Fabiano Gagliano: “Art is Magic”

Artist name: Fabiano Gagliano

Featured Work 1: “La Nuit des Poétes, ” second version (“The Night of the Poet”)


Fabiano Gagliano creates reverent colored pencil portraits, often using high contrast lighting. His works usually depict women who appear ethereal, symbolic and corporeal all at once. With eyes sometimes lowered, sometimes engaged off of the canvas and sometimes confronting the viewer fiercely, his subjects have the air of the muse — conveying a sense of both intimacy and withholding. These powerful portrayals celebrate feminine beauty and also leave the viewer curious about the women’s rich and mysterious inner worlds.

Featured Works Slideshow:

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5 Questions for the Artist:

1. What is art to you?

Art is Magic; is contemplation of the invisible through visible things. It has always been, before being subject of interest and studies, before the commercial instinct of dealers and merchants, from the first cave murals to ancient Egypt to the Greek sculpture. What we call art today is but a pallid shadow of what it used to be. To me as an artist, creating is at the same time a physical and mental need and an act of purification, a soaring to the reign of Ideas. It needs constant practice, and absolutely requires the deepening of one’s personality and knowledge, besides a great discipline, as it was in the days of Tradition.

2. What did you make in the past and why?

I’ve always drawn things; I am the only son so I had a great deal of loneliness as a kid. I used to spend days alone reading and drawing on every possible surface, house walls included. It all started with comics. Then I was fascinated by book illustrators, which led me to fine art and to my love for the symbolist painters and the so-called old masters. Growing up, I attended art school where I also studied painting techniques. After that, I switched to the theoretical side, graduating in History of Art. I stopped drawing or painting anything for almost ten years, concentrating only on the music — my other passion — recording three albums and touring with my former band. I went back into making art in early 2010 after a depression crisis, realizing how much I missed it. It was weird because I felt like I had to re-learn the basics, but never stopped since then, and don’t want to.

3. What are you making now and why?

My medium of choice is colored pencils and I am always concentrating on my understanding of their expressive possibilities. When I started or I might say re-started, I delved into those artists of the past who made great use of this medium, studying them a lot, trying to discover how they achieved some effects, especially those who gravitated around the symbolism circle, like Fernand Khnopff, Jean Delville, Carlos Schwabe, Alexandre Séon and others … I am now trying to use this technique in conjunction with other mediums and upon different surfaces, like wood, other than different kinds of paper. One of my goals has always been to make drawings that don’t look like actual drawings but more like paintings, or maybe like some other mysterious technique that requires the viewer to have more than one look to understand.

4. What are your hopes for the future?

On a personal level, I am trying to show my works in public a bit more, since for many years I had no desire to do exhibitions and I have just started. About real life, about what surrounds me, I really have no positive thoughts for the future; I feel we are living in times of great mediocrity, and art is no better, its grossness reflecting the degeneration of society.

5. What else would you like to say?

My invitation to everyone who’s reading this: raise your soul over the vain shows of earth. Let the invisible penetrate your life. Deepen things, keep your attention high, avoid superficiality and never let habit and indifference rule your life.

Artist Supplied Background:

Fabiano Gagliano was born in Frosinone (Italy) October 18th, 1977, under the sign of Libra. Started art studies by attending classes of realistic drawing and figure drawing at the “Liceo Artistico A. G. Bragaglia” art school of Frosinone; later, he graduated in Modern Literature and History of Art at the University “La Sapienza” of Rome, with a thesis entitled “Fernand Khnopff and his legacy among contemporary Italian artists.”

The practical and, at the same time, theoretical deepening is a fundamental feature of his art, which combines a certain traditionalist element, tied to a constant dialogue with the international Symbolism and with various aspects of figurative painting of the 15th Century and Renaissance periods, with Neo-Platonic philosophy, which is fulfilled in the representation of the beauty of bodies and faces as “soul mirrors.” In fact, he says about his female characters that they must be viewed as “embodiments of emotions.”

The favorite technique is, since the middle of 2012, exclusively coloured pencils, used on previously treated papers, in order to obtain a more realistic and painterly effect than that of a “classic” drawing. His works are present in numerous private collections, both european and overseas (Italy, Germany, Belgium, France, Switzerland, England, USA, Japan), and on different virtual platforms

Explore more of his work on Facebook and Instagram.


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5 Questions for the Artist, © Julia Travers



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