An interview with a young artist: Akro

Francesca Mariani

Francesca Mariani

The young artist I am meeting is an Italian girl who studies anthropology and art at the University of Rome. She welcomes me in her flat with a smile and takes me to her work room.
I am impressed and amused by the amount of postcards, drawings, photos and pictures hanging on the walls and I feel curious at the sight of the strange masks and other small sculptures made of clay displayed on the shelves. Such an ‘equipped’ room gives off a sort of positive energy which makes me feel at ease. We are sitting at a table drinking cups of green tea.

Akro_Maschere‘Akro’ What does it mean? Why have you chosen to sign your works with this pseudonym?

Akro comes from the first part of the word ‘acrobat.’ An acrobat is someone who swings on a thin rope through the air. It is a metaphor about not having complete control over ourselves and life’s events and thus we might fall’ but that’s the play of life!

Akro_francesca006How do you portray this existence, “in suspense”

The small sculptures and masks that you see all around are made of clay. But the clay is not cooked and that gives the works a fragility which recalls the precariousness of human existence in balance between dreams and reality.

One of these sculptures is a face with big lips: if you kiss it you can realize desire.’ That’s a way to dream and escape from every day life!

Moreover, I like to handle the clay very much as it permits me to create three-dimensional objects, a thing which is not possible to achieve through painting.

Akro_Quadri_francesca007And what about the use of different materials in your pictures?

Well, I usually add alternative materials such as rope, different kinds of paper, copper wire, pieces and fragments of mirror, salt, wax, plastic’I do all this to reach a sort of three-dimensional nature of the picture. In particular, the fragments of a mirror want to suggest a further meaning: they re-create the relativism of our existence by projecting pieces of images and reflecting parts of it.

Akro_francesca005Is there a reason why certain colours recur in certain forms=

Actually I have begun drawing stylized forms of men and women with their bodies interwoven, or lonely women in sensual and provocative positions. All these round shapes and figures are effective mostly through the use of red colour.’ Then I have turned towards more abstract forms using geometric lines. These lines create open spaces where one can project oneself, or open windows for the mind to look into the world and into the imagination. Here everything plays with nuances of blue which suggests a more ‘spiritual’ approach to life.”’

Akro_francesca04How do you set to work?

Mine is a never-ending study and research of new materials, colours and shapes that represent the multiple aspects of reality and the changing moods and impressions towards life.

Akro, whose real name is Francesca Mariani, displayed her work in May 2003 during the event ‘Martelive’ which is held every year in Rome. Soon after, in June, she exhibited at the university of Rome ‘La Sapienza at the Teatro Ateneo.

All the best to you and good luck Akro!

by Alessia Angeli

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