Federica Francesconi


“The image is impossible to catch and reality is translated into a thousand visions far from the truth”

AT: Where are you from and how/why did you start engaging with art?

FF: I was born in Brescia but I live and work between Milan and Zurich. I studied in Venice at the Academy of Fine Arts and I started because I’ve always wanted just that.


AT: When did it become serious?

FF: It was always serious but I can say that it became a real job when I chose to stop being Christiane Lohr’s assistant.


AT: Are there any person who has been significant in your breakthrough as an artist?

FF: It’s always the quality of dialogue with other artists that changes the perspective. I have a big desire for confrontation and to reconsider my point of view. There is no one person, in particular, all the people I have met have helped to elaborate on where I am and how I think today.


AT: What is your first approach to the work? How would you describe your practice?

FF: I studied the practice of sculpture and installation and I ended up painting. I investigate the perception of humans on things, on reality, on existence. I’m interested in physics which explains in another way, very linear, something incomprehensible to the gaze of the eyes. The image of reality and reality, so distant, so impossible to make coincide.

Federica Francesconi, what’s left if I don’t see you, Installation view, 2020

AT: What do you aim to reach with your work?

FF: The work is a point of view on the relationship between space, things in space, what I see and touch. The image is impossible to catch and reality is translated into a thousand visions far from the truth. Every subjective thing is true and every objective thing is filtered by a subjective one.


AT: What are your favourite tools and materials for working? 

FF: I work with fabrics like Egyptian linen and pure cotton when I paint but my practice is open to all media. I’m interested in photography and installation and the place that things occupy in space, the three-dimensional and their transfiguration in two-dimensional.


AT: What do you feel while you work? Do you usually think about the outcome beforehand?

FF: The work is conceptual with roots in the minimal. It’s all very clear because the investigation and references are very specific. The layout of an exhibition is fundamental as a speech between the parts, the work is rooted in a constant specificity.


AT: How do you understand that a work is finished? 

FF: Work is done when it’s related to other jobs and creates a relation. A single work is always a word, it is never a sentence.

untitled, 50×40 cm, Oil and solvent on linen, 2020
untitled, 50×40 cm, Oil and solvent on linen, 2020

AT: Where does the inspiration for the work come from?

FF: Today with the internet we have infinite, fast, changing, immanent images. This is something that exasperates reality in a box, in a screen, in a closed surface, an image. It’s impossible not to talk about the distance between reality and image and the perception of them.


AT: Are there any artists who influenced your works? Why?

FF: Already Cezanne, repeating the image of the mountain, investigated the impossibility of enclosing reality in a painting. Today everything is even more complicated because the culture of images goes through more from the internet than from reality. The references that I could cite are endless: from Art and Language to Jason Dodge.


AT: How important is the role of social media for you?

FF: As I have already said today with the internet the use of images is within everyone’s reach and after an exhibition, we often have nothing left but the images. It’s certainly a current issue.

What happens only once is as if it never happened. If human can only live once, it is as if they didn’t live at all, Photograph, 2021
The conceptual implications on the relationship between what we see and the world, Saito collection, Tokyo

AT: What is your opinion about NFTs and their impact on the art world?

FF: I don’t think I’ve ever seen content in NFTs. It’s only an art market and often in the market, there is not so much attention to the quality of the contents. The economic value is more important than the cultural value in NFTs


AT: As an artist, what is your point of view about the contemporary art system?

FF: I believe it should be understood in its complexity. The work of an artist needs many characteristics to remain in time, in addition to the market, in addition to the system. This is where the focus should be on quality and the system always rewards for quality in the long run.


AT: What do you find to be the most challenging or daunting thing about pursuing art? What is the most rewarding part of working as an artist? 

FF: The current trend of painting is very distant from what my research is and for this reason, I find it fundamental to compare with those few artists with whom I share a similar practice.


AT: What are your goals and expectations for the future?

FF: Surely the growth of my work with exhibitions that structure and evolve my practice.

Federica Francesconi, Installation view, 2021
Federica Francesconi (b. 1994) is an Italian visual artist currently living and working in Milan, Italy.

Francesconi's shaded style plays with the aesthetics of shadow, transparency, the relationship between emptiness and matter or the evocative power of the indefinite and the infinite. Her abstract forms and enigmatic incarnation open up the field of the possible while playing with space, reflecting on the way we face it, inhabit it or create it.