Franko has been painting almost every day for 27 years. Most recently, he has been fascinated by colour combinations and the general aesthetics of satellite photography. Born in Italy in 1975, he currently lives in Prague/CZ.
How did you get into art?
I started painting at the Academy of Fine Arts but I've been drawing since childhood. What sparked my interest in art was a mesmerising trick my sister used to play for me: she drew the number 813 on a piece of paper and turned it into the figure of a naked woman by rotating the page.
How would you describe your style? What makes your work special?
I believe that style is born when an artist dies so I’d rather not have any style for as long as I can. I’ve been painting almost every day for the last 27 years, and my relationship with a canvas was constantly changing, sometimes I barely recognise my old paintings as if another person created them.
How do you go about developing your work?
My work oscillates between intentionality and discovery. When I start a work I usually choose a note (a colour, a gesture, a shape, an idea) and I fix it on paper. Watching the result, I respond by adding a second note, then a third note as the reaction to the first two notes and so on. Like a series of solos during a jazz concert, I improvise until silence becomes appropriate.
Who or what influences you?
Everything I see and experience. Recently I got fascinated by the colour combinations and overall aesthetics of satellite photography. But my permanent influencer is the sun. I live in Prague, the days become very short and dark here during the winter, and I learnt to treasure every single minute of sunlight in my studio. A sunbeam makes more difference to my work than hours of preparation, introspection or watching somebody else’s paintings.
Make us curious. What is planned next?
I’m at a crossroads. For the last 6 years, I enjoyed diving into abstract art, it freed me from plots, stories or specific meanings of the painting, allowing me to concentrate on colours, brush movements and composition.
But right now I feel the need to make a statement, to talk about things that matter to me, about fear of death, destruction or uncertainty in the world. How can I express it all through abstract painting? I’m still not sure.
Photos by Kaciaryna Pikirenia