"Art is a vehicle for awakening, transformation, and freedom."
Federico Fiorentini is an Italian artist, born in May of 1972 (Milan). He’s lived and worked in Florence, San Francisco and New York, Ubud and Bali in Indonesia and in Berlin. Currently he resides in Carrara, Tuscany.
His childhood was characterized by change due to his family’s relocation from Italy to The United States and back again to Italy, this had a deep influence on his life and work. Freedom was an important aspect of his life as a child and teenager. His mother, a lover of art, music and culture in general, helped and supported him along his artistic path. He completed his studies at the Accademia di Belle Arti of Florence in Italy. Throughout his lifetime, his work has been exhibited around Europe, the USA and Asia.
"Art is research, communication, involvement, and vehicle for concepts, thoughts, emotions, utopia."
Federico Fiorentini’s painting are alike with poetry, the definition of an image being worth a thousand words. His use of vibrant and powerful colors, along with dramatic shadows give his works a combination of mysterious and festive undertones. The voices of the people walking through the images can be heard, as well as the music playing in some of the scenarios. Fiorentini’s technique brings the paintings to life long enough for our minds to wander into them and have a little look around.
Q. What role does the artist have in society?
A. Art exists in its different forms through all social layers and has the power to join together, to denounce, to fight against injustice, to defend freedom and to help one’s living. The artist should transfer the spontaneity, the animal intuition and the playful attitude typical of childhood to the adult age, with the same intensity. Sometimes even his anger and solitude.
Q. What’s your best childhood memory?
A. The best childhood memories: all of them were connected to open spaces, both in nature and cities, mainly near the sea. As a child, I knew already that I would never work behind a desk. I had in mind to become an adventurer, a pirate, somehow I might say that I did when I worked for years on a project of a handmade construction of a boat. A dream to me.
Q. Do you remember the first art you made? What was it and how old were you?
A. Of course, my first work of art was made of sand and wood! As a child, I spend holidays at the Tuscan beaches. And my first work was a sculpture classical head.
Q. How and when did you first become seriously interested in art?
A. I became seriously interested in art during my high school years. I was mainly interested in sculpture so I decided to attend the Sculpture Department of Accademia of Belle Arti in Florence, where I completed my studies.
Q. Tell us about your particular style and how you came to it?
A. Spending time with a friend, who was a painter and observing him, I began to use photography for figurative painting, then a dialog between my photographic material and the pictorial one began. Making photos was and is the starting point. The photos chosen for the painting must have the right visual proportions. At first, the approach was rough and playful, then with the passing of years, I began to dwell on details to search for a new way.
Q. What does your art aim to express?
A. Is the attempt to express something which is a mystery, which works out in attempts and changes until they find vitality through images and colors, which create atmospheres of waiting and suspension, silence in the chaos of movement.
Q. What personality trait has gotten you in the most trouble?
A. Underestimating myself and the protection of my own dignity.
Q. What have you had to sacrifice for this career?
A. As an artist one has to sacrifice everything. Art is the greatest privilege and the greatest sacrifice.
Q. Who are your biggest influences? Are you inspired by the work of your peers or anyone else in particular?
A. The influence of other artists exists all the time. What has a great influence is the curiosity to see what one can reach while keeping on.
Q. Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
A. Artist’s lives require solitude, but at the same time they require contacts and relations.
Q. Apart from art, what do you love doing?
A. Apart from working as an artist, I love to stay in contact with nature, woods, rivers, sea, also being with my cat and gardening.
Q. What is your philosophy in matters of art?
A. Concerning the philosophical meaning of art, I think it is a research of harmony and rhythms which would have an evocative power. Despite the fact that nowadays there is a tendency to identify culture and market, I still believe in talent, technical competence and the power of art as a means for personal and collective growth, whatever the finality of art is.
Q. What does 'success' mean to you?
A. Success for me means to be recognized, to sell one’s own works in order to be able to continue working in the field of art.
Q. What are the biggest things you've learned in life thus far?
A. Not to judge, to be able to listen to oneself, to take nothing for granted: this is the greatest lesson I have learned in life.
Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given, and by who?
A. The best advice was given to me by my mother when she said “Breath!”
Q. What advice would you give to the next generation?
A. I would suggest the young generation to chase what one loves to do, even when it is difficult.