RAI interview

Irene Carone Throne

Among the twelve five-star protagonists, Franca Marano, artist, is the one who best expresses through her works, the hardships and sufferings that derive from the difficult condition of man and woman. Protagonist of our wellness society: Franca Maranò was born in Bari, but currently lives and works in Valenzano; her artistic vocation explodes in her youth and brilliantly overcomes all the logistical difficulties of the time linked to preconceptions about the woman artist who lives and works outside the home. His first artistic expression was figurative.

Then over time she developed her activity as a sculptor and ceramist in nature. In recent times she has devoted herself with love to the artistic training of young drug addicts in a therapeutic community. He has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions receiving full acclaim from critics. These are often works that are born and develop through emotions, moods, passions, principles: nature often remains the starting point of his first artistic vein. Franca Marano's most characteristic works are still those of easy and immediate perceptibility, created with materials that once represented the female world: canvas, needle, thread and which today are rejected a priori by a certain type of feminist mentality but which with the same tools relive the conceptual art of Franca Maranò, as symbolic messages.

Franca Maranò is here in the studio and she is interviewed by our Director Enzo Manni.

Q: What kind of problems did she face when she moved away from her family?

A: These are problems inherent in the double condition: the family and artistic research.

Q: Was it tiring?

A: Of course there are many organizational problems.

Q: Did it cost you a lot to split up?

A: No! Because there was a love for art: then I did everything to keep everything in order, to follow the children who went to school and then to keep a part for myself.

D: During your activity as a ceramist you wanted to enhance and make the most of the materials ..... What did they suggest to you?

A: Truly the earth has always suggested to me, with its component, the origin of nature and the origin of everything: even ours.

Q: And are you still attached to the use of these materials?

A: Yes, of course, and I also tried to instill this love in the children of a therapeutic community for drug addicts. With one I succeeded in full, so much so that to this day he continues to operate.

D: Here are you telling me about this community and how did you manage to carry out your work as an artist?

A: First there were problems, then it was a natural, simple, spontaneous thing, as if they were my children: these unfortunate boys have been reduced in this way by their fragility.

Q: What about their answer?

A: It was great.! They love me, these guys. So much so that, at times, I receive phone calls with requests for advice that have nothing to do with ceramics, not even as a technical part. No! It is only a human fact.

D: Let's come a little bit to the artistic aspect. How have critics generally behaved towards you?

A: I never really asked for much: I wanted to be free to do what I wanted. Maybe after all, only now, I'm asking myself this problem, because before I never asked myself the reasons why I never gave myself to do

to seek a useful relationship with critics.

Q: Is the relationship between critics always conflicting?

A: No! I, on the other hand, have always had a good relationship with them, I tried to explain my work in the best possible way. I don't know if I made myself understood.

Q: Will she have made herself understood through the works of art?

A: Yes, of course, nowadays, that everything is easier because a certain language has been received by the people, by the general public and also, in greater depth by the critics themselves, everything has become more readable, while this did not happen for years. back for my work expressed in a genuine way for never letting myself be taken by the fashions of the moment: in short, mine was a pure research.

Q: How did he make himself known, was he immediately successful or not?

A: Now looking around me I ask myself: but have I been successful? I've never wondered.

Q: And the feedback with the public?

A: The speech has now become more fluid and the way of communicating is much more open.

Q: Is the public more open and prepared?

A: Yes!

Q: How did the transition from figurative to conceptual art come about in which you talk about the "mental habit"?

A: I arrived later at the "Mental Dress", first I tried to visualize the man's feelings and for me it was difficult, because having started with the figurative, I then had to erase all traces of academicism and find my own language, also following a note from my husband who told me one day: "I know, you paint well, but you have to find your own language". This was not easy, I had a very long crisis, because I had to forget everything I had done and express myself in a new way.

Q: A work of zeroing?

A: Yes, before getting to the conceptual, there was a whole elaboration, a bit tormenting, because it was not easy.

Q: Returning to the public, how are your works considered by the public?

A: I don't know, also because in some works I have been, as a consequence of my reached maturity, particularly provocative and deliberately ironic when then with the assumption of the needle, the thread, and the canvas, to express myself I created the mental habit , my art has become rather conceptual, it also provoked in a certain audience a particular reaction, such as the one made clear by the observation of a man who, on the occasion of one of my exhibitions, speaking to himself, said: "addo sim arrivat all pezz d ' nderr !!! " (where we got to the wash cloths on the ground). So much was said about the fact that my "Mental Clothes" were made with medieval canvas, a timeless canvas, which I used in the seventies to propose with a particular kind of dress, a wearable work that by its nature, was worn to arouse a deeper and more mutual understanding of life among men. A bit like St. Francis: of course I do not want to compare myself to him, as my work had only the value of a simple exhortation, which I expressed because it was felt.

Q: You have participated in exhibitions in Italy and abroad, who is the most attentive public? The Italian one or the foreign one?

A: I felt more attentive and closer to the German public because perhaps I found myself in contact with a very prepared group as it was part of the University of Kassel. At that time there were researches on fabrics and soft materials in the artistic field and they understood me perfectly, even giving me an exhibition space.

Q: Are the messages you send through your works always perceived or do they encounter difficulties?

A: I need to explain, even if at first glance one may remain indifferent as the forms are very simple.

Q: What advice would you give to young people entering the art world?

A: The advice is this: art must be understood as an extremely pure fact and not as a commercial fact. If there are manipulations it loses its meaning. If I see that a young man has an evident artistic sensitivity, with the help of my husband who runs an art gallery, I would advise him to operate following his natural genius, while if I have doubts about his aptitudes for the arts I would make him understand which must propose itself for the performance of an activity of another nature.

Franca Marano transports in her art the best quality, of the same art and with simplicity, she returns to the activity of the past to interpret the tensions that today force man to wear the "mental habit" perennially. It thus recovers, with the tools of an era, the revaluation of natural elements represented by man's attempt to purify himself through nature and the search for genuine things. In this way the art of Franca Maranò was ahead of its time, anticipating the refusal that today we all begin to have towards technology.