Going Deeper into Fear, Emptiness, Incapability: The Visceral Sculptures of Francesco Albano

The work of sculptor Francesco Albano has been covered by several online media outlets: you will find it on Beautiful Decay (“Francesco Albano’s Melting And Grotesque Body Sculptures”), DeMilked (“Creepy Human Skin Sculptures by Francesco Albano”), Hi-Fructose (“The Grotesque and Human-Like Sculptures of Francesco Albano”)…

Francesco’s art is visceral and disturbing. His sculptures look like melted, deflated, eroded human beings. Shrivelled and sunken, these heaps of flesh, skin and bone convey to us some really brutal truths about our existence. They hit us hard and make us reflect on our frailty and the fact that we are bound for extinction.

A sculpture on a stool

Francesco, who was born in 1976 in Oppido Mamertina in Italy, was an apprentice to his sculptor father Stefano from the age of 12 until the year 1996. He then studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Carrara in Tuscany from 1996 to 2000. Over the years, he has lived a nomadic life, staying in Spain, Poland and Turkey. At the moment, he is based in Buenos Aires, but is dreaming of moving back to Europe.

The artist writes: “I’ve been literally escaping from one place to another looking for myself, for something that could alleviate my disquietude, something or someone able to relieve my anger. During all this time, my art has managed to handle all of these personal issues. Making sculptures, for me, is a process of emotional purging. It is almost like a pagan or religious ritual.”

“But art is not exactly therapy,” he adds quickly. “Art permitted me to analyse and go deep into my fear, my incapability. Making art has always been a matter of obstinacy, anger, revenge, a way of shouting blasphemies at God. Maybe it includes an element of talent but I’m not so sure of that.”

A sculpture in a cage

There is another side to these dark feelings. Art is also, says Francesco, an act of compassion towards all of humanity.

On the body, the artist writes: “What deeply interests me is how the physical appearance of the human body can be affected by the psychic and mental state and how the disarray of these states can reshape the body; how it can be annihilated by social pressure, how a specific unrest can deform, distort, void and overfill the body; its container. Through my work, I record experiences and the people around me. My sculptures are fantasies-phantoms that depict desire and emptiness.”

Lately, Francesco has been inspired by the books and films of the controversial Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini. He has recently exhibited at Öktem & Aykut Gallery (Istanbul), Robert Kananaj Gallery (Toronto) and Espacio Guesso (Buenos Aires). He has also contributed to the collection of Ömer Koç, a member of the prominent Turkish Koç business family.

Images used with permission.


C (2010)


One of these Days (2013)


On the Eve (2013)


After Grünewald (2016)


35 kg (2009)


After Galenus (2013)


When Everyday was Thursday (2010)


The Temptations of St. Anthony (2016)


Study from Teorema of Pasolini (2017)


Saint Sebastian (2014)


Melaine Chole #2 – Study from Melancholia I of Albrecht Dürer (2017)


From Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (2017)


Dr. Nicolaes Tulp and the Latest Forced Disappearances (2017)


Castaway (2014-2015)


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