This artist is a sculptural artist from the continent of South America, more precisely from the “land of silver”, well, thats where it got its name from, Argentum – silver that is (in Latin).
He told me that a concern was that he did not feel totally confident with doing the interview in english and that I should correct any flaws…I didn´t find any. I am not an expert my self but I believe that anyone who´s reading this can make sense of it. English isn´t my native tounge either so…
…well, here´s Manuel:
Me: Hello Manuel! Please tell us who are you? How old are you, where are you from, where do you live? etc…
Manuel: Hello. My name is Manuel De Francesco, I live in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina and I am a visual artist. More precisely, sculptor. I am 52 years old.
Me: I understand that you are a sculptor and I guess that you are a proffessional one, for how long have you worked with this?
Manuel: After studying psychology, I began my training as a sculptor at what is now the UNA National University of Arts. Since approximately 2000 I have totally focused on the research and production of my work.
Me: Which material do you use and what tecnique?
Manuel: Most sculptures are based on a figure modeled in clay. After several molding processes, this figure takes shape in other materials. For many years, I worked with common masonry cement with some additives such as quartz, marble, etc. At present, replace cement with ecological resins of great hardness and resistance. I only use cement in some cases, especially in outdoor sculptures. I like the natural degradation of this material in the open.
Me: Are you self taught (autodidactic) or have you undergone a formal art education?
Manuel: Although I was trained at the University of the Arts, where I am currently a professor, I teach a theoretical subject called Communication and media. The construction of an artist never ends and always depends on his own concern to experiment and investigate new methods and techniques . In that sense I feel that we are all self-taught.
Me: Does your art have a clear, well designed message? Always?
Manuel: The whole of the work of any artist has a designed message. An underlying concept, even unintentionally. Without him, the work loses its way. In my case I focus on rescuing with my sculptures a certain naivety and purity of being that is intact at birth and that gradually fades as it reaches adulthood. That potential, I believe, remains somewhere, and what my figures try is to rescue it. It is a very simple message and many times it is blurred in some of my works, but it tends to stay with the intention in most of them. It is not explicit and it is not necessarily always read, but I feel that it is the germ of my work.
Me: What (anything) inspires you the Most?
Manuel: I usually find motivation (the word inspiration is perhaps a bit delicate) in music, cinema, literature. A sculpture is the sum of textures, ideas, sensations that have different origins and come together in a new idea. In my 20s I was dazzled by the synthesis of Constantin Brancusi, the expression of Barlach, the coldness and the mystery of pre-Columbian sculptures, especially the Olmecs.
Me: Do you consider yourself an extrovert or an introvert person?
Manuel: I consider myself a reflective and not very outgoing person. My social group is small.
Me: Which artist, dead or alive has made the biggest impact on you and your artwork? (If any)
Manuel: The contemporary artists that currently impact me are Javier Marín (due to his excess, his baroque style) Daniel Barkley, Max Leiva, the duo Coderch-Malavia, Aron Demetz … a lot.
Me: Ask yourself an interesting question and then answer it please.
Manuel: Where in the world would you like to install a sculpture?
Manuel: Definitely in Venice. A large floating sculpture on the Punta della Dogana.
Me: Where can one find your art if one want to buy or perhaps just view/admire/enjoy it?
Thank you so much Manuel, it was really interesting to read your answers to my questions. I hope that you reach all of your goals and that you someday get to install one (at least) of your amazing sculptures in Venice!
I hope you (who reads this) will take a look at Manuels page and his instagram account, because there are so many wonderful creations to admire there. Below you´ll get a few examples: