“Art expresses a fundamental part of what it means to be human. It is through art that the conflicts of life can be explored, better understood, brought to the surface and put into new relationships with each other. I believe we are living in an unprecedented time of the breakdown in human relationships and interactions. This is happening from the individual and personal level to the opposite geopolitical end of the spectrum. We tend to think of interactivity in terms of technology these days rather than as human feeling and connection.
My art is meant to directly challenge this state of affairs so to re-invigorate and re-inspire the emotional and spiritual dimensions of human life, which are inevitably in direct conflict with much of what we see around us in our world now. These are central question not just of what art is, but of what art does, and can or even should do. The biggest frustration has been struggling against a system that attempts to codify what sells, thereby killing creativity and individual expression. It has taken me many years to find my creative voice, and a large part of this has been a struggle against such commercial forces. They are very powerful and insidious, and institutionally dismiss or ignore what they lack the capacity to appreciate or understand.”
Francesco Ruspoli’s work is an exploration of relational space and its shifting possibilities within the contemporary world in which we all dwell. It explores the dynamic frontier between abstraction and figuration, keeping alive the infinite possibilities of being human in an age intent upon limiting them. Here is a certain defiant romanticism that insists that emotions are precious, that meaning is creative and that there is a world beyond commodities.
Using a strikingly vibrant palette, each painting presents a symphonic dance of colour, where subtle gradation and dramatic contrast express nuances of emotion and sensuous physicality. It offers a timely reminder of our shared embodied life with its hopes and dreams, pain and loss, and the poignancy of yearning. Thus, the eternal human dance of reaching out and holding back is movingly enacted – with the viewer included in imaginative participation.
The work expresses the direct sensation of lived experience through organic shapes and forms woven from flowing lines and the gaze of the viewer. You are invited to participate in a creative encounter with these elements, constructing your own visual languages, responses and meanings. From this aesthetic encounter, urgent questions will arise about the quality of engagement between humans and their many environments. It is hoped there also follows an increased sense of wonder at your own capacity for re-interpretation and invention that will uplift both you and the world in which you live: this is the very essence of hope.
Creativity for Ruspoli is a unique form of discovery. Like an archaeologist of his own imagination, he gently reveals hidden layers whilst discovering the essence of the image, which may origin in ancient or classical art, dance or theatre. This process involves lengthy working through of ideas on canvas, like Beethoven’s compositional technique of
constantly evolving thematic sketches. This requires austere Zen-like mental discipline, where he can get himself out of the way so his art can create itself.
The relational concern of his work embraces all viewers: your interpretations are as equally valid as his. The very act of seeing is to enter a relationship. This is why the figures in his work are placed so viscerally in relation to each other, and why it stimulates a powerful shared reflection on relatedness which encompasses the viewer.
A vital part of interpretation is our emotional response, which is not solely the preserve of a ‘refined’ academic elite. The experience of being together is the essence of his work, so he hopes his work is able to share that precise experience with you. You could say his message, theme and vision is to co-create an experience of emotional connection, whatever it happens to be on that precise moment of that particular day, with you, here, in this space together.