5 questions with the artist: Francesco Gioacchini

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Francesco Gioacchini is an artist based in Berlin born in Loreto, Italy. His research moves between painting and drawing, past and present, self and other. References about art history, literature and contemporary culture are living through his work and he carries on a visual research made of collisions of meaning and media.

My works show an overlapping and stratification of different elements; sometimes the figures are invaded and challenged by the spray that "claims" its own space, its own presence, in other cases the image appears taped, as a reference from a new work, in other works the painting looks like an exercise book, with notes, scribbles and drawings. There is always a contradictory tension, a juxtaposition of what is different, divided, separate.

Walk us through your academic experience. How do you think your education shaped your career?

I studied painting at the Academy of Fine Art of Macerata, in Italy, and prior to that I attended a summer program in painting at the Slade School of Fine Art in London. I can say that my academic experience definitely helped me to learn and develop painting techniques, to know better materials, and to improve skills in general; in my opinion Fine Art Academies still play an important role in artists’ careers, at least for what concerns practical knowledge. I also feel quite lucky in terms of teachers that I met during my education, I still have in mind some of their advice and I am grateful to them for this. When it comes to personal artistic research I believe this is something that cannot be taught; at the same time, if you want to learn and understand how the contemporary art market works, you should do it also by reading, visiting exhibitions and meeting people. To summarize, I would say that the academic experience gave me the fundamentals to step into the art world with the sufficient background needed.


What is indispensable while working in your studio?

Well, besides all the basic tools that every painter needs, I always have some music in the background, my sketchbook on my side and I definitely need the right mood to work.

Who are your favorite artists and who are the ones that built your creative imaginary?

When I first approached art, in my early twenties, I was totally fascinated by Francis Bacon, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Cy Twombly. The three of them gave me, in different ways, a strong first impression of what painting can be. At the same time, I always had, and I still have, a kind of visual presence in my mind of the Renaissance Italian Masters, their tonalities, the subjects, the compositions, this is something that constantly influences my work. Then I started to dive more into living artists and in my graduation thesis, which was about the topic of identity in contemporary art, I focused on Glenn Ligon, another artist I'm interested in. At the moment, the artist I relate to more is Luca Bertolo; I really love his work and his idea of painting. I must say that literature and cinema, along with art (intended as painting, installation, etc.), also contributed to building my imaginary.

How did COVID-19 impact your way of making art?

Generally speaking the pandemic and social distancing, or better to say, the physical distancing, has been, and unfortunately still is, a dramatic time. At the very beginning of the pandemic I organized myself by putting on pause projects affected by the lockdown and working on new projects, looking for new solutions. For instance, window projects exhibitions have been something new for me and in 2021 I had the opportunity to work on two different spaces in Berlin with this solution. It was something challenging because in both situations I created a site specific project and this pushed me to work in different directions, considering new points of view. So I must say that, despite all the dramatic aspects, the pandemic also presented some opportunities. Plus, I believe that artists in

some way “enjoy” solitude and time to think; physical distancing is hard for daily life but maybe it’s more acceptable for an artist or a writer. I can admit that my way of making art didn’t change so much, what has been more affected was my relation with other artists and friends, because everything that is meeting, going out, hanging around at openings it’s now way more difficult unfortunately.

What is your relationship with social media and how do you use them?

I use social media, but I try to not be overwhelmed by them. Instagram is the social I use more and I think it’s a good platform for art. It’s a practical way to find and follow artists, critics, curators, galleries, collectors, and to have a good overview of what happens worldwide. I don’t forget to visit exhibitions in person though. Social media is a good way to search, discover, connect, in other words for networking, but physical presence is always my goal and every week I try to visit galleries, off spaces, and so on in Berlin, or in Rome, Milan and in other Italian cities when I travel to Italy. I must say that maybe the pandemic increased my use of social media and several interesting things happened also thanks to them.

Written by
Anna Frattini