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Franck PellegrinoArtist

Paris, France. March 10th, 2021

Interviewed by Alexei Key

The Paris-based artist Franck Pellegrino blends abstract and geometric forms in dynamic mediums to create visually arresting works of art.


 

I don’t think that you “decide” to become an artist. It’s more of an emergency inside you, an idea that you need to communicate with the world. I always used to explore a lot of different mediums; this is my creative base, to be guided by the materiality of things. I taught myself different crafts and new plastics techniques. Today I try to mix all of these different fields together: sewing, painting, sculpture.

The abstract geometrical shapes I create remind me of forms I know from growing up in the South of France. I like to follow my heart and what speaks to me—that could be a color association or any matter that speaks to me. The artistic gesture has an important place in my work; I like that we can feel the gesture behind a piece of work, that we can feel the hand of the artist.

I don’t spend a lot of time drawing what I will create. I often start putting directly my hand in contact with the matter. Experimenting, searching, questioning myself: I like to keep this freedom of being able to create instinctively.

Music is also a big inspiration for me, in every field. She follows me in every moment of creation. And of course, all references to travel in my work—boats, planes—are about my childhood in the South of France, moving from town to town, without a real anchor point.

I am a determined and instinctive person. I like to finish all that I’m undertaking, even if I don’t know where it’s going to end or how. I also like to go out of my comfort zone, learning and discovering new technique every time.

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Before I was able to live thanks to my paintings, I used to work in a denim store. Not long ago I rediscovered denim as one of the textiles I could use in what I create. Little by little, the idea of it grew in me, so I rediscovered this fabric that I had worked with when I was younger, and I learned from scratch to sew and work with textiles. It became the “fil rouge,” or guiding thread that gives meaning to my art.

Working with several mediums helps me to renew myself every time I create. We must be humble in the process of creation, especially when experimentation is our base. We never know if we are going to succeed in communicating an idea, or if we are going to be able to both recreate it and then have the strength to start again. This requires an artist to evolve, to be in total harmony with what will come out of my head and my hands.

I am a very social person, but in the studio I have a capacity to be very alone in my bubble, so I can work through an idea. Isolation for creation is not a bad thing; on the contrary, I think it helps, both to explore deep inside ourselves and to re-focus on our practices. The confinement during the pandemic gave me the opportunity to explore other ways of creating. Just because you are closed within four walls, it doesn’t mean that your imagination can’t go far, far away.


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FRANCK PELLEGRINO