Francesco Agresti

View Work by Francesco Agresti

“Born in Itri, Italy, Where I spent my childhood before coming to New York City, where I received my education BFA, MFA, and my first success
So lucky, I am able to return to my roots and the old world with all its charm, at least every year, once, where I still keep a studio on the Via Appia.

As an artist I have had an have several showings and representations in Italy, Germany, Russia and many in the USA as well, including: New York, Iowa, North Carolina, Maryland, Georgia, and Florida
I was represented by several Galleries, mostly in New York City, before moving back to Italy for some years, to pursue my passion to paint, to teach at University (Napoli) and to tend my Olive Grove.

On returning to America in the early nineties, I taught at Universities and Colleges in the Winston-Salem, Greensboro N.C. area, where I became a professor in the visual arts, before finding paradise in Venice, FL where I now reside, create, and paint.”

Artist Statement:

“I see the familiar and the known as leading us into the mysterious and the unknown, which is transformative. For instance, a picket fence is homey, but it expresses both barrier and entrance through its gate. If there is drapery, we are drawn to pass into its opening, into the dark empty space.

Literal physical objects are important to me. Even the physicality of the paint is important. The physicality of the paint mimics the physicality of the earth. Then the literal becomes symbolic and the symbolic becomes emotional. It has to reach the level of feeling.

In much of my work there is pathos and grief. They require the literalness of the image to make the feeling felt. Once the literalness of the image has been established, I can distance myself from it to some extent to learn what it means. Any painting is necessarily a self-portrait, expressing what the artist is going through at the time. The greater part is the viewers response, an interpretation which is already informed with a personal history.
‘My work begins with the body, the tangible, the sensual.’

The body, however suggested, becomes the metaphor for tans-formative reality. The body becomes a landscape and the landscape becomes a ritualized space where emotions move. The outside becomes the inside; the framed, the boundless. Anchored to earth we are endless in our loitering explorations.

The seductive quality of the painting is reminiscent of dream space, a kind of spiritual déjà vu in its familiarity. It lures you into the depths of its successive spaces and then it devours you. Its like Krishna’s mouth into which all beings are drawn. As in a sacrament, the humble and the mundane are transformed into the radiance of divinity.”