Italian sculptor and painter Francesco Petruccelli started out by working as cameraman. He then graduated from a study in Humanities in Milan before moving to Berlin in 2011 and devoting himself entirely to art.
The artist uses vandalism and iconoclasm as paradoxical ways to find new meaning in his artworks. Growing up in Italy, he found himself surrounded by cultural exuberance in the form of architecture, sculpture, and painting, but he found that none of them had the ability to mirror the social problems or moral dilemmas of the time.
In his work, he dissects and demolishes the distant gaze of those classical portraits or the absurd postures of those statues in order to connect the past with the reality of today. The torture that his artworks undergo serves an almost shamanic function, as the process of destruction lays bare hidden identities or connections that can only become visible by a laceration of the epidermis of individuality. His destroyed portraits aim to disclose the inconsistencies of social and political masquerade.
'My artwork aims to question an idea of history as progress toward higher cultural values. Sometimes I use trash-like materials to establish an analogy between the supposedly highest human cultural achievements and the lowest state of objects – that of garbage.'
Petruccelli’s work has been featured at numerous national and international exhibitions. In 2017, he did an artist residency for the Goethe Institute in Bangalore (India). In 2018, he graduated as Meisterschüler in the class of Karsten Konrad at the Universität der Künste Berlin and won the Helmut Thoma Stiftung Prize for sculpture. In 2019, he exhibited his works in the Arsenale (Venice, Italy) as finalist for the Laguna Art Prize; and in that same year he co- founded Intermission Collective, an organization dedicated to the autonomy of artists from market-driven mediation.