Francisco Bosoletti (b.1988) is an Argentinian painter and muralist born and raised in Armstrong, a small town the Santa Fe province in Argentina, where he currently lives and works.
Best known for his poetic and eclectic large-scale murals, Bosoletti started painting at an early age, eventually graduating from art school in 2010. As a result of constant research and experimentation, his work has developed a great deal during the past years, and going from his humble beginnings in his hometown to be invited to internationally renowned festivals like The Crystal Ship in Belgium, DesOrdes Creativas and the Italian festival Street Alps, just to mention some. A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to catch up with Francisco and ask him a few questions about his background, life, work and projects. This is what came out:
For those who don’t know you so well. Could you please introduce yourself? How did you become interested in art and about your academic background? In which way has this influenced your art and the decisions you have taken along the way?
My interest for art comes from when I was a kid, when I used to take part in my hometown’s communal painting workshop. From there I always kept painting and drawing, later doing graffiti in my teens and eventually, pursuing a career as a graphic designer. After traveling a bit and seeing other culture’s art forms, my interest in painting intensified, leading me on a path of personal research towards new techniques, and adopting the urban space as a basis for the development of my work.
I believe that the decision-making process is what differentiates us between people, and it is not easy because they are marking our future and we present both negative and positive situations.
For me, the obstacles are more at a personal level rather than an artistic one. The fact that I am pursuing my career abroad, being away from family and friends and my native country, makes that I always need to begin from scratch when it comes to personal matters. My way of dealing with it is, above all things, by being curious.
When did you decide that muralism was the path to follow?
As I began to pay attention to urban spaces my interest in urban interventions grew rapidly. Given the fact that I learned to rediscover the places from a different point of view and the possibility to create large-scale work only made my interest increase.
For me, the different difficulties and variables that occur when intervening on different spaces and surfaces compensates for the studio work which, although I enjoy it, feels a bit more monotonous.
Your work is predominantly based on the female figure. Generally portraits. Can you explain to us why?
Beyond the visual interest that I have over the human physiognomy, I find in my work the means I need to convey what I want to express. Much of my work is based on topics such as forgetfulness and abandonment, and I try to somehow communicate with the viewer. Sometimes with portraits, other times with compositions based on the human figure, but always trying to reach people’s interior life. I think that including people in my work can somehow make the viewer reflect about themselves.
What is your favourite medium?
I enjoy the challenge of adapting to the different surfaces that the street presents to me, as well as the fact the nature of painting varies from culture to culture and place to place.
Basically I work with any type of water-based paint, and sometimes I combine it with some spray details. When it comes to my study work I combine acrylic painting with oil painting.
Could you tell us about your influences? Do you have any favourite artists that you admire?
Thanks to the different urban art projects in which I participated in, I had the opportunity to meet great artists I really admire. There are a lot of people doing amazing things.
Today only 10 minutes of Facebook is enough to see hundreds of different artists doing completely different things. All that makes me dizzy, so I prefer to stay a little ignorant and follow the career of artists that I find along the way, and of which I feel I have a better knowledge of, both when it comes to the bases of their work, their history, techniques and conceptual framework..
I think that my influences come from the painting of classical artists, I feel very attracted both by the Renaissance movement and by the Baroque, especially by the compositions and the ways of using the light, although I am also attracted to Impressionism. I must say that I am not very studious of art, and I do not have much knowledge either on historical or contemporary painters.
It seems a lot of what’s produced today follows a “cookbook” recipe, where the most popular are reproduced. What’s your take on this perceived trend?
I do not know much about the urban art scene to have accurate opinions about this. I see that some artists are quite repetitive, but if the recipe is good people will continue to ask for it, the important thing is that the cook feels good while doing it.
Talking to street artists whose work has been embraced by traditional art institutions, they express a desire of continuously reinventing themselves, but at the same time a certain fear of distancing themselves too much from that image that took them to where they are in the first place. Do you share that need and perhaps fear of losing that instant popularity that urban art gives?
I could not say that my work is very much embraced, so I still have a lot of freedom in what I do and the ideas that come up. Yes, I have had to reject works for institutions that maybe expected an image of some past stage that I had no intention of returning at that time, but personally I still did not feel a need to stagnate in something that has opened some doors.
I have fellow friends who suffer a bit, the fact that they cannot innovate too much in their work for fear of losing the workflow they have been having. If I ever find myself in that situation, it won’t be easy.
I feel success, in a very personal way, is trying to put aside that kind of superficial success of which society speaks to us all the time.
I think there is nothing better than feeling good about what you are and what you do, something that is very difficult to achieve.
As a young artist with a long road ahead, what does the future look like to you? Do you have any dreams you would love to fulfil?
I hope to continue experimenting in the street for a long time as well as improving techniques that I can apply to my study work, but also participating in workshops and collaborating with other artists.
Francisco continues today his research and experimentation, developing during the past year new techniques and approaches to painting. Among others, it is possible to highlight his ‘Ultraviolet” project where the use of ultraviolet paint paint which means that it requires a filter to be fully appreciated. The idea behind the project is to make us aware of the fact that reality has many sides. Painted this way, his murals are invisible until we look beyond what is evident and we start seeing that we otherwise use to ignore, that is, looking at things beyond the surface.
I would like to thank Francisco for taking the time to share his thoughts with us!
Founder and editor of Urbanite. Street Art lover who after the finishing her MA thesis on the muralist movement in the 1920-50s, developed a fascination for street art and graffiti that eventually led to collaborations with different art blogs, including the creation of this one.