Francesco Battistello (b. 1994) is an Italian artist currently based in Belgium. His passion for Fine Art began while he was still at school, where instead of listening to the lessons, he invented stories and illustrated them. During his high school years, he got acquainted with Street Art, his interest in painting continued to grow, and after graduating from a technological high school, he began his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice. In 2020, he obtained an MA in Painting, followed by participation in a group exhibition at an A+a Gallery. 


For Battistello, the development of painting translates into constant questioning of the techniques he uses and his discoveries within the canvas space. The pictorial elements he develops are constantly reworked as he rebuilds the ongoing works. 

Francesco's canvases follow two different storylines: one consists of narration of the represented images, while the other is a combination of all the elements that make the artworks - the mistakes and the choices made, thus forming a pictorial surface rich in events made of colour and shapes. In his work, substantial tension is present, generated by the reworking of images and historical painting techniques, which combines with a constant dialogue which is achieved through contemporary painting using the colours and the treatment of the pictorial surface.

When talking about the paintings entitled Uomo Nero and The Flying Dutchman, the artist underlines - I develop my pictorial research through families of works, that is, works with common characteristics; these two works both have as their subject representations of boats, which is a recurring theme in my research. The subject of the ship acted as a starting point for Uomo nero painting; however, it ended up fading, giving way to the central black figure. 

The painting can be described as a collage, and the step towards materiality was a valuable one, as it led to the surface becoming more varied and the image itself rhythmic. The title refers to the Black Man poem by Sergei Yesenin, a 19th-century Russian lyric poet, that Francesco was reading while developing the painting - he found the same feeling of an enigmatic, sinister figure that connected his paintings to the poem:



My friend, my friend,

How sick I am. Nor do I know

Whence came this sickness.


Black man

Sits by me on the bed all night,

Won't let me sleep.



Text by Maria Myasnikova

Flying Dutchman, 2021