts on being an artist in today’s world?
Creativity for me is a sacred aspect of life. But creativity does not always become art, we cannot all define ourselves as artists and we should understand the meaning of being a true artist. Many people have the presumption of defining themselves as artists, moving away from the true spirituality of art. Nowadays, the number of likes and followers on social networks leads to a fake creative self-satisfaction. Starting from the famous phrase of my beloved Andy Warhol in which he said: “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes,” I think that nowadays the sentence “we will all have 15,000 likes and followers” seems more appropriate. These 15,000 likes, sometimes bought on websites, created a generation of fake artists and artistic ignorance. I am defined as “not very social” by my young artist friends. Despite having spent years studying in art schools, academies and universities, and despite my art exhibitions around the world, I don’t want to consider myself an artist just because I “create things.”
- NY Glam: How has painting influenced your life?
Art and creative thinking have always influenced my way of life. In the most difficult moments of my life, I have always used painting as a kind of calming medicine. Creating makes me happy and balanced. Working with painting and digital art is my life. The creative act has a cathartic effect for me ad it makes me happy; when I cannot work, I feel broken, upset and incomplete.
- NY Glam: What art movement or artist would you say influences your work most?
My artistic thinking was influenced by Pop Art. The language of Pop Art became mine and I then looked for contents that best suited my personality. About Pop Art I love irony, colours and symbols. The passion for advertising graphics combined with painting, and the use of computers, gave birth to a new way of creating and I was able to illustrate with irony the contradictions of our society. Unlike some Pop artists who works serially, my works are unique. My Pop Art has to communicate joy. Even my Chickens become – through a mix of strong and vibrant colours – messengers and protagonists of good humor and optimism.
- NY Glam: What can we expect from you this year?
It will be a year full of artistic commitments already planned and postponed due to the pandemic. Concerning my artistic creations, I will experiment with new techniques and new materials and… for sure I will never abandon my Chickens.
- NY Glam: Can you share with us three favorite things about your city/culture?
L’Aquila is MY city. In April 2009 it was destroyed by a terrible earthquake and is now blooming again more beautiful and stronger. I love the alleys of my city, where I like to walk and get lost; I love the Fountain of 99 Spouts, listening to the sound of flowing water relaxes me. It may seem strange, but I also love the harsh climate of my city.
- NY Glam: Where can everyone keep up with you to learn more? …social media…website
You can follow me and my Chickens here: