Painter Francesco Gillia is a Roman artist deeply affected by a classical past he can lay claim to as an authentic part of his own childhood experience and education.
Gillia states, “I am strongly influenced by those Greek and Roman marble statues of antiquity which survive today only as fragments, and in particular by how the absence of limbs—and the attendant fascination with what is missing—gives the surviving parts a more powerful presence.”
“This fascination with the fetishistic power of presence versus absence began quite early for me; as a boy growing up in Rome I was captivated by the Torso del Belvedere, baffled by how a fragment could condense such presence. What is left to the observer is accentuated by the power of the absence, by the possibility of reconstruction.”
“I look at the body as architecture and as a surface capable of accumulating and reflecting light, determined through shape, value, chiaroscuro, abstraction, and the handling of the paint as a bas-relief of luminous matter. All the above aesthetic strategies enable me to strengthen those bodies with a sense of ‘beauty,’ beauty of truth and gravity. The careful viewer will feels my effort and in part participate in this belief, worshipping the incredible complexity of our bodies, at the same time consuming with gaze of curiosity a selection of subjects offered to be perused.”