Francesco D'Adamo about how to paint music

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Francesco D’Adamo and I’m close to be 39. I dedicated myself full time to painting and music and I live in the area of Bologna, Italy.

How did you find your voice as an artist?

I can’t say if I found my voice so far. Yet I know where I’m searching it: in a line between what I know and love and what still eludes me. There is my own space to search further.


The Second Chimera, 2017, acrylic, oil, collage, gouache on canvas, 70×100 cm

You are deeply fascinated by music and art – how do you transfer music through painting? Which techniques do you use? What are the biggest challenges here?

I have been working for years on relationships between music and painting, trying to combine and create a dialogue between those languages. In my point of view they’re like two twin sisters dressed up in a different way. I work trying to translate their formal values from one medium to the other, making the sign becoming sound and vice versa, transposing musical rhythm into the physical space of painting, trying to move a certain tone layering into musical harmony and so on. They’re suggestions and observations (yet more agreeable than one might believe) which help me a lot to give direction and coherence to my work.

I use all techniques and materials that I consider suitable to my research. The challenge is related to the very physical nature of a painting: its drama must happen and be fulfilled in that space, without any external references or explanatory descriptions. A canvas is silent and it must speak only as painting.

What have been the highlights of your artistic career so far?

All the moments in which I still feel a sense of mystery and completeness when looking at a painting of mine are definitely highlights for me. On a more concrete level, last year I held a solo exhibition named “Chimere” where I could to take care of every aspect and I am very satisfied with it. I am working on a similar but wider project to be held in Bologna later this year, an exhibition that will combine visual, musical and literary aspects.


Synesthesia, 2015, Acrylic on paper, 40×50 cm

Which artists do you admire?

Speaking of painting my thoughts go immediately to Afro Basaldella, Alberto Burri, Mario Sironi, William de Kooning, Umberto Boccioni and few others. Their works (although different from each other) attract me in a profound and magnetic fashion. They seem to share a strong desire for beauty, in an intense, lyric and fulfilled way. But painting is only a part of a larger game in which composers, musicians, directors, writers, photographers are involved and whose artistic ideas I deeply admire, having, each with its own language, a profound influence on me.

Do you have a vision of what your artistic future might look like?

I hope to keep alive the desire and the energy to develop and go deeper, keeping a strong tension towards what still has to reveal itself, in whatever artistic field this may be.


Trojan Horse, 2018, acrylic, collage on canvas, 90×130 cm

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