Meet

Fabio Viscogliosi

Where are you from and where do you reside?
I live and work in Lyon (France) and Geneva (Switzerland). I grew up in France, with Italian family from the Lazio, near Rome. We also lived in Montreal for few years. My father was a welder, and he taught me a lot of things, building objects and furnitures with him. I am attached to this craft idea of work, in drawing, painting, or music.
What are some themes you find recurring in your pieces, intentional or not?
Landscapes, abstraction, letters and alphabets, typography, architecture, buildings, clouds, rocks, bricks, and pieces of wood.
What necessities do you require when making your art?
I work in silence while thinking about music or other memories, personal stories, or art history. I like to make links between different things, a sort of analogous way of thinking. The painting’s composition is a place to call up all these different elements. Technically, I use basic shapes and colors, like an alphabet and specific paintbrushes for each line or surface.
Why do you think these items found their way into your “alphabet”?
It’s very subjective, I collected these “items” for years, some are linked to my childhood, or my taste for certain elements in nature and geometry, or the history of art, comics, cinema, and so on. And I guess all of these oscillate between abstraction and sign. These are all ideal forms to create my own combinations. And therefore, a peculiar emotion.
What kinds of brushes can you not live without?
If I had to keep one, it would be a very modest brush: elementary, synthetic.
What is the most difficult part of the artistic process for you?
To decide when a work is completed. And to stay open to what happens in the process.
Slant
I like to make links between different things, a sort of analogous way of thinking. The painting's composition is a place to call up all these different elements. — Fabio Viscogliosi
How important is spontaneity in your art?
Chance, spontaneity, and intuition are very important to me. When I was younger, I was interested in the Japanese poetry, which incorporate chance in the way of thinking and acting. I see the art process like a place to react to what happens, or what I find while working. But I also choose my tools very carefully, like an architect or a builder would do. The painting is a construction for me. An assemblage, like a musical harmony.
What does a harmonious painting look like for you?
There is a fine line between melody and dissonance, to stay in a musical vocabulary. I love the spaces between the shapes when they seem to get organized. The balance is precarious, always moving. A “harmonious” painting calls you from this fragile area. It’s a sort of pictorial blue note.
How do you choose your materials?
As I said, my materials are very important - which paper or wood or canvas, which color for the background, how this acrylic or spray will react on the surface. Usually, I use basic material, but I try a lot. A part of the process is to decide what I will use, first of all. I was very interested by the print process, for example, and I use some colors for years (this cobalt blue or red cadmium). These choices are what we’ll see, in the end.
Slant
A “harmonious” painting calls you from this fragile area. It’s a sort of pictorial blue note. — Fabio Viscogliosi
Have you ever collaborated, or would you?
I have a lot of good friends painters and artists. They are very important to me, one word from them can keep you in the good direction. Art is dialogue, day by day. I work very solitarily, most of the time, but I also need this exchange with my peers. I did a book of drawings with my nephew, who is also an artist. We really mixed our drawings, so nobody can tell who did what. I loved that.
Do you remember the first work of art that captured your attention?
As a kid, i wanted to draw like Carl Barks or George Herriman. But I also discovered the great painters, very young. I remember, as a teenager, seeing for the first time a version of “Notre-Dame” by Matisse from 1914, which looked so great to me. It’s a bridge between figuration and abstraction, and probably a marker of the modern.

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