Francesco Clemente

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Italian genius Francesco Clemente has made quite mark in the art world ever since his first exhibition in 1971. The Italian painter’s dynamic style has played a vital role in revitalizing Italian art and putting it back on the map. Clemente’s exclusive style of utilizing figural imagery has enabled him to make a strong mark and he has gone on to collaborate with some of the greats like Andy Warhol, Ginsberg and Basquiat. Apart from painting Clemente has also experimented with sculpting and is a seasoned draftsman. Clemente’s paintings are strongly associated with his time spent abroad in places like Varanasi, India, Rome and New York. Clemente’s signature style of working with discolored tones, deep grays, violets and heavy greens would go on to define a generation of artists. His works have been featured in movie productions like Great Expectations and he is the only artist of the 21st Century who was hired by famed magazine Harpers Bazaar to paint a strong line up of supermodels in his signature style

Francesco Clemente was born in 1952 in Naples, Italy into a strong family of aristocrats. Most of his childhood was spent painting and writing poetry, and he enrolled in university to study literature initially.  That soon shifted to architecture and a change in universities, he enrolled in University of Rome where his interest in architecture soon began to vane and he devoted himself to studying art by himself. Most of the next decade was spent trying to get his work noticed in the form of drawings, altered photographs and conceptual works. After his first solo exhibition at the Galleria Valle Giulia in Rome in 1971, Clemente traveled to India where he was introduced to the spiritual side of painting.  His art soon started merging elements of spiritual life with European cultures; Clemente became deeply intrigued by the culture and crafts of India. He went on to form his signature style which often included the human form in some degree – mostly the female form – his own face, myth, spirituality, sexuality, hypnotic dream like visions and symbols. If we closely examine Clemente’s work we see that his paintings range from showcasing tragic scenes to satirical self-portraits, in simple terms very unpredictable tones.  Clemente’s frequent travels have made him a pretty ambiguous painter – one never knows what to expect next from the Italian maestro. Clemente’s paintings, paper works and murals have adorned magazine covers, book illustrations, nightclubs and hotels. Clemente has always been strongly against niche circles which are found with the art world, small groups of people who presume to know all about art. He has famously stated that his knowledge of literature and poetry has taught him that art should be all inclusive and subject to nothing or no one.

Francesco Clemente is famous for saying ‘’I was never interested in closed or exclusive systems.’’ Due to being self-taught he maintains his humility as an artist, he wants to show a parallel world to the one which already exists through his art. This parallel world – according to him – is not within anyone’s reach and is deeply sacred.

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