A Window To Hackney: Meet Franco - iconiK London

A Window To Hackney: Meet Franco

We are happy to introduce Thion, whose artwork features on Kip Wall.

So, who are you?

Hi, I’m Franco La Russa aka Thion, an Italian multimedia artist living and working in London.

After graduating in Fine Art I went to study Graphic Design and Advertisement in Milan. The idea to express a concept with immediacy and simplicity has come from that and from artists I admire such as Keith Haring, Picasso, Matisse and Cocteau to name a few. 

My work has evolved into a style that is purely my own with a visual vocabulary, populated by minimalist figures. 

Franco 'Thion'

Why do you create? 

I always found it easier expressing myself with drawings rather than words. Since a young age I started using pen and paper as tools to know myself and the world around me.

What kind of artist would you describe yourself as/what modality do you work with? 

My work has changed and developed with me. 

Initially, very unabashed, colourful large canvases populated my studio and created a world where my figures were immerse in lived situations. 

I now use an iPad as a powerful tool to brings new possibilities to my established language and practice. That has led me to a more minimalistic approach and to a graphic language of simple forms. 

The theme for the Kip Wall is ‘connection’, what does connection mean to you? 

The piece submitted for the Kip Wall is part of a project that delves into identity and human connection, very important to me, especially at a time when these themes have never felt more urgent. 

The semi-abstract works depict a variety of relationships—some erotic, some consoling—but in all cases two figures yearn to become whole through physical connection. A multitude of fragments and shapes blur the boundaries between the bodies in each piece.

Breakfast of choice and why? (random…but relevant) 

A bowl of Rice Krispie, an handful of mixed fruit and nuts, a small pot of blueberry yoghurt, chai seeds and a splash of pea milk!

Filling and healthy. 

Tell us about the piece you created for Kip Wall… 

I usually start with a loose sketch on the iPad or on paper. 

When I have a general idea of the composition then I go over to define the lines and shapes, add colours until I’m satisfied with the end result. 

For the Kip Wall I have created special pieces by dividing one of my work into four panels. The elements that create the first three panels are the same used in the “complete” artwork in the fourth panel. When viewed together we realise we are all connected. 

Sharing common characteristics yet retaining our individuality and uniqueness.

The first three stand alone abstract pieces start an artistic discourse that culminates in the final panel.

“Everything is gonna be ok” offers a message of hope in these difficult times. 

Coming together/connecting is the way forward.

Take us back to the first time you ‘created’ something, how did it feel/what was it? 

It was such a long time ago but I must have enjoyed the feeling because I never stopped since. 

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