Francesco Maluta is an Italian artist whose paintings have been widely exhibited nationally, as well as in Albania and Austria. His artistic practice is primarily informed by the animal-human metaphor and the dynamics that occur in both nature and society. Maluta reveals these metaphors in the titles of his compositions while humans are never visible in his work: it is through the attitudes and interactions between animals that his specific themes are conveyed. His interest in animal nature reflects a number of current issues, from the dynamics of domination, to the eternally unresolved game between oppressor and oppressed, to an empathetic observation of the “excluded”.
Maluta’s painting is characterized by an intense use of color, not always adherent to reality and on the light made unnatural and able to change the visual impact enveloping the subjects in a dreamlike, illusory environment, whose dramatic character leaves room for its more magical aspect, and vice versa.
Francescco Maluta collaborates with FABSCarte team for the realization of the project Selvatica, a design wall lamp with LED backlighting, conceived as a window on the outside to link to nature even places where it is not present. The front is made of artistic hand-painted wallpaper with subsequent material interventions on the back to create a play of light and shadow; the oval shape recalls the idea of the oriental fan and the paper, thanks to different textures and thicknesses, allows light to shine through with heterogeneous gradation. The decorative motifs are handmade with the watercolor technique.
In 2019 Selvatica participated in the competition “La Grande Bellezza” promoted by Starhotels in collaboration with Fondazione Cologni dei Mestieri d’Arte, Associazione OMA – Osservatorio dei Mestieri d’Arte and Gruppo Editoriale being selected by the jury as the winning project.
“A poetic and romantic interpretation of light,” commented Elisabetta Fabri, leader of the jury as well as the creator of this special patronage initiative. “A particularly evocative and sophisticated work of art, which I chose for its double soul of creation of the highest Made in Italy craftsmanship and contemporary design product: a perfect combination of design and tradition and hand made culture, fully in the spirit of this Award.”
Francesco, how did your collaboration with Fabscarte start?
FABSCarte was looking for an artist to collaborate with for some projects that had to have a strong artistic impact. We both knew the team of Studiosenzatitolo, a group whose main goal is to provide advice and support to artists by creating a network with galleries, curators and other institutions operating in the world of contemporary art. They put us in touch and immediately a mutual esteem and trust was born between us that allowed us to create a real collaboration. I believe that, in some way, the common desire to preserve tradition by combining it with innovative and contemporary design has allowed us to work in harmony.
The result was Selvatica, the wall lamp that would go on to win the Grande Bellezza project and so, in this sense, I would say that the collaboration was a valuable one.
What are the reasons why a complete artist like you decides to collaborate with a team of master craftsmen?
I am always very happy when I am presented with the opportunity to work on new projects and especially when they force me to look at my work from a new perspective. In this case I was presented with the opportunity to work alongside a high level of craftsmanship that in my opinion, especially in Italy, represents the foundations of making art. The quality of the materials and the constant research are elements that art and craftsmanship have in common, and even though they have different objectives, I would say that there is a close dialogue between the two.
What are your next challenges?
The biggest challenge is to always keep the tension of research high and that this always flows into the works I produce. Right now I am a guest of the NAHR artistic residency, curated by Ilaria Mazzoleni and Gabi Scardi, which this year is entitled ANIMALS: INTERDEPENDENCE BETWEEN SPECIES. The artists, through the theoretical support of biologists, naturalists, philosophers and local gide are invited to reflect on the different possibilities of coexistence man / animal.