Artist of the Month November 2020
Place: NEO Atelier & Showroom, Färberstraße 10 (third floor), 90402 Nürnberg
How did I meet Francesco (also known by his alias, Neo)? I was at a live painting event at the Weinerei (Königstr. 33-37, Ostermayr-Passage, 90402 Nürnberg) in 2018. It was one of those boozy, merry evenings with many a glittering guest and lots of wine, where the festivities last long into the night and that you only remember fragmentarily in retrospect. On that evening, our conversation was mostly small talk but his outfit was burned into my memory – his fashion trademark was lederhosen combined with colourful socks. For today’s interview, Francesco invited me to his studio, and this time we will have a more in-depth conversation
Lydia: Good afternoon, dear, it is good to see you and thanks for inviting me and taking the time for this interview before leaving for Italy.
Francesco Neo: You are welcome.
Lydia: So, Francesco, just to let you know, before we start: I am going to interview you in a non-traditional way by asking you 15 questions, both common and uncommon. I would also ask you to try to answer them as spontaneously as possible, please.
Francesco Neo: No problem. I am quite used to that. Therefore, you can ask me anything that interests you.
Lydia: Okay, so let’s start, here is my first question for you:
- Lydia: Are you a night owl or an early bird?
Francesco Neo: I am more of an early bird than a night owl, or otherwise said, a “nice weather” person, because I like to work when the sun is shining.
- Lydia: Where do you get your inspiration for your art from?
Francesco Neo: I get a lot of inspiration from people. I love people and I like to look at peoples’ faces, as certain faces fascinate me. As an artist, I find my muses on Instagram or on other social networks like Facebook. I love to paint people that I do not know.
- Lydia: Do you have any artistic role models?
Francesco Neo: My artistic role models are primarily painters. I appreciate a lot of other artists and their work, but generally I’m more interested in them and their character than in their artwork. To name some I would include Caravaggio, Dalí, Banksy and Jonathan Meese.
- Lydia: Do you get angry about criticism?
Francesco Neo: Criticism is important. I am extremely critical myself about what I am doing. I would say that if criticism is well founded, then I accept it.
- Lydia: What are you proud of?
Francesco Neo: I am proud to be a self-made artist, who fought like a lion to make his childhood dream come true. And moreover, I am proud to have had a mother who always believed in me!
- Lydia: Where would you like to be exhibited once in your lifetime?Francesco Neo: I would like to be exhibited at the art fair Art Basel in Miami Beach and to be displayed at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in the museum for modern art, because I love Venice.
- Lydia: What is your favourite place and your favourite part of town in Nuremberg?
Francesco Neo: My favorite place in Nuremberg is Café Bar Wanderer.
- Lydia: What is your favourite dish?
Francesco Neo: My favorite German dish is Käsespätzle and my favourite Italian dish is Parmigiana (lasagna).
- Lydia: What do you always have at home in the fridge?
Francesco Neo: Oat milk is a must because I am a vegan.
- Lydia: Who would you definitely not want to sit at a table with?Francesco Neo: I would answer this question differently. I would like to sit at a table with Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe, Billie Joe Armstrong and Cara Delevingne.
- Lydia: What character traits do you appreciate or value in others
Francesco Neo: Spontaneity and sincerity in everything that one does are important to me.
- Lydia: How do you relax?
Francesco Neo: Watching Netflix in the winter and in the summer I relax best with a good drink – a Campari Spritz.
- Lydia: Where is your next trip going to be?
Francesco Neo: Next summer I will be on vacation in Sardinia. I haven’t been there this year because of Corona.
- Lydia: What dream do you want to fulfil yourself?
Francesco Neo: I want to return to Sardinia again to live and work there.
- Lydia: Life is too short to …
Francesco Neo: Life is too short not to chase your dreams!
Lydia: Thank you for this interview, Francesco, take good care of yourself and come back healthy!
Francesco Neo: Thanks a lot for your wishes. Ciao.
More about Francesco Neo:
The 35-year-old Francesco NEO was born as Francesco Ferrante in 1985 in Milano, Italy. He successfully completed his A-levels at a school of Fine Arts, did an apprenticeship as a stage designer (2003 – 2008), and then moved to Sardinia to live and work there. After falling in love with a Bulgarian artist who was studying at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste (AdBK), he decided to follow her and moved to Nuremberg in 2008. After the relationship ended, he decided to stay here because of the art. First, he worked as a telephone interviewer and later as a stage requester, but he soon decided to devote himself to his art and today that is how he makes a living. Francesco NEO says about his art: “I make imperfect art. Like nature. Like friendship. Like love. Like my country. Imperfect but ingenious. Proudly Italian. Proudly imperfect. True. Francesco NEO, ART like an Italian”. He owes his stage name “Francesco NEO”, which he has used since 2015, to a misprint in a newspaper article about the art fair in Berlin in 2015. Neo comes from the ancient Greek meaning “new”, “young”, or “recent”. All these meanings fit very well, because after this art exhibition in Berlin he indeed reinvented himself as an artist.
His art is very expressive, modern and colorful. Granular colors and clear motifs dominate his paintings, although he mainly paints with oil paints and combines this with Graffiti Street art. His portraits and pictures are pop – mega, mega pop. He creates predominantly large-scale paintings because he works very quickly. On average he only needs 4 hours to complete one picture. When he works in his studio he listens to grunge, indie and punk rock music from the 90s. His music taste is also reflected in the title of his works e.g. “Greenday”, “Stroke” or “The Force”. Furthermore, he is very fond of portraying women and their bodies, because in his opinion, women are more aesthetically attractive than men. But he also draws portraits of men on occasion.
So far, he has exhibited in the Galerie Armer Teufel Nürnberg (2010); Hotel Le Vedute Florenz, Italy (2011); “6. Kunstrasenfestival” Theodor-Heuss-Brücke, Nuremberg (2011); “FORM-A(R)T 20. Internationale Kunstausstellung” Hamburg (2012); “Stroke Urban Art Fair” Praterinsel, Munich (2012); “SupermART” Quelle Areal, Nuremberg (2012); GOHO Gostenhofer Galerie Tage, Nuremberg (2012); Biennale Hamburg, Hamburg (2013); Metropolitain Art Fair, Munich (2013); Gallery B-15, Fürth (2013); Haus der kleinen Künste, Munich(2014); Schluss mit lustig! Kulturpavillon am Romanplatz, Munich (2014); “Biennale Roma” Fiera di Roma, Italy (2015); KUNST SCHIMMER 3, Internationale Kunstmesse Ulm (2015); Kater Murr, Nuremberg (2015); Art fair, Berlin (2015); “ConsumART” Kunstmesse Nuremberg (2015); Raumzehrdrei, Nuremberg (2017); Truderinger Kunst-Tage, Munich (2017); LeonART. Stadtteilgalerie LeonArt, Nuremberg (2018); “ARTMUC” Munich (2018); “F1 MONTECARLO Live”, Monaco (2019); Galerie Benjamin Eck, Munich (2019); ART AFFORDABLE FAIR, Milano, Italy (2020); artig Kunstpreis 2020, Kempten (2020); and URBAN CLASSIC, Praterinsel, Munich(2020).
Francesco NEO Artlier & Showroom
M: 0157 376 120 48
#art #contemporaryart #francesconeo #graffiti #lederhosen #NEO #streetart