Six Questions

Six Questions: Francesco Pacelli

Tique asks six questions to an artist about their work and inspiration.
This week: Francesco Pacelli.

Artist Francesco Pacelli
Lives in Milan

How do you describe your own art practice?

A constant aspect of my practice I think is linked to the search for a certain form of escapism, understood as detachment from the surrounding reality during the making of the work and as immersion in a different, alternative but at the same time plausible imaginary. Although I use often different techniques and materials, I realize that the natural tension of my research consists in the continuous and obsessive repetition of the same process over and over.

Francesco Pacelli
Synthetic states of dissolution (detail)
Glazed ceramics, sand, soil
Exhibition view from Holobiont Rapsody, duo show with Stach Szumski at Eastcontemporary (Milano, 2020)

Which question or theme is central in your work?

I don’t think there’s a theme I am particularly bond, I probably would feel it as a limit and I’d be afraid of getting stuck into it. I think however to have a strong fascination for the unexplored, for everything which is not already known and that can’t be explained with criteria of pure logic. Through my work I often try to question the ambiguous and relative nature of the relations between different aspects of reality. Although I consider myself an atheist, I live art as an intense act of faith, an energy-absorbing process to believe in and to bet on, not necessarily expecting something in return.

Francesco Pacelli
There is so much to lie about it that I don’t know how to start
Epoxy resin, cellulose, polyurethane resin, acrylics, pigments, taxydermy elements
Exhibition view from Tetsuo’s body, collective exhibition at Capsule hotel 9H Otemachi (Tokyo, 2019)

What was your first experience with art?

I grew up in a place from central Italy where the presence of late Middle-age and Renaissance periods’ iconography is diffused in a very strong and capillar way on the territory, I mean on public streets and buildings besides museums. As I can remember, I was very fascinated and surprised since a young age by observing painting, sculpture and architecture of churches from Umbria and Tuscany, by admiring Giotto, Rome, and more. My love for contemporary art grew later on during the years, but I think my practice still keeps that strong connection with the sense of spirituality that you can perceive from the kind of public art that the region I come from can offer.

Francesco Pacelli
Same old cycle
Soap, pigments, essential oils
Exhibition view from Tetsuo’s body, collective exhibition at Capsule hotel 9H Otemachi (Tokyo)

What is your greatest source of inspiration?

I think each work as a combination of all the stimuli I receive in a particular moment. They might simply come from movies, books, people I hang out with, academic papers, exhibitions, music or more. I always try to mix different kind of inputs, elaborating them in a personal but sometimes also uncomfortable way, in order to avoid fossilizing on just what I like most and to have a new look on a thought I already had previously. It’s like a mind-setting process each time, I find this effective for my productivity and for generating new ideas.

Francesco Pacelli
You did love it so, you did love it like a son
Epoxy resin, polyurethane resin, polystirene, cellulose, alluminium, wires, ceramics, acrylics, spray paint, flexible Led light
Exhibition view from Fishy fishy fishy X, solo exhibition at Rehearsal Project (Milano, 2019)

What do you need in order to create your work?

I need an almost absolute condition of solitude and isolation to create an artwork. I don’t feel very comfortable in having eyes on me while I’m focusing on something, unfortunately it really influences my operational choices. My studio guarantees me tranquility and that condition of immersiveness which is fundamental for the good outcome of a work. Another essential and unavoidable aspect of the process consists in feeling a constant energy from the artwork I’m deeping in, from scratch to the final result. The work has to vibrate and pulse from the initial phase of its life, at least for me. I can feel that if this condition is lacking, I can discard a piece even after several hours or days of work.

Francesco Pacelli
I wonder who you were when you weren’t there
Epoxy resin, polyurethane resin, polystirene, cellulose, ceramics, acrylics, spray paint, flexible Led light
Exhibition view from Fishy fishy fishy X, solo exhibition at Rehearsal Project (Milano, 2019)

What work or artist has most recently surprised you?

During this last period I was very fascinated by a small painting by Gino De Dominicis exhibited in a group show organized by Gamec in Begamo few months ago. The work has a golden background with a black hole in the center and a sort of waving circular effect around it. I was very impressed by how that simple and small painting was levitating among the other works, it seemed to have life somehow.

Exhibition view from Abisso elastico, solo exhibition at Current (Milano, 2019).

out now

Tique | publication on contemporary art #3: Six Questions