“I think the most stimulating thing is to have the ambition to find beauty in sacrifice”
AT: Where are you from and how/why did you start engaging with art?
FS: I was born in North-West Italy in a town called Biella, but I live and work in Turin. I grew up in a situation where culture has always been present in the background like a ghost. It made me understand that and for me art is the yardstick with which I see and relate. It probably couldn’t have gone differently.
AT: When did it become serious?
FS: I don’t know if there is a precise moment. Or maybe there is – in fact, I know there is, but it is a deeply intimate and shrouded thing. There comes a moment when you discover your sensitivity and decide to work on it by fighting with yourself. It is a mystical moment
AT: Are there any person who has been significant in your breakthrough as an artist?
FS: In my mind’s eye I have a family portrait of figures who have been relevant in my training, I guess there are about fifty of them. Certainly some of these figures are Filippino Lippi, Nanni Moretti, Theodore Gericault, Umberto Baglioni, Wu-Tang clan, my mother and my aunt, Abdul Basit Abdel Samad, the guys from Spaziobuonasera.
AT: What is your first approach to the work? How would you describe your practice?
FS: I wake up around 8 am, have breakfast and walk to my studio. As I walk I pass in front of a nunnery, a cemetery for those condemned to death at the end of the 18th century, and across a river. Once in the studio I don’t listen to music. I work with the awareness that I will usually stay there until late afternoon. My practice is meticulous, essential, and dictated by severe rhythm – and fundamentally it requires a good dose of sense of humour so as not to take oneself too seriously.
“Coro”, 2020, series of six sculptures, 100x150x40 cm each | Industrial plaster, synthetic clay, terracotta, ash, wax, polyvinyl glue, acrylic, foulard, wood.
AT: What do you aim to reach with your work?
FS: I don’t know, I guess trying to conquer the unconquerable 🙂
AT: What are your favourite tools and materials for working?
FS: Usually I work with industrial or building materials. It is a spontaneous act, and for one reason or another I have always ended up working with these methods. I like to think of a work as a house and therefore as a human body. I have a passion for clay, I think it is a like the Earth regurgitating. I also love stucco, linen and ash. I always tend to include at least one natural element in my works. To create volume, I insert into the sculptures any type of waste material that I find in the studio: from plastic bags to cardboard, to polyurethane. I think a good sculpture today must be composed of at least three different materials.
AT: What do you feel while you work? Do you usually think about the final outcome beforehand?
FS: When I work I try not to think about anything, but I don’t know if it’s really not thinking. Often, while I’m working, phrases and images keep repeating in my head, until the evening. Sometimes it’s a really dramatic and exhausting situation, sometimes mocking. In addition, in the studio I am not patient at all, so I constantly think about the final result, but I am working on myself to try to prolong this flawed impatience of mine.
AT: How do you understand that a work is finished?
FS: Luckily I never understand when a work is finished.
“Col passo di re giovane”, 2020, pvc, industrial plaster, terracotta, polyvinyl glue, polyurethane, linen, wax, ash, 100x150x40 cm.
“Untitled (esodo)”, 2020, pvc, industrial plaster, terracotta, foulard polyvinyl glue, polyurethane, wax, ash, 100x150x40 cm.
AT: Where does the inspiration for the work come from?
FS: It is the inspiration that finds me, and it can happen in any situation but mainly when I walk or drive, in half-sleep or at a bar, in front of a good espresso.
AT: Are there any artists who influenced your works? Why?
FS: I think everyone influences me. I try to take everything that comes to me, even what I do not like, and I make it my own. I really try to do it with all living things, not just artists. There are figures in art who influenced me through their drama. Gericault, for example, influences me with his own story. On his deathbed, after a terrible fall from his horse this had transfigured him, he cursed himself for not having been able to finish worthily the only four paintings he did in his life. A few years earlier he had finished The Raft of the Medusa.
AT: How important is the role of social media for you?
FS: Certainly important, at least for now.
“Mathusalem 3”, 2020, iron, terracotta, synthetic clay, industrial plaster, acrylic, resin, wax, non ti scordar di me flower, 30x27x40 cm.
“Mathusalem 2”, 2020, iron, terracotta, synthetic clay, industrial plaster, acrylic, resin, wax, 34x37x27 cm.
AT: As an artist, what is your point of view about the contemporary art system?
FS: I still haven’t understood if there really is an art system, but undoubtedly there is an art community, the same that has existed for thousands of years. I argue that it is absolutely meritocratic. If an artist is sincere and produces good work, the community will donate it to the rest of the world.
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?
FS: I think the most stimulating thing is to have the ambition to find beauty in sacrifice. I think the most beautiful thing for me is love for the mystery and the cancellation of any truth. And then there is all the attention towards oneself and the love towards what is and what is no longer there.
AT: What do you do besides art?
FS: I cook.
AT: What are your goals and expectations for the future?
FS: Stay active and restless, stay where I want to be and always find strength.
Installation view “Pelle d’oca”, Villa Vertua Masolo, 2019.
Francesco Snote (b. 1991) is an Italian sculptor currently living and working in Turin, Italy. He is Co-founder of the artist run-space Spaziobuonasera and the Summer Studio Project Pineta. Mainly through drawing and sculpture he performs a meticulous procedure that is built slowly and constantly in a radical affirmation of all dimensions.In his practice, perceive only the beginning or only the end of some figures, leave ambiguous glimpses, wondering what is behind or how continues a representation cut in half and not giving answers, brings out the indispensability of a common and daily conception in a combo compose d by mystery and attactiveness. An attitude that looks at an idea of sculpture as an act of love to see more deeply the things and the space around us.