Francesco Ruspoli is an artist whose colorful paintings contain a wealth of textured figures that are unique and instantly recognizable as his work. Francesco is based in Cardiff, United Kingdom, but he was born in Paris, France. His vibrant work has won many awards and displayed internationally at galleries and art fairs.

Francesco discussed his art via an exclusive interview on August 18, 2018.

Art, figures, style, and color

Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you first get interested in making art professionally and what do you credit as being your major sources of inspiration?

Francesco Ruspoli (FR): Since I was a young man, I was always very interested in art. I loved drawing all the time and looking at paintings in museums and art books. It is only at the age of twenty that I decided to do it in a more professional way by entering into art competitions, having my paintings in group shows in small galleries while, at the same time, developing my style and looking for my voice. My major source of inspiration has always been my environment, contemporary societies and ethnic cultures.

MM: How did you master your style and focus on making these intricate and colorful figures?

FR: The way I have mastered my style, as Beethoven used to do, is by simply painting all the time one subject and slowly developing different variations and movements of it from the original art work.

Then I discovered stain glass windows in churches and this was the beginning of my experience with colors and figures. It was a mystery to me how to create this nearly 3D, sculptural texture as is seen in stain glass windows. By experimenting and with many lays of colors and paint supported by black lines, I think over the years I have succeed in creating on my painting this effect of stain glass windows which give a spiritual aspect in my works and another dimension.

MM: The figures in your art are colorful and textured; how do you add the texture and what emotions do you hope they elicit in viewers?

FR: I use a palette knife and I believe this is the best way to create a textured Artwork using oil paint. I hope to create for the viewer human emotions as love, compassion, joy, sadness, stress, a testimony of the contemporary western world.

This is expressed by the body language, by the way bodies interact with each other in my work. In many societies people communicate with a language and with the body language to express their feelings and emotions. I am with my paintings as the old masters used to do before photography existed expressing emotions than everyone with different backgrounds will understand and react to them.

The reason I paint figures in different colors is to symbolize different human races and ethnicities and my figures are always in a closed and limited environment in space which is my way to represent the impact of social medias in everybody lives.

MM: How did navigate your way into the professional art world and get your pieces shown so widely?

FR: By entering art competitions, groups shows, awards ceremonies, and constantly looking and searching for new avenues, new markets. I have started nationally and then moved internationally which is a reflection at the way the world work nowadays. You could be the "new Picasso" but if you do not publish, advertise, promote, and show your works to the world, then nobody will come and search for you. I never had the chance that some very few artists have been discovered by an art dealer an art critic or a curator. Therefore, I have to find funding myself to do my own marketing campaigns to start with in order to move on to different level in the art market.

Mint Art Haus, mediums, and the future

MM: You’re currently represented by an organization known as Mint Art Haus, so how did that collaboration occur?

FR: I had an email from an art dealer telling me Art Haus was starting promoting artists. I had a look at the website and I was interested by their approach. Therefore, I applied for membership by presenting my works, my resume, my biography, and my history to their curators and was selected.

MM: How much do you employ social media to raise public awareness of your art?

FR: I use social media massively. I am on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and through my website I have links to them. I believe these are the contemporary tools which are essential to present and promote one’s art works.

MM: What mediums and/or styles do you hope to experiment with and/or incorporate in your work in the future?

FR: I have used oil on canvas all my artistic life and certainly will carry on using it in the future because one can be very experimental with this medium. I am too very interested in sculpture so may be one day, if I have enough space, I might give it a go.

MM: What are your major hopes for your painting career and relationship with Mint Art Haus moving forward?

FR: It will be fantastic if Mint Art Haus will arrive one day to such a level, such a reputation through their hard work and recognition, that they could recommend and advise collectors and museums to invest in the artists they represent.

It would be like in the 19th Century and early 20th Century when art dealers and merchants used to discover and promote artists to the world! I will say to all artists to believe in themselves and to look for their voices, their unique style, and--once they are discovered--to carry on doing it whatever the market is telling them, whether they are successful or not, because in the end they will always be the winners!