august 2020


“Many think that having talent is a matter of luck; no one can think of luck being a matter of talent ”. (Jacinto Benavente).

A phrase that perfectly fits to Roberto Fantini, excellent in dance, acting, photography, painting and sculpture.

Born in Rome in 1960, he has always had a passion for painting, at the age of 13 he participates in the first collective exhibition.

He attends the school of arts and, at the same time, he studies dance and works as a professional dancer.

After graduating, he enrols the faculty of architecture but then decides to move abroad for several years. In 2000, when he returns to Italy, he starts his total dedication to painting and sculpting.

From his first abstract paintings and stylized figures he moves on to the representation of children and adolescents without facial features, a characteristic that distinguishes him. Young red-haired girls stand out on fabrics, brocades, music sheets or manuscripts applied on the canvas and then painted with mixed techniques.

For the sculptures he prefers to represent mainly the animals exploited by mankind, as if in some way he wants to redeem them.

Fantini has participated in numerous exhibitions in Italy and abroad, receiving important and prestigious awards.

His works are influenced by dance and travel, which played a leading role.

The search for purity and respect for animals lead the viewer to reflect.

The artist with his paintings takes us into a magical and enchanted world, populated by characters who do not know old age but only the joy of living.

I have explored almost all the major forms of art that have enriched my personality and my creativity. I am the son of a self-taught painter with whom I started exhibiting my first works, when I was a kid. While I was attending the school of arts, I studied classical and modern dance and after a few years I became principal dancer. I have had the opportunity to perform on TV, in theaters and in cinema but I have never stopped painting for pure personal pleasure. In those years I was also performing in some commercials and worked as model for well-known fashion houses. This led me to travel a lot. I then chose to live for fourteen years away from Italy, where I worked as a dancer, actor and photographer. When I returned to Rome, I devoted myself to painting and sculpture and have never stopped since. The choice to represent children and adolescents has roots in a trip to Tibet where I made a photo reportage on the children, which was followed by an exhibition in London. As in a ballet dance, an activity that has played an important role in my life, I arrange the figures like a choreographer. I carefully study the postures, which are the result of a long search on the web and then I enjoy assembling and modifying.

The protagonists do not have a face, which I leave to the viewer to imagine as I focus on the rest. My figures seem to be doing dance exercises but in reality they love to play, sometimes they show a lollipop, soap bubbles or a ball.

I often use different types of fabrics as the background of my works, which have always fascinated me, as my mother was a seamstress. So just as if I had to make a dress, I choose the fabrics that I like for my “models”.

I love using oil paints, colored pencils, acrylics and pens.

When I am a sculptor I forget that I am a painter …… I always represent the same subjects to raise awareness of their protection, namely the rhino, the horse, the pig and the bull. I use bronze but I use river pebbles, for the central part of the animals, to remember the link with the earth.

I work in my studio, where I imagine to have found the secret of eternal youth …

Visible things are invisible to the world and to see it must be done with the heart. (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry)

Curated by Alessandra Bartomioli