MY STYLE, FRANCESCA DIMATTIO:THE ARTIST GIVES US A PEEK AT HER OFFBEAT-CHIC STYLE
Jan 27 2010, by Christine Barberich, Refinery 29
Last November, we happened to be running around Miami's Design District when we bumped into artist Francesca DiMattio who was setting up for her show at Locust Projects. And while her soaring abstracts practically took our breath away, we were equally taken by the painter's iconoclastic style. Clad in a black jumpsuit, Acne-style wedges, and her signature braided up-do (think a modern Frida Kahlo), we knew there was plenty more good fashion sense where that came from. Lucky us, the lovely Francesca--who has shows in Milan, Chicago, and Boston already slated for 2010--lives and works right here in NYC. And her home reveals an equally cool clash of hand-painted objects, flea-market finds, and lots of art given to her and her artist husband, Garth Weiser, by friends. Double bonus: She even lets us in on how to get that atypical braided look (we might even practice it for Fashion Week).
How would you describe your personal style?
"My mom raised me exclusively on thrift stores as a little girl and taught me to look for new shapes and feel for quality fabrics. It's exciting for the eye to see something different, so I look for shapes that are not common. As a result I often find myself holding maternity wear, and clothes in my closet range from size 0-16. An outfit looks great when it's a little unfamiliar."
What are five key wardrobe pieces you find yourself wearing constantly?
1. "A little boy's Dior jacket that's now tattered from wear."
2. "Jumpsuits of all kinds. I have a big collection...all shapes and sizes."
3. " A collection of thick leather belts."
4. "I have an autumn color plaid wool pant-suit with elbow patches that I have worn once a year for the last 10 years."
5. "ChloĂ© platform lace-up heels that I've had for six years."
FRANCESCA DIMATTIO TO CREATE NEW INSTALLATION FOR ICA'S WALL
Art Knowledge news
BOSTON, MA.- The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston has commissioned New York-based painter Francesca DiMattio to create the fourth installation of the Sandra and Gerald Fineberg Art Wall. The Art Wall is dedicated to site-specific works by leading contemporary artists. DiMattio was inspired by the ICAâ€™s striking building and location on Boston Harbor to create Banquetâ€”a new, multi-panel painting of monumental scale. Located inside the museumâ€™s glass-enclosed lobby, Banquet explores how the ICAâ€™s architecture blurs our concept of interior and exterior space.
Unfolding across five canvases, Banquet offers a fantastical take on a waterfront scene: the sails of a tall ship intertwine with birds emerging from tiled walls and archways leading out to a stormy sea. On view from July 3, 2010 to Aug. 14, 2011, Sandra and Gerald Fineberg Art Wall: Francesca DiMattio is the artistâ€™s first solo museum presentation.
â€śFrancesca DiMattio is part of an exciting generation of artists who are taking painting in new directions,â€ť says Jill Medvedow, Director of the Institute of Contemporary Art. â€śDiMattioâ€™s use of perspective, scale and architectural imagery creates an exhilarating visual energyâ€”a wonderful fit for the Sandra and Gerald Fineberg Art Wall, where visitors begin their experience at the ICA.â€ť
DiMattio populates her paintings with an eclectic mix of geometric tiled floors, delicate lace, utilitarian ladders, and dramatic architectural elements. This disparate imagery is often woven together by underlying grid patterns, lending a sense of logic to her seemingly chaotic canvases. In her paintings, elements collide into each other, become entangled, and co-existâ€”complicating our understanding of perspective and space. Her work seems to exist somewhere in between the abstract and the figurative, the beautiful and the grotesque, between the processes of creation and destruction. DiMattio describes her working practice as â€śgetting into trouble and getting out of it.â€ť
â€śDiMattioâ€™s source material ranges from high-end fashion and design magazines to images pulled from art history books, to pieces of furniture in her studio,â€ť says ICA Curatorial Associate Bridget Hanson. â€śShe combines, fragments, and deconstructs these objects into what could be considered a surreal, imaginary still-life. Painted mostly in black and white, DiMattioâ€™s new work, Banquet, reveals glimpses of blue ocean and the Boston skyline through a fantasy tableau of chairs, tables, flower vases, and boat masts.â€ť
Artist Pension Trust
Francesca DiMattio received a BFA from Cooper Union in New York in 2003 and an MFA from Columbia University in New York in 2005. Recent solo exhibitions include the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, Banquet at Locust Projects in Miami, Salon 94 in New York, Unhinged at LAXART in Los Angeles and The Suburban in Illinois. She is represented by Salon 94 in New York. Francesca DiMattio lives and works in New York.
Francesca DiMattioâ€™s canvasses begin with grids and architectural elements, as they expand to large-scale, complex abstractions. Her work is derived from fashion, design and art history with deconstructed elements that edge close to the surreal. The architectural framework allows DiMattio to explore space, velocity and weightlessness. The human-size works beckon viewers into their frenetic spaces and contrast the normalcy of the every day. Infused with a kinetic opulence, DiMattioâ€™s work is defined by a sense of unease and painterly contrasts. She uses and departs from the strict rules of architecture, creating a world that could not exist on its own, but one with invigorating energy.