Frenopersciacalli at Florian’s

Paoletti’s interview with the artist

Andrea Paoletti
November 6, 2014

A new exhibition has recently opened at Florian’s Café, marking the first event in the Florian Underground initiative. The exhibition "n.n - non noti", from artist Frenopersciacalli, is composed of a number of artworks underground, in the cellar, which will not be accessible to the public. Therefore, they will be projected via video. The goal is to promote various of young, up-and-coming artists.


The first of these artists, Frenopersciacalli, speaks about his work below in an interview with Andrea Paoletti.

PAOLETTI: You haven’t revealed your real name – is FRENOPERSCIACALLI actually an anagram or are you keeping your identity totally hidden, like Banksy?


FRENOPERSCIACALLI: The name came from a game I played with my father, an expert of words, numbers and signs. I found my own anagram based on one of these word games that we played, coming up with ‘frenopersciacalli’. I also enjoyed that the fact that I was doing something illegal, such as signing with a name other than my own.


P:  Are you a tattoo artist who uses the skin as a canvas for your art, or are you a street artist who ‘dresses’ the city?


F: I don’t consider myself to be a street artist.

Street art is different to what I do: there are people who continuously produce street art and fight like crazy to share their ideas with the city, or to overwhelm and shock citizens. I started painting and I’ll happily use a wall as my canvas. Other times I'll create designs and drawings on bits of urban waste, which in effect creates a sort of art collection from abandoned objects. 

I’ve been getting to grips with tattooing for a little while now, but I am still a student. It has, however, opened my eyes to an artwork often confused with stupidity. It’s an art form with historical roots and nowadays showcases some extremely talented artists.

As you’ll have understood, I’ve never been a fan of labelling, I prefer to simply learn about new techniques.



P: It’s obvious that your two art tracks (tattoo and street art) have many things in common, but, in your opinion, what is the linking feature?


F: Drawing


P: Seeing your artwork in underpasses (Rifredi train station and in le Cure) or in other places in the form of paintings, creates an uneasy feeling, which rather than disturbing viewers, draws them in. Your approach to creating art gives spectators food for thought, but what is the main message you’re trying to share?


F: My painting techniques are mainly instinctive, thus I rarely plan to do murals. Fear reigns in this society, therefore I think it’s inevitable that it filters into my work. Every human face is an invitation to paint. My work is reflective and invites people to reflect on themselves: maybe this is why it’s so fascinating.


P: You’ve done some commissioned works and have taken part publicly in events (Bicycle Film Festival and the Florence Tattoo Convention), yet this exhibition at Café Florian, even though it’s not a gallery, will be the first show in a space dedicated to art?


F: The Florence Tattoo Convention and the Bicycle Film Festival are events based on art. Pedalling, films, tattoos and the shows were great artistic stimulation, so we’ll see what will happen now in a café.


P: The idea behind Florian-Underground interests me greatly, and it’s perfect for you –what will you be exhibiting in the cellar?


F: I’ve created 60 works of art of familiar faces. The idea is to perfectly represent, using my own style, unknown people who, for more than 3 centuries, have had ties with Florian’s in Venice. Books and documents only ever contain information about famous people. In Florence, there will be a preview of ten of the artworks, the catalogue and a video. The full exhibition will be on display in Venice. ‘Florian-Underground’ is a wonderful project curated by fantastic people and I hope that Florence can become a spring-board for artisits in the city nowadays.


Translation: Catriona Miller

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