Black to transmit emotions, faces of women to traverse in order to grasp the most profound sentiments and particular textures to give potency and impact to the tattoo.
Let us introduce Milan based tattooist Francesco Bianco who uses his mastery of Black and Grey to communicate beauty and confront The dark Side of the Moon…
Hi Francesco, would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?
Hi, I’m Francesco Bianco and through tattoo I try to bring to life characters and creatures that would otherwise only exist in my head.
What have been the most interesting stages in your career this far?
The first big change was definitely the decision to abandon colour after the first four years spent studying different styles of tattoo. During my formative years as an artist I painted a lot in colour, but I could never really properly master expression through colour combinations, it just didn’t feel right for me. The second step was in 2019 when I realised that I should be looking for my stylistic references just about anywhere except in the world of tattoo.
And in fact today your style is really clearly defined: a graphic Black and Grey where texture plays an important role with shading, dotwork and lines which give a highly personal feel to your portraits. Would you like to say anything about it yourself?
I’m focusing on black because of how emotive it is.
What do you mean by emotive?
I think that this absence of colour makes the image closer to a memory or a thought, placing the subject outside of time and space. The study of texture allows me to make the figures more palpable, define the materials and make the various elements in the composition vibrate better.
Would I be right in saying that women’s faces are among your favourite subjects?
The face, more than other subjects, allows me to express certain sentiments better. Humans tend unconsciously to feel empathy towards another person. The observer enters into a rapport with a face and thus an emotional world I have simulated, a trick which I trust transmits profound feelings.
Anyone who wants to make a connection with another person must necessarily pass through their face.
Woman has always inspired me since she is the perfect image of the indomitable spirit.
Since time immemorial she has been subject to ethical and social restrictions, has struggled and still struggles against countless imposed models, and despite this continues to have a capacity for unconditional love.
There’s sense of darkness and mystery in your realism, isn’t there?
Darkeness is part of the emotive world of any individual. Some are unaware of it, others won’t accept it, still others put off facing up to it. In my work, darkness occupies a central role and through the shadows I can express every feeling.
The only way that I have to manage it is to share it.
Bringing it out in my drawings I manage to give it a form and get to know it better.
The main characters have to transmit a basic sense of positivity, the oppression and dark side are generally suggested by the context. Their beauty is attacked, at times in difficulty, but they are always unbowed and at war with the world.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I am really fascinated by the period of art history that goes from the end of the nineteenth century up to the mid-twentieth century. Artists like Modigliani and Gauguin who clashed with a society ever more focused on money to the detriment of sentiment. But I could also mention Italian poets like Pascoli, Foscolo and Pavese because I am often more inspired by a poem than a painting.
Final question: Is there anything in particular you are focusing on in this period in terms of style or any subject that is tormenting you?
In this period I’m searching for new solutions, perhaps more succinct ones, in order that the onlooker can better concentrate their attention on the main subject. I have yet to figure out how but I’m working on it.
At regular intervals I feel the need to renew myself and transform the elements I put into the compositions. There is no subject tormenting me, not as long as I am able to get it to emerge in my pieces!